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TCN confirms nationwide blackout as labour shuts down national grid

THE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has confirmed that labour union shut down the national grid to plunge the country into darkness as it commenced indefinite strike on Monday, June 3, 2024.

The nationwide strike is due to the federal government’s failure to increase workers’ new minimum wage offer above N60,000 and reverse electricity tariff hike.

The TCN in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, announced that the blackout began at approximately 2:19 am.

She said the incident started at 1:15 am when the Benin Transmission Operator, under the Independent System Operations unit of TCN, reported that all operators were forcefully removed from the control room.

According to TCN, staff members who resisted were assaulted, resulting in several injuries. With no control or supervision, the Benin Area Control Center was completely shut down.

Mbah said the labour union’s actions extended to other key transmission substations, including Ganmo, Ayede, Olorunsogo, Akangba, Osogbo, and Benin. The union’s activities also led to the opening of several transmission lines, exacerbating the situation.

According to her, the power generating sector has not been spared, adding that various generating stations were forced to shut down units, including the Jebba Generating Station, which shut down one unit, followed by the automatic shutdown of three other units due to high frequency issues.

She added that the development had sudden forced load cuts, destabilised the system, culminating in the nationwide grid collapse at 2:19 am.

Mbah, however, disclosed that despite the severe disruption, TCN had initiated efforts to restore the grid.

“At 3:23 am, TCN began recovery operations using the Shiroro Substation to attempt to feed transmission lines supplying bulk electricity to the Katampe Transmission Substation. However, ongoing obstructions by the labour union continue to hinder the grid recovery process”, she said.




     

     

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    Mbah also reassured the public that the company was ‘tirelessly’ working to stabilise the grid and restore normal electricity transmission to distribution centers across the country.

    On Saturday, June 1, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) disclosed that it would be joining the planned strike action on Monday.

    The president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, during a joint news conference with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) leadership in Abuja on Friday, May 31, declared his members would join the nationwide.

    Meanwhile, the federal government has pleaded with the striking workers to reconsider their decision to embark on the strike, noting that whatever the government did was in the interest of Nigerians.

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    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

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