Monday, April 18, 2011

PHCN workers plan to throw Nigerians into darkness on May Day

 By Adunola Fasuyi
Electricity workers across the country have perfected plans to throw the entire nation into total blackout on May 1, 2011, if the Federal Government does not positively respond to their demands on labour issues and workers’ welfare relating to the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), just as they gave the government a two-week ultimatum that will expire by end of April, 2011.

The workers under the aegis of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) who addressed journalists in Lagos at the weekend, also called on the Federal Government to make public the report of the House of Representatives Committee on Power led by Ndidi Elumelu, insisting that the investigations on the $16billion spent by the Federal Government on National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) could not be swept under the carpet.

The industrial action, according to the leadership of the two in-house unions in the power sector, is to resist Federal Government’s privatisation exercise of PHCN’s plants, noting that the purported bidding of Eko Power plant by an investor for N2 billion is nothing but a game plan by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to sell out a national asset generating over N1.6billon monthly target income to the government at a cheap price.

Speaking at the joint press conference, SSAEAC’s president, Comrade Bede Opara, declared that except labour issues were discussed, settled and the BPE transparently opened up for the purported privatisation of power plants, electricity workers in the country would down tools at the end of April, 2011.
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