The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) was shut down indefinitely yesterday by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) over an unpaid payment of nearly N41 billion escrowed with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Godfrey Aba, chairman of the union in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), made the announcement at the AEDC offices in Abuja.
“The industrial action will be withdrawn only when our demands are met,” he told Newsmen.
The action resulted in outages in all AEDC franchise regions, including but not limited to the FCT, Kogi, Niger, and Nasarawa states, according to the union head.
The union expected the Federal Ministry of Power to intercede before the strike began, according to Aba.
“Since they have not done that, we are still waiting for them to liaise with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure this money is released so that not only our workers will receive their entitlements, our customers will also begin to enjoy better services,” he said.
The CBN escrowed the funds of the electricity distribution firms (DisCos) in 2019, and the apex bank agreed to transfer N2.5 billion monthly to the company, according to the union head.
Apart from salary, he claims the AEDC is no longer able to pay its employees’ pensions, checkup dues, and cooperative deductions, among other things.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), according to the union, has been aloof in the face of the situation. The NUEE also accused the CBN of plotting to depose the company’s present owners.
The NUEE National Women Committee’s Niger State spokesperson, Zainab Gaku, confirmed the strike was taking place in all states where AEDC provides energy.