NLC justifies shutting down the national grid


On Monday, the Nigeria Labour Congress explained the decision of electrical workers to shut down the national grid.

In a statement made accessible to journalists, NLC President Joe Ajaero chastised the Transmission Company of Nigeria for claiming that the NLC’s monitoring and compliance team attacked workers maintaining their facilities.

As the workers union strike began, the TCN announced that Nigeria’s electricity grid would be completely shut down.

On Monday, the National Labour Council and the Trade Union Congress launched a statewide industrial action in protest of the Federal Government’s N60,000 minimum wage proposal.

TCN spokeswoman Ndidi Mbah announced the shutdown of the national grid in a statement made on Monday morning, claiming that the personnel did it on purpose.

However, the NLC stated that no falsehoods spread by TCN or any other government agency or group will scare Nigerian workers.

The NLC statement read, “The Nigeria Labour Congress categorically states that Nigerian workers will not be intimidated by the management of any organization or government entity over our rightful decision to withdraw services via the indefinite nationwide strike that began earlier this morning.”

“The spreading of outright falsehood to mislead the public instead of working with other stakeholders to resolve the issues raised by Nigerian workers via the NLC and TUC is not helpful in any way.”

The statement went on to say, “It will rather inflame the anger of the suffering masses who are already burdened by the federal government’s cruel policies.”

“It is critical that we address the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s press statement, in which they made misleading assertions about the indefinite nationwide strike proclaimed by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.”

“The Transmission enterprise of Nigeria should recognize that it is not the only enterprise affected by Nigerian workers’ widespread withdrawal of service across the country. It should not be viewed as a TCN issue, as other organisations are also experiencing service disruptions as a result of the statewide strike.”

“The management of TCN should have known that the NLC and TUC had submitted a notification to the Federal Government since the beginning of May 2024 over the non-completion of the National Minimum Wage negotiating process and passing into law, as well as the vexatious increase in energy tariff.”

“We had urged that the wage-setting process be completed and that the electricity rate increase be reversed back to N66/kWh, but the administration had not responded positively.”

“One wonders if TCN’s management requires education on the dynamics of industrial action. It is not accurate that we mistreated anyone at any TCN facility.”

" Perhaps TCN attempted to push people to work in order to end the strike, not realizing that all workers were determined to stay absent. Why wouldn’t the grid fall down if the workers who operate it decided to discontinue service? That is how it works, and it proves that without workers, no wheel turns, and no work can be done anywhere."

“Nigerian workers, led by the NLC and TUC, have exercised proper prudence and unusual forbearance in our interaction with our social partners, but this restraint has been badly abused, resulting in the current impasse.”

" Attempting to shift blame rather than accepting responsibility and taking the required steps to clean up its act will prevent the Nigerian Transmission Company from making perceptible progress."

" The organization should prioritize fulfilling its responsibilities to Nigerians, particularly in the electricity sector, rather than using the military to intimidate and harass workers who are carrying out their lawful duties."

According to the NLC, TCN’s management would be held accountable for any injury caused to any worker as a result of their use of military capabilities.

The statement said, “It is also critical that we remind TCN that deploying military personnel to its locations is a blatant abuse and insult to the military, particularly in a democracy.”

" We are confident that members of the military who have been mistreated by this deployment are dissatisfied with the administration and authorities who have approved the deployment."

“The NLC and TUC remain unwavering in their commitment to the emancipation of impoverished Nigerians and will continue to fight for a fair and just living wage, as well as the reversal of the excessive electricity tariff increase.”

" We urge all Nigerians to join in solidarity with us as we seek the execution of policies that emphasize the welfare of the people. We will not back down or give in to blackmail, intimidation, or harassment."