By Lami Sadiq
Ahead of the five-day warning strike directed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to commence from midnight of Sunday in Kaduna, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has knocked off all the 33KV lines in Kaduna State in compliance with the directive.
The total blackout occurred from midnight on Saturday following an earlier warning by the National Union of Electricity Employees that it had been directed by the NLC to join the warning strike.
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Daily Trust reports that the NLC has commenced mobilising its affiliates to ensure a total economic shutdown of Kaduna State as part of efforts to force the government of Malam Nasir El-Rufai to rescind its policy of the sack of workers.
El-Rufai had on Saturday said his government would not bow to blackmail and insisted that it was not sustainable to spend 84 per cent to 96 per cent of its federal allocation on salaries and personnel costs.
The Kaduna State Government had stressed that it had been subjected to a campaign of lies, misrepresentation and false claims that its rightsizing exercise affected 4,000 workers and that it had stopped paying the minimum wage.
However, in a statement issued by the management of Kaduna Electric on Sunday, the company told its customers in Kaduna State that the service interruption as of Sunday was a result of the industrial action embarked upon by the NLC.
The statement issued by the disco’s Head, Corporate Communication, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, appealed to all communities, security agencies and vigilante groups to be vigilant so that criminals do not cash in on the situation to vandalise power supply installations.
“Any suspicious movement around distribution sub-stations [transformers] should be reported to the relevant security agency.
“We have the collective responsibility to protect these critical national assets in our neighbourhood,” he stated.
Earlier, the management of the disco had appealed to both government and the NLC to reach an amicable solution that will avert the strike action, saying as key stakeholders, Kaduna Electric was deeply concerned and hope that the talks would yield positive outcomes.
“Our concern is hinged on the fact that, as a private corporate organisation, we are inadvertently caught in the middle of the impasse.
“The workers union to which our staff belong is affiliated to the NLC hence they may be obliged to join any strike action called.
“We are on the other hand, a privately owned company that is not a party to the dispute. We offer a critical utility service the withdrawal of which will cause untold hardship on the citizenry,” the management stated on Saturday.