Business - Energy - News - December 7, 2021

Workers crisis, Nigerian govt. suspends Abuja DISCo mgt., approves new interim board

MEDIATRACNET

Following workers industrial action  over non-payment of arrears of salaries and other benefits, the Federal Government on Tuesday stepped in with a decision to suspend the management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

The non-payment of the benefits, which included pensions, allowances and promotion entitlements. resulted in a protest spearheaded by the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE).

During the protest, normal supply of electricity to consumers and other services to Abuja and environs were disrupted for more than 14 hours.
Apart from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), other places theown into darkness as a result of the workers strike action included Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and parts of Edo states.
On Monday, between 7 am and 8 pm,  consumers in the affected places experienced total blackout.
The protest was called off only after the intervention of  the Federal Ministry of Labour,  Minister of Power, Aliyu Abubakar, and the Bureau of Public Enterprise, who met and dialogued with NUEE  representatives.
The suspension of the management of the DISCo was said to have been one of the conditions the workers union gave to agree to call off their  strike and restore normal services.
The agreement to suspend the strike action was contained in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) jointly signed by the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy Agba; the Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission NERC, Sanusi Garba; Director General Bureau of Public Enterprises, Alex Okoh, and the representative of NUEE, Joe Ajaero.
To ensure the management of the company was not adversely affected, the statement from the office of the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Agba, announcing the suspension of the management, said the government also approved the constitution of a new interim governing board to oversee the day to day operations of the electricity distribution company.
The Federal Government said the suspension of the AEDC management team would subsist until further notice.
The spokesperson to the Minister, Ofem Uket, said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the immediate suspension of the suspension of the former management and the interim board.
Uket said the suspension of the management team conveyed by the Presidency to the Federal Ministry of Power takes immediate effect.
The presidential directive also asked the Bureau of Public Enterprises to set up the modalities for the constitution of the new management team for the AEDC, while steps are taken immediately settle the outstanding emoluments and entitlements of staff within the next 21 days.
The government has described the poor performance and incompetence of the AEDC as a monumental national embarrassment

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