Protest In Abuja As Electricity Workers Threaten To Shut Power Nationwide, Demand Sack Of MD
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Nigerian electricity workers yesterday in Abuja threatened to shut down power nationwide, unless the Federal Government sacks TCN' Managing Director.
Electricity Workers Nationwide on Tuesday in Abuja threatened to shut down power, unless the Federal Government immediately sack the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s, Managing Director, Usman Mohammed.
The workers, under the auspices of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, are accusing Mohammed of high handedness and anti-labour practices.
The union threatened that it would ground the entire power structure in the country, if government refused to heed its advice to relief the managing director of his appointment.
The workers’ threat followed the alleged administrative irregularities and high handedness of the Mohammed-led management.
It is recalled that TCN emerged from the defunct National Electric Power Authority, following the merger of the Transmission and Operations sectors on April 1, 2004.
TCN represents one of the 18 unbundled business units under the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and was issued a transmission license on July, 1, 2006.
The development prompted workers of the organisation to picket the TCN premise where they disrupted vehicular and commercial activities for several hours.
The workers, who spoke through Umar Abubakar, SSAEAC’s General Secretary, accused Mohammed of allegedly flouting most of the administrative procedures, which they claimed were inimical to their welfare.
According to them, the MD allegedly single handedly conducted examinations for staff due for promotion without recourse to input from other management staff.
They further alleged that the MD had defaulted in remitting appropriate taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, a development that also led to the sealing of the organisation even before the workers staged their protest.
The workers also claimed the MD had hijacked some funds provided by the World Bank for projects in the power sector, including his alleged interference in union activities by his attempt to polarize the union.
They also alleged that the MD cleared a large consignment of electrical materials from foreign donors at the ports but failed to deliver same to the warehouse of the organisation for proper accountability, before distribution to the relevant sections.
The protesters said efforts by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige and his counterpart in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to intervene in the matter, proved abortive as Mohammed failed to turn up in several meetings.
“Our grievances stem from the fact that the MD on his own handled the promotion exercise and started to conduct it in his own way through the aid of consultants that to us is not the ideal process.
“The motive is that he is not prepared to promote any staff, especially those who are due and most qualified for promotion.
”He probably wants to pick people, who are his boys and loyal to him, that is our suspicion.
“We have it on good authority that there were some container loads of equipment that were cleared from the ports but was not taken to the store, this again is not the proper thing to do for accountability.
“His own style of leadership is management of dishing out orders; if he is not around, nothing takes place. What then are the functions of the Executive Directors or General Managers?
“To cap it all and to prove his incompetence, the FIRS has sealed off our office over tax default. How can a responsible MD claim to be in charge and this is happening,” their allegations read in part.
The protesters were seen chanting solidarity songs against the management, carrying placards with inscriptions such as, “we say no to tax fraud, “sack UG Mohammed now to guarantee hope for power sector, “no to nepotism”.
Efforts made by newsmen to get reactions to the allegations failed, as the embattled MD neither picked his calls nor responded to text messages sent to his cell-phone.
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