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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

JUST IN: labour unions shutdown national grid over wages disagreement

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Hours after the new minimum wage meeting between the Federal Government and labour unions ended in deadlock, the country has experienced a total blackout after the striking workers shut down the national grid, to further demand an upward review of their benefits.

The national grid was said to have been shut down at about 2.19am on Monday when it became obvious that the National Assembly intervention could not prevent the workers from embarking on their planned industrial action.

Meanwhile, efforts by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to save the economy from suffering more loss through recovery of the national grid proved abortive after labour unions engaged the firm to truncate the plans.

This development was disclosed by the General Manager, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, through a statement made available to newsmen on Monday.

According to the statement, “The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) hereby informs the general public that the Labour Union has shut down the national grid, resulting in black out nationwide.

“The national grid shut down occured at about 2.19am this morning, 3rd June 2024.

“At about 1:15am this morning, the Benin Transmission Operator under the Independent System Operations unit of TCN reported that all operators were driven away from the control room and that staff that resisted were beaten while some were wounded in the course of forcing them out of the control room and without any form of control or supervision, the Benin Area Control Center was brought to zero.

“Other transmission substations that were shut down, by the Labour Union include the Ganmo, Benin, Ayede, Olorunsogo, Akangba and Osogbo Transmission Substations. Some transmission lines were equally opened due to the ongoing activities of the labour union.

“On the power generating side, power generating units from different generating stations were forced to shut down some units of their generating plants, the Jebba Generating Station was forced to shut down one of its generating units while three others in the same substation subsequently shut down on very high frequency. The sudden forced load cuts led to high frequency and system instability, which eventually shut down the national grid at 2:19am.

“At about 3.23am, however, TCN commenced grid recovery, using the Shiroro Substation to attempt to feed the transmission lines supplying bulk electricity to the Katampe Transmission Substation. The situation is such that the Labour Union is still obstructing grid recovery nationwide.

“We will continue to make effort to recover and stabilize the grid to enable the restoration of normal bulk transmission of electricity to distribution load centres nationwide”.


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