Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, yesterday, called for review of the obsolete Electricity Act to protect consumers from incessant power outage and outrageous tariff increases.
The union wants the National Assembly to urgently intervene beyond mere motions by effecting legal changes that will have positive impact on the power supply is distributed and the consumers charged by the electricity distribution companies.
Mr. Akoh Ndubusi, the Senior Assistant Secretary General of NUEE, who made the appeal, yesterday in Abuja, said that the measure would ensure stable supply of electricity by operators of the industry.
Ndubusi said it was necessary to put the power generation and distribution companies on their toes if the nation is to break free from constant power outages occasioned by poor performances.
“Before the privatisation of the power sector we had about 4000 mega watt, but look at what is happening today, power generation has dropped a lot; so, how can Nigerians get the dividend of this privatisation.
“A lot of us are always running our generators and you know how much it cost to buy fuel now; it involves everyone in the society. We are not living in the moon; we all need electricity just as the other ordinary Nigerian needs it.
“We don’t need to blame anybody in the sector, instead, it is time for the government to look inward and marshal out plans on how to improve the privatised power sector,’’ he said stressing that the public was yet to feel the privatisation of the power sector.
Ndubuisi noted that effective supervision and monitoring were the best ways the power distribution and generating companies would ensure steady generation and distribution of electricity to Nigerians.
“What these private people know is how to collect money and increase tariff; it is difficult for them to mount one transformer since they came on board. The vehicles they are using today, if not hired, are the ones left by former Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
“So they have not added any value here since they came on board; the privatisation has not attracted any foreign direct investment. If you look at the transmission companies for instant, they cannot effectively supply electricity,’’ he added.
He alleged that some of the DISCOs do not have the capacity to distribute the mega watt sent to them to distribute to Nigerians.
“So it is important for government to take action on the power sector because if they leave it in the hands of these capitalists, we will go into total darkness with what we are seeing now.
“The Act must be reviewed because this is where the development of any country is when we are talking about creating jobs. If we have constant electricity in this country, every unemployed youth will look for one thing or the other to do and a lot of other things will fall in line.”
Besides, the scribe urged the federal government to pay them their outstanding benefits and severance packages.
Meanwhile, following the intervention of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, the National Union of Electricity Employees has ordered its workers to return to work immediately.
The union had following some unresolved issues in the 2012 agreement and what it termed militarisation/lockout of TCN offices, embarked on strike.
Ngige had intervened by holding separate meetings with the officials of the Federal Ministry of Power and the leaders of the National Union of Electricity Employees, where the matter was resolved.
The directive signed by the General Secretary of the union, Comrade Joe Ajaero reads; “the Minister of Labour and Employment has intervened in the trade dispute in the power sector in accordance with the relevant section of the Trade Disputes Act, CAP T8, LFN 2004; and scheduled a conciliation meeting for Tuesday, April 26, 2016.”
“In view of this development, the union hereby directs members in TCN to return to work immediately.”NAN

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