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The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Energy, said the recent one-day strike by workers at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had caused Nigeria’s power generation to drop to a peak. from 4,829.5 megawatts to 43 MW.
Transmission company staff, under the National Union of Electricity Employees, shut down the country’s power grid last Wednesday, plunging businesses and other electricity consumers into darkness.
They went on strike to protest a mandatory promotion interview for key executives, unpaid duties, among other issues, and crippled the country’s power supply for several hours before the federal government intervened.
The latest figures obtained in Abuja on Sunday on the performance of the country’s power grid indicated that peak power generation on Tuesday before the workers’ strike was 4,829.5 MW.
But as workers shut down power station after power station in their industrial action on Wednesday, viral videos circulating online show, power generation on the grid eventually plummeted to 43MW.
It was further observed that at the start of the grid restoration process, power generation increased to 215 MW, which was the off-peak generation figure on Thursday, while peak generation on the same day was estimated. at 4,476.2MW.
Off-peak power generation on the grid was estimated at 3,421.7 MW on Saturday, while peak generation on the same day was 4,636.4 MW. However, that dropped to 4,333.7 MW at 6 a.m. Sunday.
The federal government confirmed on Wednesday that the action of the electricity workers led to the collapse of the country’s power grid.
“Following the labor dispute declared by the two internal unions of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the national power grid was shut down by union officials, even as unhindered efforts were made to resolve the issues on which the action was called,” the government said in a statement from its electricity transmission company.

He added: ‘The incident happened at 3.01pm today (Wednesday) after several 330kV transmission lines and 33kV feeder lines on the power grid were cut by members of the syndicate, leading to an imbalance in the generation load and multiple voltage escalations at critical substations and substations.

“Unfortunately, this comes weeks after we emerged from a hectic networking regime, precipitated by production scarcity, that we struggled with for a few months.”

Meanwhile, power consumer groups have slammed the federal government, TCN and NUEE for putting the entire country in darkness for several hours due to the internal dispute at the transmission company.

In separate interviews, the groups said the development had further shown the weakness of the current government,

The National Secretary of the Network of Electricity Consumers Advocacy of Nigeria, Uket Obonga, told reporters that the government had shown weakness, pointing out that the action by union members was appalling.

He said: “It is unfortunate that this can happen in the electricity sector. Remember that in 1986 a group of ex-NEPA officials tried to cut off the electricity supply across the country and the government of the day had them arrested, which was the right thing to do because it is treason.

“How would you cast an entire nation into darkness? What are their demands? Is there no alternative? Don’t we have the court of arbitration?

“This is unacceptable and further exposes the weakness of this current government.

“If we were a nation with adequate data, do you think you could quantify the damage they have caused to the economy and to private businesses? Now, I want you to know that I’m not protecting the government because it’s their incompetence that got us into this.

For his part, the President of the Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, Kunle Olubiyo, said it was regrettable that the government ignored all pleas from the unions after the union sent about 17 correspondences to the government on the matter.

Olubiyo, who served as a member of the National Technical Investigation Panel on Power System Collapses/System Stability and Reliability (June 2013), said the federal government is becoming notorious for flouting contracts.

“The successive Nigerian government must not be seen as contributing to a despicable culture of impunity, lack of integrity in governance and failure to uphold the sanctity of contracts.

“We cannot continue in this negative direction of giving up simple gentleman’s agreements in all spheres of governance. The losses incurred by electricity consumers, whether residential, large users and industrial clusters, are not quantifiable.

“The parties to the current crises, the government and the unions, should quickly return to peaceful and negotiable terms.”

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