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Abuja disco apologizes to electricity users for power outages

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Solomon Ezeme

 

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, which staff is presently on strike, has apologized to customers under its distribution network for the inconveniences that the industrial action has caused.

It also stated that customers connected to the 11kV network may experience power outages, as a result of the on-going strike.

Electricity supply to some areas of the company’s network have been interrupted due to closure of its facilities by staff members.

In a press statement on Tuesday, the General Manager, Corporate Communications at AEDC, Oyebode Fadipe, issued an apology to customers, assuring them that efforts are being made to put the situation under control and return things to normal.

“Following the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees, power supply to some of our areas of operation, especially those on the 11kV network, may be affected.

“We would like to assure all our customers that all hands are on deck to resolve the issues that prompted this action.

“We would also like to apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and disruption,” Fadipe said.

AEDC workers had on Monday, embarked on an industrial action, shutting down all of its facilities on grounds of unfair staff welfare, salaries, and default in the payment of pensions.

The industrial action has since affected power supply to areas under the DisCo’s network, including Abuja, Kaduna, communities in Edo, Nasarawa, Kogi and Niger.

Prior to the commencement of the industrial action, the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, had appealed to the labour union to follow due process in expressing its grievances.

He explained that the Abuja DisCo’s case is just one out of many similar cases as he also warned the union to be ‘cautious and responsible’ in their conducts, so as not to worsen the existing power challenges in the country.

“The attention of Federal Ministry of Power has been drawn to a threat by a section of labour unions in the power sector to the effect that it would shut down power supply in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and beyond.

“That union is anchoring this threat on a situation in the ownership tussle of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), which has made the company fail in some responsibilities to workers.

“We are also aware that the unions in the sector have been part of the solution to this problem and therefore know the facts and stage of the efforts towards solving the problem, as far as workers rights are concerned.

“It has to be cautious and responsible to avoid endangering the fragile state of our electricity infrastructure which the present government is working hard to strengthen,” Jedy-Agba said.

He appealed to the union, as well as Nigerians, to maintain calm as the Ministry engages with various stakeholders to settle the dispute.

“Doing the contrary have other consequences including economic sabotage and related offences. The Federal Ministry of Power has taken up the leadership of efforts to engage relevant stakeholders, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to resolve this problem very soon.

“All Nigerians are hereby enjoined to be alert as we plead with the aggrieved unions to toe the line of peace and dialogue,” he said.

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