There is a palpable crisis in the power sector as the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) during the weekend in Lagos, issued a 14 day ultimatum to the management of the Transition Company of Nigeria (TCN) over alleged anti-workers practices.
It further threatened to shut down the power sector over alleged breakdown of law and order by Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of TCN, Usman Gur Mohammed.
The senior staff electricity workers alleged that the TCN boss has become a security threat and lawbreaker and does not comply with the TCN condition of service and the laws, adding that he arrogantly and illegally stopped SSAEAC dues and defied all agencies of government’s intervention.
Speaking with newsmen at the end of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend, the SSAEAC President, Mr Chris Okonkwo, said that TCN refused to improve the condition of service for its workers.
The union, alleged Mohammed’s failure to account for monies and goods received since assumption of duty, stating that since his appointment, he had cleared over 600 40-feet containers of equipment from the seaports without record of receipts in TCN stores.
Okonkwo, who, therefore, called on the Federal Government to hold the MD of TCN responsible for breakdown of law and order in all TCN stations, demanded his removal within two weeks to avert indefinite industrial show down in the power sector.
He said: “After the union’s meeting in April, it suspended some members who are involved in sabotaging the union.
“Three of them later apologised to the union. The management has been withholding implementation of salary increase as started by the last administration.
“We have mobilised for a showdown. The leadership of TCN has split the union’s leadership by compromising some, playing with the yearly promotion of staff, tampering with list and organogram, and generally engaging in activites that undermine the terms of service.”
Okonkwo added: “Workers are saddled with arbitrariness which we have made efforts to see if we could redirect, but all efforts failed since 2016 when the current leadership of the sub-sector came on board.
“Efforts to make the leader know the rules had not yielded expected behaviour. We declared the trade dispute after several efforts to make sure the head of TCN retrace his steps. The union has mobilised members for a showdown.”
“What happened during the privatisation process was a mere distribution of assets. We want to defend the sovereignty of senior staff association. We have written several letters, all to no avail.
“We will not rest on our oars, as issues with generation, transmission and distribution companies are tugging at all of us for the fact that our industrial base is still in comatose, houses in darkness and labour component of the power sector is still under the jackboat of investors.
“Privatisation, which is four and half years ago, has still not shown the direction we all hope for,” Okonkwo said.