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In Bid to Avoid Promotion Interview, Electricity Union Throws Nigeria into Total Blackout

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Power sector workers yesterday made good their threat to embark on a nationwide strike, shutting down power stations countrywide and setting off another electricity grid collapse around 3pm.

But after throwing the entire nation into a total blackout for several hours with its attendant loss of productivity which may have run into billions of naira, the workers suspended the industrial action by two weeks.

It came after a four-hour conciliation meeting between the federal government and the striking electricity workers in Abuja with the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, representing the government.

The electricity workers under the joint auspices of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEC) were in attendance at the meeting.

Speaking with journalists after the meeting, NUEE, through its Secretary General, Joe Ajaero, expressed hope that the federal government would act in good faith on the issues in dispute which have lingered for years.

He said they would pause the industrial action and wait for two weeks as agreed in the meeting for the government to address their grievances.

The President of SSAEC,  Chika Ben, assured the nation that the matter would be nipped in the bud before it escalates, adding that there would be no further blackout in any part of the country.

Also speaking, Ngige said that after exhaustive deliberations on the issues in dispute, they agreed to constitute a bipartite committee to look into the grievances of the electricity workers and report back in two weeks.

According to Ngige, the members of the bipartite committee include the Minister of State for Power, Giddy Jeddy-Agba(Chairman),  Permanent Secretary, Office of the  Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, representative of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and two representatives from NUEE and SSAEC. The Minister said the committee has two weeks to report back to the whole house.

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