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Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! - Politics - Nairaland

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Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by wales(m): 5:46am On Aug 26, 2010
As President Goodluck Jonathan prepares to unfold his administration’s blue print for the revival of the power sector today, electricity workers have embarked on an indefinite strike to protest the non-payment of their salary arrears. The strike puts a damper on a programme that was supposed to showcase Mr Jonathan’s efforts at improving the nation’s power supply.

Reports across the country last night showed that even areas that have seen slight improvement in their electricity supply suffered total blackouts, and residents were seen carrying jerrycan to filling stations to buy fuel to power their generators.

A stunted blueprint

The strike commenced twenty four hours before Mr Jonathan was to visit Lagos to unveil a blueprint for power generation and distribution, which would hopefully help tackle Nigeria’s perennial electricity crisis.

There are indications that he planned to announce large scale privatisation of state-owned power firms and facilities to accelerate investment in the sector to raise power generation beyond the current 4000MW.

As part of the broad terms of liberalising the sector, the federal government had on Monday offered 11 power firms for sale. The government hoped this would open up the sector and attract private investors just like it did in the telecommunications sector.

However, staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), who are opposed to the sale of the company, have on Wednesday declared a total strike, under the National Union of Electricity Employees, to protest the non-payment of their monetisation arrears, and the pay raise that the government promised them a month ago.

At the company’s head office in Maitama, Abuja, workers bolted the gate leading to the premises and barricaded the place with union vehicles, shortly after the union released a memo instructing members to stay away from work.

Broken promises

“We are on strike and we told our members to stay at home,” Temple Iworima, the Abuja Zonal organizing secretary told reporters yesterday outside the office complex as workers milled around.

Union officials said the action became necessary after the federal government reneged on agreements entered into by both parties in July, 2010, in which workers’ outstanding allowances were to be paid within 30 days and the 10,000 casual staff in the sector given automatic employment.

“They said the federal government has released money and it is with the CBN, but we have not seen the money. Immediately we see the money, we resume work. We are open to negotiations,” Mr. Iworima said.

The agreement was arrived at to forestall an earlier threat to down tools in July,

2010. Shortly after that, the Minister of State for Power, Nuhu Wyas, announced the release of N5 billion to begin the payments said to total over N40 billion.

We have done everything

Reacting to the strike, Special Adviser to the President on Power, Barth Nnaji told NEXT in Abuja that, “Government has done everything it needs to do to meet the Labour union’s demands. The arrears of the monetised benefits for workers totalling about N67 billion has been released by government into the Power Holding Company of Nigeria account. We have started paying several thousands of the workers. But, while the payment is going on, the records have to be verified to ensure that the beneficiaries are legitimate. I think it would be foolhardy for anybody to say the verification is not necessary as the payment is ongoing.”

Mr Nnaji said rather than embark on strike, the electricity workers “should appreciate what the present administration has done. For over seven years, governments have come and gone, and the money remained unpaid.” Mr. Nnaji regretted that the workers are going on strike under a government that was determined to solve the protracted problems in the sector.

The ministry had entered into an agreement to release the complete funds to offset the workers’ debt within 30 days - which the workers said elapsed on Tuesday, prompting a strike which many Nigerians doubted would have any appreciable impact considering the company’s dismal performance over the years.

The 11 power firms, whose sale Mr. Jonathan approved on Monday, were subsidiaries of the power company. The president had also approved the construction of a new National SuperGrid to replace the aging national grid and reduce current power transmission problems.

The government said the new grid will help check high technical, commercial, and collection losses suffered in the course of electricity generation and distribution in the country.

The electricity union said part of the reason for the strike is to protest the procedure that government plans to adopt in the privatization of power distribution.

The Benin Zonal Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Joseph Ndem, said “the strike would not be called off until the federal government resolves all outstanding issues with the union.” As a result, several business outfits in the city which depended on electricity supply from PHCN, closed down shop, while others resorted to the use of generating sets.

http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5611252-146/jonathan_unfolds__electricity_blueprint_amid.csp

Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by wales(m): 5:47am On Aug 26, 2010
A failed state indeed! PHCN needs to be privatized to ensure that efficient services r rendered to Nigerians.I was born in dis country over 35yrs ago and since my birth,PHCN or NEPA or ECN has been d same old bunch of inefficient sector.Enough is Enough!.D govt shuld go ahead with d privatization,though it shuld b regulated and monitored to ensure dat it is nut hijacked by cronic money thirsty capitalists in Nigeria,
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by madejibo: 6:31am On Aug 26, 2010
The govt should shut up and fix the damn power supply into naija. How can a country that can't boast of 3hrs of power a day afford to let phcn workers go on strike? This is totally uncalled for until last night I was of the belief that GEJ should run for 2011 but Bleep it I have lost interest in him
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Ikengawo: 6:39am On Aug 26, 2010
hahhahahaha y couldn't the guy just say 'pay us our money' LMAO 'monetization'? ahahahahahah!
nigeria, we're turning 50. no more
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by vinooh: 7:25am On Aug 26, 2010
these people are possessed by demons so they don't know what they are doing
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by wales(m): 7:58am On Aug 26, 2010
I find it difficult to sympathise with the PHCN workers. I know that a lot the problems they have that cause them to be so ineffective come from the so called big men on top. However, I have to wonder why unions in Nigeria rarely or never down tools based on principle. Where has this union been for all the decades that equipment was rusting away, or for the years where the staff were not receiving the training that would have made expatriate staff unnecessary.Now, after years of being ineffective, and hurrying to disconnect people so they can pay bribes, or in extreme cases vandalising transformers so that the neighbourhood can contribute, I am expected to feel sorry for them - how now? As long as tanker drivers do not disrupt fuel supply, a lot of us won't care what this people do. That said, I hope they take full advantage of government's attention to negotiate reforms that go beyond their selfish needs, after all no one knows the power sector better than the workers.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by patrick89(m): 11:38am On Aug 26, 2010
@madejibo
am really beginning 2 notice dat u re foul-mouth. What in heaven is wrong with d govt's genuine effort to settle d debts dat has accrued from previous regimes. You don't seem to apprec8 anythin Nigerian. Hey why don't u try Kenyan lottery, Some Nigerians truly need deliverance, omg
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by obi123: 12:24pm On Aug 26, 2010
na wa oh, common demonstration na im dem go sew aso ebi?
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by madejibo: 12:26pm On Aug 26, 2010
Hey I am not foul mounthing nigeria I am a true Nigerian but can't u get that these our leaders are just messing us up.How can the highest governing body in naija hv their weekly FEC meeting did not talk about the impending or the on-going PHCN strike. They want to sell PHCN, no problem but what is the transparency? They sold NITEL where is NITEL now? Y do we always let our govt take us for a ride. They will probably sell it to their cronies as usual.let govt. address the strike on ground first and let millions of nigerians stop suffering please.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by lightheart(m): 12:36pm On Aug 26, 2010
Chai, whoeva hold d contract for dis shirt wey dem wia don hama oo if na nationwide oo!! Well, I'd say dey officially went on strike today!!! Useress pple, is d right not our light?? Nna nwanne, I hv gone on my own stlike, I no use again!!!! Govt beta come nd negotiate wit me ooo
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Spyker: 1:32pm On Aug 26, 2010
They are asking for money yet they have plenty to waste. If they are really in need of money, why would they waste so much money sewing uniforms for common industrial action.

This will soon be the new thread introduce where uniforms will be sewn just for a strike action. Shameless people.
Imaging every sector sewing uniforms whenever they want to strike, then Nigerians will surely appears organised to the world but disorganized in deeds and actions.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Nobody: 1:38pm On Aug 26, 2010
Who cares, they can go on strike as long as they want. Blackout has become a normal thing in Nigeria that pple are used to it. Please we need a change  bcs they have failed us.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by alancruise(m): 2:29pm On Aug 26, 2010
Pls can someone tell me where on earth do all d monthly bills acquisition goes to. Is it to PHCN acc or FG acc?
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by philip0906(m): 3:08pm On Aug 26, 2010
nawa o. . .Blueprint kwanu?. .All we need is light embarassed
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by sharkins(m): 3:11pm On Aug 26, 2010
madejibo:

The govt should shut up and fix the damn power supply into naija. How can a country that can't boast of 3hrs of power a day afford to let phcn workers go on strike? This is totally uncalled for until last night I was of the belief that GEJ should run for 2011 but bleep it I have lost interest in him

Think again! BE WISE
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Africanson: 3:12pm On Aug 26, 2010
PHCN or NEPA or whatever you call yourself you can go on strike forever. Irrespective of your differences with the government I can tell you for sure that Nigerians don't care whether you go on strike because there's no difference whether you are on strike or not. You will NEVER provide electricity when not on strike. Your real meaning below.

PHCN

P- Please

H- Help

C- Candle

N- Nigeria

NEPA

N- Never

E- Expect

P- Power

A- Always
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by mikeoscar: 3:30pm On Aug 26, 2010
hahhahahaha y couldn't the guy just say 'pay us our money' LMAO 'monetization'? ahahahahahah!
nigeria, we're turning 50. no more


I see your point though, but I guess the message is coded especially when the details of the monetised elements of their renumeration is known to both parties and all those who have been following the issue in Nigeria (no excuses for poorly communicated message).

On the other hand, placards or aluta banners are meant to carry short one liners , with strongly worded messages, so the guy try jare just ask GEJ to pay their arrears make them return to work (I hope to to continue to giving Nigerians qtr current, or sell transformers to rich individuals, grin grin)

But on a serious note, GEJ should step in now and rectify this Power Issue. It's a promise He must keep to salvage some integrity for himself and His administration.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by mikeoscar: 3:35pm On Aug 26, 2010
PHCN

P- Please

H- Help

C- Candle

N- Nigeria

Nice but Another interpretation could be

PHCN

P- Please

H- Help

C- Cover
N- Nigeria in darkness
grin grin grin grin grin grin
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Ajike: 3:39pm On Aug 26, 2010
bunch of idiots Fed govvt+phcn+workers. blue prints oo white print oo arrears or wotever just give us light, enough of all this rubbish
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Nobody: 3:40pm On Aug 26, 2010
They still get money 2 sow uniform
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by mikeoscar: 4:00pm On Aug 26, 2010
na wa oh, common demonstration na im dem go sew aso ebi?


They are asking for money yet they have plenty to waste. If they ask really in need of money, why would they waste so much money sewing uniforms for
common industrial action
.

This will soon be the new thread introduce where uniforms will be sewn just for a strike action. Shameless people.
Imaging every sector sewing uniforms whenever they want to strike, then Nigerians will surely appears organised to the world but disorganized in deeds and actions.


Friends, I don't see any problem with them having uniforms at all. Remember, this is not a knee-jerk action of some unorganised people. This is a segment of the Nigerian labour union(take a look at the emblems on their caps and chest, looks like Labor logo undecided).

Now to label their action as a "COMMON DEMOSTRATION" or "COMMON INDUSTRIAL ACTION" is a grouse under-estimation of the potency of industrial actions in whatever form. I figure if you've been involved in industrial actions at any levels(either at work or at college) under a legally registered union you probably have seen the immediate or long term effects on the economy and how quickly goverment call for a resolution either by yeilding or meeting the union half way or at worst the case is settled or lingers in an arbitration court. All this while, people still suffer and the economy starts steeping.

Another arguement will be that a uniform will help to identify the individuals so that the intent is not hy-jacked by hoodlums and their likes. The shirts may not have cost them so much in relation to the long term benefits of what they are agitating for.

Also remember that it is wise to  Risk sowing your only corn seed and cultivating(watering, weeding, sunlight,protecting it) untill you get a harvest of corn. Most definitely you will get several seeds back. Good measure, pressed down and shaken together,  grin grin

Now, weather this current action by PHCN will achieve all of these is left to be seen but Industrial actions by unionised parastals or companies are generally very effective sometimes they win and sometimes they lose to fight again (ask ASUU) but whichever way, the sector and most other sector of the economy still suffers if the action has longevity.

Just my thoughts.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by chidichris(m): 4:17pm On Aug 26, 2010
@madejibo
am really beginning 2 notice dat u re foul-mouth. What in heaven is wrong with d govt's genuine effort to settle d debts dat has accrued from previous regimes. You don't seem to apprec8 anythin Nigerian. Hey why don't u try Kenyan lottery,  Some Nigerians truly need deliverance, omg

@patrick89,
if this is ur best when it comes to reasoning, i seriously recommend brain surgery for u. which regime is paying debts of which regime? since 1999, we handed nigeria over to pdp and that has been where we are since then so which other regime are u talking abt?
if u know the definition of a political party, u will agree with mean that one of the important factor is that every political party has same genda.
it has been pdp all the way so what agenda is same here? owing debts and looting the country to its kneels.
it is obvious these group of criminals at the helm of affairs are not looking at the masses.
come to think of it, is jonathan supposed to be a different regime from his late boss(yar adua)? or are they supposed tom be different from the one who sole handedly select and imposed them on nigeria? can't u see that politics is discussed in nigeria from january tom december unlike other countries where politics are discussed once in four yrs?
we are in a country where a winner takes all and others can go to hell.
jonathan is just a decor because he is a new face. he is been used to decieve nigerians. that was the pdp's game plan in anambra but soludo was unlucky bcs he met wise ppl in that area who refused to be decieved.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by hamabra(m): 4:34pm On Aug 26, 2010
@chidichris
Very true talk all this pdp pple have the same agenda, it is GEJ turn to act the script.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by sley4life(m): 5:39pm On Aug 26, 2010
PHCN workers should resign. They shouldnt be claiming they are working& we cant see any positive dividend
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Jakumo(m): 6:46pm On Aug 26, 2010
Nine out of every ten employees currently drawing salaries from Nigeria's Power Holding Corporation are redundant non-performers, added to the typically bloated government payroll in return for political favors owed or promised.  Putting to pasture a full 80% of all PHCN employees would result in NO degradation of overall productivity, and should now be carried out by the federal government with extreme prejudice, so as to URGENTLY shed dead weight concurrently with the transition to private management of this vital sector.

President Jonathan Goodluck's proposed privatization of Nigeria's electrical power sector will, among numerous other IMMEDIATE and long-term benefits, pare down the employee count to save billions monthly.  Naturally, all those soon-to-be unemployed leeches in utility company uniforms, who hitherto profited from keeping Nigeria in near-total darkness, cannot be expected to go down without a fight, no matter how fruitless and comical an endeavor it will prove to be.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by honeric01(m): 7:20pm On Aug 26, 2010
[size=14pt] UP NEPA, I WONDER WHO'S IN CHARGE NOW, IS IT THE MILITARY TECHNICIANS OR NEPA STAFFS HAVE GONE BACK TO WORK?

ALL THE SAME, LET ME SAVE MY FUEL AND TURN ON THE NEPA LIGHT cool cool cool[/size]


Yeye people!!!
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by kech(f): 8:38pm On Aug 26, 2010
mike oscar:

Nice but Another interpretation could be

PHCN

P- Please

H- Help

C- Cover
N- Nigeria in darkness
grin grin grin grin grin grin


I have a better one:
P - Please
H - Hold
C - Candle
N - Now!!
grin grin grin grin
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Beaf: 9:03pm On Aug 26, 2010
PHGN workers are so funny!
After underperforming from time imemorial, they decide to go on strike when Jonathan has decided it is time for their arses to fry! Enemies of progress, does any Nigerian ever remember having light? Abi PHCN tink say we be winsh when no need light?

[size=14pt]Uncle Joe, na you biko! Privatise every single one of their bloody arses and let us have light for once. cool cool cool[/size]
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by jerryben12: 11:00pm On Aug 26, 2010
The government should not listen to them.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by SkyBlue1: 12:04am On Aug 27, 2010
Any acts of vandalism of NEPA lines or power infrastrcuture by the goup or any group (which I predict would occur as a means of sabotaging any development in the sector) should be treated seriously and the perpetrators handed jail sentences. Power is too critical a sector to continue playing these silly games with.
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by sledge406: 5:03am On Aug 27, 2010
N- Never
E- Expect
P- Power
A- Always

(NEPA being a Problem in Nigeria)

P- Problem
H- Has
C- Changed
N- Name
Re: Jonathan Unfolds Electricity Blueprint Amid Workers Strike ! by Ranoscky(m): 8:02am On Aug 27, 2010
I taya for my country!

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