During the Christmas period and New year, there is a chance that Nigerians could experience a nationwide blackout as some electricity workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) are threatening to resume their recently suspended nationwide strike.
According to The Nation, the workers said they might resume the strike if the government fail to implement the agreement reached with them.
The workers accused the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) of failing to fully pay the over 2,000 disengaged workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) since 2013.
They also claimed that the BPE has illegally transferred schools built by the NUEE union to investors and that there was underpayment of severance of over 50,000 ex-PHCN staff.
Comrade Joe Ajaero, the general secretary of NUEE, declared that the agreement signed with union which necessitated the suspension of a recent strike should be implemented to avert a resumption of the action.
Ajaero said the union was eagerly waiting for the implementation of these demands as captured in the agreement, or the workers would return to the trenches.
He urged the federal government to declare an emergency in the power sector, noting that Nigerians were totally dissatisfied with the situation in the sector.
However, another union, the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) have countered NUEE, saying the suspended strike was, in the first place, illegally carried out by the junior employee union, as conditions precedent to strike were not followed.
Chris Okonkwo, the president-general of SSAEAC, said the union had written to the federal government detailing why the strike was a wrong approach.
Meanwhile, Nigerians will soon pay more for electricity as the federal government is planning to increase tariffs when it completes power projects across the country.
According to The Nation, the minister of power, Sale Mamman, said the increase in electricity tariffs is inevitable in view of the rising cost of electricity generation in the country.
He stated that the current cost-ineffective tariff has a drawback on the operation of the energy distributors in the country.
Mamman disclosed that electricity supply would improve when power projects in the country are completed, adding that this will result in the increase in tariffs in because the cost of generating electricity must be met by the operators.