© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
House of Reps summons Labour, Power ministers to avert proposed strike of electricity workers
The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the Ministers of Labour and Power as well as the Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) to appear before it on Thursday, December 12 to brief the leadership of the house on the proposed strike action by electricity workers in the country.
The House was dissatisfied that the 21-day ultimatum announced by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), was allowed to elapse without any effort to address the alleged grievances of the union.
Moving a motion to ask the House to intervene in the matter, Toby Okechukwu member representing Aninri/Agwu/Oji-Uzo constituency of Enugu State, urged the House to ensure that the strike action is not carried out.
Okechukwu stated that if the strike was allowed to take place, it would create untold economic hardship in the country especially small scale businesses which would be at the receiving end.
He said it was not in the interest of the nation to allow the strike to go ahead, saying that as representatives of the people, the lawmakers must find a solution by inviting the relevant stakeholders to dialogue with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem.
The lawmaker also noted that the the consequence would be more than what the workers are being owed if the strike is allowed to take place.
Ndudi Elumelu member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State said one of the critical issues on the legislative agenda of the House was the issue of power reform, stating there was presently no guarantee that the nation can effectively distribute 100 megawatts of electricity daily.
He said it was unfortunate that a 21-day ultimatum was given by the unions and allowed to expire without those concerned inviting them for dialogue, adding that if the House leadership does not intervene, the issue may go out of hand.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila directed the Clerk of the House to write and invite the two Ministers of Power and Labour, the DG PENCOM, the union leadership and other stakeholders to a meeting with the House leadership by 2.00 pm on Thursday, while efforts should be made to get the unions not to commence the planned strike action.