THE Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) on Monday apologised to consumers over power disruption in its franchise areas just as it also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) over unpaid entitlements.
AEDC’s franchise areas include the FCT, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states.
“Following the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), power supply to some of our areas of operation, especially those on the 11 Kilovolt network, were affected,” AEDC said in a statement.
“We would also like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and disruption. We assure our customers that all hands are on deck to resolve the issues that prompted this action,” Mr Oyebode Fadipe, AEDC’s General Manager, Corporate Communication, stated.
In another development, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said it had enough bulk power to deliver to AEDC to off-take and distribute to its customers.
Its General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, blamed power outage being experienced in AEDC’s franchise area to a shutdown of AEDC’s facilities by its in-house workers union.
“The areas under AEDC franchise include Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi, parts of Edo, Niger and Kaduna States. TCN regrets this disruption and assures Nigerians that normal bulk power delivery to AEDC will be restored as soon as the injection substations are opened for onward electricity supply to consumers,” she stated.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who visited AEDC headquarters reports that the office was locked and only members of the NUEE were seen outside the gate.
Opalowa Eleojo, the Organising Secretary, NUEE, said the strike resulted from pensions contributions deducted from workers’ salaries for 20 months but not remitted to their Pension Fund Administrators.
He also said that the thrift and cooperative society deductions for eight months were also not remitted by the AEDC.
Meanwhile the NUEE and relevant government agencies in the power sector on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which eventually led to the suspension of the industrial action by the FCT chapter of NUEE.
“At the end of an expansive meeting between the leadership of NUEE and relevant government institutions in the power sector over the industrial action which affected the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) franchise area regarding the unresolved dispute with the management of AEDC over unpaid entitlements, it was agreed as follows:
“1. Government intervened with the firm arrangement to ensure the payment of outstanding entitlements of AEDC staff within twenty one (21) days counting from the date of the signing of this MOU; and
“2. Based on the foregoing, the industrial action is hereby suspended;” the MOU reads.
The MOU was signed on behalf of NUEE by its General Secretary, Comrade Joe Ajaero, and Chairman of FCT Council of NUEE, Comrade Godfrey Aba, while on the government side, Mr Goddy Jeddy Agba, the Honourable Minister of State, Power, Mr Alex A. Okoh, Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Engr Sanusi Garba, Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and the Mr Alex Olebe, representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.