11 April 2014, Abuja – A major crisis is looming in the power sector as some of the private investors are considering sacking most of the workers they inherited from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
Investigation by our correspondent on Thursday revealed that about 1,580 workers of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company were likely to lose their jobs as the firms continued to battle with financial challenges.
The Jos Disco is being managed by AURA Nigeria Limited, while the Ibadan Disco is being managed by Integrated Energy Distribution and Management Company, which also owns the Yola Electricity Distribution Company.
It was learnt that the Jos Disco was planning to sack 1,000 of its workers, while the Ibadan Disco had pencilled down 580 names for disengagement.
A source in the National Union of Electricity Employees, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, confirmed that the Jos Disco would have sacked 1,000 workers last week but for the intervention of the union.
He said, “The NUEE locked out the management and staff of the Jos Disco for a whole day last week after the workers got the wind that the new owners wanted to sack 1,000 workers at the end of April.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress had planned to picket the company for one week but it was reopened the following day.”
The Acting Secretary, NLC, Plateau State, who is also the Secretary, North-east Zone, NUEE, Mr. Anthony John, who led the workers to picket the firm, had said, “The NLC says no to unfair labour practices; we want light, not sacking of our members; we want foreign investors, not foreign exploiters; we demand the recall of all our sacked union officials.
“What has been happening between November and now is evil. Workers have the right to protect their interests and to have a union. But between November last year and now, the company has insisted that there will be no union. Several of our union officials who fought for the rights of the workers have been sacked. In this place, graduates are paid N10,000; what a shame! All the jobs have been outsourced; the level of exploitation is too high; we can’t sit down and keep quiet.”
– The Punch