Friday, January 21

Confusion as Buhari sacks AEDC management over workers’ strike

There was confusion among power sector operators on Tuesday after President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company AEDC as a result of the strike embarked upon by the workers of the company.

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Power said the management of AEDC had been replaced with an interim governing council, stressing that the directive came from the Presidency.

The Deputy Director (Press) Bureau of Public Enterprises(BPE) FMP, Austin Asoluka has confirmed the development.

He said that a new interim management team formed by NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) has been put in place.

The strike embarked upon by workers of the AEDC on Monday sources claimed caused serious embarrasment to government, after their industrial action grounded power supply in the nation’s capital and five other states for about 10 hours.

It was alleged that the strike interrupted power supply in Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi, parts of Edo, Niger and Kaduna states.

Both the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the management of the AEDC confirmed that the strike by the in-house union of the power firm led to the blackout witnessed in most states that got their supply from the Disco.

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The strike which lifted on Monday night was said to be embarked upon due to the failure of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company to pay outstanding entitlements to its workers.

The media aide to the Minister of State for Power, Ofem Uket, said Buhari approved the move and a new interim governing board had been appointed to oversee the day-to-day operations of the firm.

But operators in the power sector described the development as confusing, stressing that it might lead to litigation.

The Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, Tomi Akinbogun in his reaction to the development said emphatically that the marching order was unnecessary and uncalled for.

“Does it mean that if there’s any disagreement with staff or labour issues in a Disco, government takes over, even before investigation is conducted?” He quipped.

Meanwhile, contradictory reactions have continued to trail the sack of board of AEDC by the presidency.

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