Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives , Toby Okechukwu , has expressed the fear that there might be a nationwide blackout over the ongoing industrial action by the National Union of Electricity Employees .
Members of the union had vowed to go on a nationwide strike after the 21 -day ultimatum it issued to the Minister of Power , Mr Saleh Mamman , expired .
The lawmaker representing Enugu said if urgent actions were not taken , Nigerians may end the remaining part of 2019 and celebrate the New Year in a blackout .
This is as the House of Representatives says it will meet with heads of Ministries of Power , Labour and the National Pension Commission to intervene in the industrial action by the NUEE on Thursday .
Okechukwu moved the motion under ‘ Matters of Urgent Public Importance ’ at plenary, presided over by the Speaker , Mr Femi Gbajabiamila , on Wednesday .
The motion was tagged , “ Urgent need for the Federal Government to interface with the management of electricity companies and the National Union of Electricity Employees to avoid impending electricity blackout . ”
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Okechukwu recalled that a petition was written by NUEE to electricity distribution and generating companies , warning of a nationwide strike if their demands were not met .
“A petition , dated Nov. 7 , was written to the Minister of Power by the NUEE and copied to all DISCOS and GENCOS , where the union warned , and gave a 21 – day ultimatum to declare a nationwide strike if their demands were not met by the electricity companies .
“ These include non – payments of salary arrears , remittance of pension deductions , refusal to pay over 2 , 000 disengaged workers of the ex – PHCN staff since 2013 , underpayment of over 50 , 000 ex – PHCN staff and casualisation /outsourcing of workers , ” he said .
The lawmaker said NUEE accused the ministry of power of failing to respond to their strike notification letter which expired on December 10 .
“ The union , having exhausted every avenue for resolution of the dispute , has no other option than to withdraw services, without further notice .
“ Their resolve to go on with the strike without further notification came as a result of the information by a power sector consultant, Mrs Rahila Thomas, wherein she stated that GENCOS and DISCOS direly need N1 . 2 trillion bailout to improve services, ” he said .
He expressed the concern that “ the whole country would be plunged into a blackout if the union should be allowed to carry out its threat . ”
The lawmakers also expressed the concern that if the reasons for the nationwide strike by NUEE were not addressed , it would lead to “ serious financial losses for both private and government establishments , and pose security challenges in our country . ”
100 Civil Servants Die In Jigawa Within One Month
The Jigawa State and Local Governments Contributory Pension Scheme said 100 civil servants died within one month.
Executive Secretary of the Board scheme, Alhaji Kamilu Aliyu Musa, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the payment of the retirement and death benefits in his office.
He said the Board has paid N1.215bn to 550 retirees for the month of July, 2022.
Kamilu explained that, the beneficiaries are categorized into four for the payment of their rights.
According to him “the first category include 411 beneficiaries who have retired from the service and were paid over N920,331 million.
“The second category of the beneficiaries are those 100 people that have died while in service and their families received the total amount of N267,329 million”
“The third category of 8 beneficiaries are under the death pension balance and will get N27, 952 million as their entitlement
“While the fourth category of beneficiaries are those who are not in service for up-to five years, the board will refund 8 percent to them amounting to N201,437 thousands as their entitlement.”
The Executive Secretary also reiterated the board’s commitments to pay each retired civil servant his entitlement within one month of his retirement.
He then commended Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubukar for his support to the Board and releasing the Pensioners entitlement in a right time.
INEC Reacts As Hoodlums Burn Razed Its Enugu Office
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that hoodlums burnt down its office at Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The incident occurred on Sunday night when the arsonists stormed the office situated at the council’s headquarters in Ogurute.
Confirming the incident, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, in a statement on Monday, said the arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises, and set the building ablaze.
He said although no casualties were reported, 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, office furniture, and equipment were destroyed in spite of the effort of the Enugu State Fire Service deployed from Nsukka.
Ononamadu added that the Commission is working to ascertain the status of voter registration machines for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise as well as uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) locked up in the fireproof cabinet.
”The incident has been reported to the Nigeria Police for investigation and further action.
”The attack, coming in the middle of the voter registration exercise and other preparations for the 2023 General Election, is worrisome. It will be recalled that on 23rd May 2021, our office in the neighbouring Igboeze South Local Government Area was attacked in a similar manner by unknown gunmen.
”This followed earlier attacks on the Udenu Local Government Area office on 13th May 2021 and the State Headquarters in Enugu on 16th May 2021.
”The Commission has since substantially recovered from these attacks and resumed normal activities there, including the VR and collection of
”The Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect our facilities,” the statement added.
Niger Attack: Death Toll Of Security Operatives Rises To 48
The number of security personnel killed in Niger State by suspected bandits has increased following the discovery of more bodies in the bush.
Sani Kokki, the convener of Concerned Shiroro Youths of Niger State, explained that more bodies of the security operatives were discovered in the bush by the locals.
According to Sani Kokki, “On Saturday evening, the dead body of a mobile policeman was also discovered by a passerby.”
Recall that a number of soldiers, policemen and civilians were killed after bandits attacked a mining site on Wednesday in Niger State.
He explained that the death toll of the security personnel killed by the bandits had risen to 48.
He alleged that the bandits killed 34 soldiers, eight mobile policemen and six civilians.
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