Nationwide Blackout Looms As TCN Shuts Down National Grid Over Labour Strike

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UPDATED: TCN Makes U-turn On Planned National Grid Shutdown

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has shut down the national grid following ongoing indefinite strike by organised labour unions in Nigeria.

The Herald understands that the spokesperson for the TCN, Ndidi Mbah, confirmed the shutdown of the national grid on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.

Ndidi noted that electricity workers, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), followed directives of the Nigeria Labour Congress to withdraw their services.

“Electricity workers are NLC members; they’ve followed the directive by organized labour to withdraw their services from Tuesday,” she stated.

The NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and its affiliates including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday, began a nationwide strike, in defiance of a restraining court order barring them from embarking on the industrial action.

NLC and TUC, the two major labour unions in Nigeria, had declared the strike, following the brutalisation of the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State on 1 November.

The NLC President was attacked in Owerri, the state capital, during an NLC protest against the Imo State government over alleged maltreatment of workers in the state.

The unions on Monday directed their members to down tools across the country as of Tuesday, November 14, 2023.

This is despite the restraining order issued by the National Industrial Court, in Abuja, on Friday, stopping the labour unions from embarking on the strike.

The interim order issued by the court followed an ex-parte request by the Nigerian government through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, due to the Labour unions’ threat to embark on strike.

Ignoring the court order, Newsone Nigeria reports ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor of soil science, on Monday, also directed compliance with the strike declaration by NLC and TUC in a letter to ASUU zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons across the country.

“As an affiliate of NLC, all members of our union are hereby directed to join this action of NLC to protect the interest of Nigerian workers and the leadership of the union. Zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons should immediately mobilise our members to participate in the action,” ASUU President, Mr Osodeke, wrote in a letter to zonal and branch chairpersons of the union.

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