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Ekeomah Atuonwu

Following a meeting with the government, a representative of the workers’ union said that the strike by employees of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has been suspended. The protest started on Wednesday and resulted in a statewide blackout.

According to TCN, the grid’s capacity fell from 4,100 megawatts (MW) early on Wednesday to nothing by 5:00 p.m. (1600 GMT). As of 9:50 p.m. (20:50 GMT), only 35 MW were available.

Joe Ajaero , General Secretary National Union of Electricity Employees /Google/

Following a meeting with TCN management and the minister of power, Joe Ajaero, general secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), told media that the union will call off the strike for two weeks.

“A committee chaired by the Minister of State for Power has been set up to work out modalities on resolution of the issues. Power would be restored either this night or tomorrow in the morning,” Ajaero said.

In a notification to members, NUEE had stated that, among other complaints, it was opposing discriminatory promotion practices at the state-owned transmission firm and unfair labor practices in the power sector.

On Wednesday, the 11 energy distribution firms in Nigeria sent warnings to their customers informing them that the strike made it impossible for them to provide power.

Lagos-based Ikeja Electric, the largest distribution company, said “we are currently experiencing disruption of power supply as most stations within our network have been shut down.”

On Tuesday, Nigeria’s national grid had a peak supply of 4,800 MW, the highest in many months but still far below what the country of 200 million people needs.

A majority of businesses and homes rely on diesel and petrol-powered generators while many more go without electricity.

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Ekeomah Atuonwu

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