Nigeria’s Electricity Workers Threaten Nationwide Power Blackout
Electricity workers under the auspices of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) have threatened to ground the entire electric power structure in the country if their demands are not met.
The workers are calling for the dismissal of Usman Muhammed, Managing Director (MD) of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), after accusing him of highhandedness and anti-labour activities.
They made the call in a protest on Tuesday in Abuja, saying they will ground the country’s entire power structure if their demands are not met.
According to Umar Abubakar, SSAEAC general secretary, Mohammed flouted administrative procedures, which he described as unfavourable to their welfare.
He added that the MD allegedly single handedly conducted examinations for staff due for promotion without recourse to input from other management staff.
He further alleged that the MD had defaulted in remitting appropriate taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), a development that also led to the sealing of the organisation even before the workers staged their protest.
In a letter stating their grievances, the workers said Mohammed cornered funds the World Bank provided for projects in the power sector.
“Our grievances stem from the fact that the MD on his own handled the promotion exercise and started to conduct it in his own way through the aid of consultants that to us is not the ideal process,” he said.
“The motive is that he is not prepared to promote any staff, especially those who are due and most qualified for promotion.
He probably wants to pick people, who are his boys and loyal to him, that is our suspicion.
“We have it on good authority that there were some container loads of equipment that were cleared from the ports but was not taken to the store, this again is not the proper thing to do for accountability.
“His own style of leadership is management of dishing out orders; if he is not around, nothing takes place.
”What then are the functions of the executive directors or general managers?
“To cap it all and to prove his incompetence, the FIRS has sealed off our office over tax default.
”How can a responsible MD claim to be in charge and this is happening?”