Discos, Gencos keep mum over strike as FG officials meet

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Power on Wednesday held a meeting to discuss the way forward on the 21-day strike notice issued by the National Union of Electricity Employees to the Federal Government and power generation and distribution companies.

But while the ministry officials met about the issue, power generation and distribution companies seemed unperturbed by the NUEE ultimatum.

NUEE reportedly threatened to down tools nationwide over pending labour issues, according to a report on Wednesday.

The report outlined some of the issues as unpaid benefits to over 2,000 disengaged workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria since 2013, refusal of Discos to remit deducted contributory pension fund to their workers’ Pension Fund Administrators, among others.

When contacted on what the Federal Government was doing about the matter, a director at the FMP said, “The ministry is looking into the issue to find a way forward. But the minister is not around at the moment. He is out of town. They (NUEE) said they had sent the letter to him.”

The director, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added, “However, while we await the minister’s return, we have been meeting here at the ministry concerning the issue and whatever is agreed upon shall be presented to the minister before the final decision is made public.”

For the Gencos, the Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Joy Ogaji, told one of our correspondents that the union’s concern on payment of workers after the sector was privatised was an issue to be handled by the BPE.

“The BPE should be the one handling this issue with the union after the sector was privatised,” she declared.

The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, an umbrella body for Discos, Sunday Oduntan, said he would not comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies said the petition sent by the NUEE was done without proper consultation with other unions in the power sector.

 

Source: The Punch

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