By Daniel Edu
The prospect of a nationwide blackout is looming large as electricity workers have thrown their weight behind the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) during its warning strike, protesting against the removal of petrol subsidies and the government’s alleged failure to honor previous agreements.
The NLC initiated a two-day nationwide strike, commencing today, citing the federal government’s reluctance to engage in meaningful negotiations and implement previously agreed-upon resolutions as reasons for the protest.
In a show of solidarity with the NLC, electricity distribution companies declared that their employees had also joined the strike.
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) management released a statement acknowledging a general power outage within its jurisdiction, attributing it to the labor union’s enforcement of the two-day warning strike. The company urged customers to take necessary precautions to manage the power outage effectively and advised them to unplug sensitive electronic devices and appliances until power is restored.
The Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) similarly announced the shutdown of its feeders due to the strike. In a statement by its spokesperson, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, the company explained that the power outages in KEDC’s service areas were a direct result of the NLC’s warning strike, which led striking workers to close down all 33KV feeders.
The statement read: “We regret to announce that the outage being experienced currently in our franchise states is due to the warning strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Labour Congress and its affiliate unions. The action has necessitated the shutting down of all 33KV feeders by the striking workers. We hope the impasse between the federal government and the NLC shall be resolved soonest so that power supply can be restored. We regret all inconvenience.”
On the first day of the NLC’s two-day warning strike, there was partial compliance reported in some parts of the country, with banks choosing not to participate in the strike action.