Outage as power grid collapses following strike by TCN workers

The national power grid began a precipitous drop of more than 4,000 megawatts (MW) to 762 MW on Wednesday morning as workers at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) began industrial action to protest against a mandatory promotion interview for key leaders, among other issues.

According to data from the Independent System Operation (ISO), a section of TCN, electricity generation on the grid was 4,149.40 MW at 6 a.m. from 21 power plants on Wednesday but drastically fell to 1,635 MW from 17 plants.

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At noon, the gate had crashed to 1,246.40 MW as three power plants shut down, and at 1 p.m. the grid was down to 762.30 MW with only 13 plants active. Peak production reached on Tuesday was 4,829 MW.

Union Grouse with TCN

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) had protested on Tuesday, blocking TCN’s premises in Maitama after it issued a strike notice earlier, notifying that it would begin industrial action in full on Wednesday.

According to General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, in the notice dated August 15, 2022, the union protested a directive from the “TCN Board of Directors that all interim Senior Managers going to Deputy General Managers must appear for a promotion interview. This directive violates our terms of service and career progression paths, and is being taken unilaterally without relevant stakeholders. »

He also alleged that the staff of the office of the head of service of the Federation had been stigmatized because they worked in other areas of the electricity sector, as well as the refusal of the market operator of TCN to finance payment of ex-PHCN staff entitlements as agreed. in December 2019.

Responding to the notice the same day, Minister of State for Energy Goddy Jedy-Agba took note of the complaints and asked the union to give him time to resolve the issues.

“May we appeal to your great union to allow us two weeks from the date of this letter to resolve the issues and come up with proposals for an acceptable resolution of all issues,” he said. -he declares.

More so, the managing director of TCN, Engr. Sule Abdulaziz, wrote a letter on August 15, 2022 to NUEE stating that, “We are pleased to inform you that management has suspended the said interview proposal for those who are appointed as acting Deputy General Managers and General Managers while we conclude the discussion with the painting.

On the other issues such as the circular from the department head’s office on the stigmatization of deceased PHCN staff and the payment of dues to former PHCN employees by the market operator, Abdulaziz said that the management contacted the Minister of Energy, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, for further actions.

“In view of this development, we call on your union to remain in action,” he pleaded.

However, NUEE on August 16, 2022 responded to the Minister and the Managing Director of TCN, insisting that the protest would continue. The union blamed authorities for failing to resolve promotion issues for three years and was unconvinced about stigma issues in the department head’s office.

“On the stigmatization of staff in the office of the Federation Department Head for working in other areas of the electricity sector, we are not sure that you speak on behalf of the Department Head after memos addressed to this office several months ago left without any acknowledgment,” the letter reads.

And for questions regarding the TCN board, NUEE insisted on hearing from the board and not the TCN leadership or the deputy minister’s office.

“Based on the above, we may be forced to continue this action by Wednesday August 17, 2022 with a total shutdown of services. However, the union remains open to decisive discussions with the actors concerned; with a view to proposing solutions to the issues raised and avoiding the total collapse of the sector,” Ajaero said in the letter.

DisCos announces an outage

Meanwhile, there are pockets of outages in Abuja and the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has issued a notice advising customers that the outage was due to the withdrawal of services by TCN workers transmitting bulk electricity from power plants to DisCos stations.

Ikeja DisCo in Lagos also issued a notice saying nationwide picketing was affecting most of its stations and disrupting the power supply.

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