The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, demanding immediate action on critical issues affecting the power sector, including non-payment of 16 months arrears, refusal to issue prepaid meters to Nigerians among others.
The Acting General Secretary of NUEE, Dominic Igwebike, in a press statement, yesterday, expressed concern over what he described as the minister’s negligience and lack of engagement with key stakeholders since taking office and warned of severe consequences if their demands were not met within the stipulated timeframe.
“The Minister should be concerned about our outstanding issues including the refusal to issue prepaid meters to Nigerians who are being compelled to pay imposed crazy bills; while having less than 4,500mw output of electricity, refusal of most Generation Companies (GenCos) led by Egbin Power Plc who have flagrantly disobeyed all extant Labour laws since taking over in November 2013 and non-payment of 16 months arrears arising from severance; just to mention a few.
“Should the Minister fail to address these issues within two weeks, he should preoccupy himself with recruiting NSA Officials to run the Sector,” he warned.
According to the NUEE, Adelabu’s tenure thus far has been characterised by a series of unguided utterances and a failure to collaborate with industry stakeholders. They assert that his actions have the potential to negatively impact productivity and power output in the country.
Igwebike further accused Adelabu of misinformation to the public and open threats to power sector workers. The NUEE points out that the power sector had not experienced a system collapse in over 400 days, attributing this achievement to the dedicated workforce.
“Adelabu should be guided to the effect that the Power Sector did not experience any System collapse during the two days warning Strike declared across the nation by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which we are affiliated to. He should be educated to the effect that he cannot decree Strike out of existence.
“But the Minister has decided to play to the gallery, like some of his predecessors, by promising thousands of megawatts without any Roadmaps to achieving them. You cannot build something on nothing,” he lamented.
To rejuvenate the power sector and address longstanding issues, NUEE called on the federal government to appoint individuals with the requisite qualifications and expertise rather than basing appointments on political considerations.