Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Electricity restored in Kaduna as NLC suspends strike after minister’s intervention

*Transmission Company of Nigeria discloses electricity is restored in Kaduna State after three days of blackouts because of the Nigeria Labour Congress strike

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following the facilitation of a reconciliation meeting by Senator (Dr.) Chris Ngige, Honourable Minister for Labour and Employment, to resolve the face-off between the Kaduna State Government and Labour unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended its five-day warning strike in Kaduna State.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of NLC, who announced the suspension of the strike, said the decision was to honour the invitation of the Federal Government Thursday, May 20 to mediate in the dispute between the Labour and Kaduna State Government.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of NLC, leading Labour unions’ protest in Kaduna

The Minister for Labour and Employment, earlier Thursday, was reported to have waded into the ongoing face-off between the two parties by inviting them to a reconciliation meeting.

The meeting scheduled to hold at the Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Federal Secretariat, in Abuja, FCT, is expected to be attended by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and top officials of the State Government, Comrade Wabba, and other top NLC leaders.

Sen. Ngige had directed the two parties to maintain the status quo ante bellum pending the resolution of the issues in contention.

He stated: “I am therefore, constrained in the exercise of my powers as the Minister of Labour and Employment, under the Trade Disputes Act, CAP. T8, Laws of Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004; to invite you and your top officials to the emergency trade dispute conciliation meeting.”

ConsumerConnect reports the Minister’s intervention comes three days after the NLC started a protest following the disengagement of over seven thousand civil servants at the state and local governments by the Kaduna State Government.

The said warning strike has paralysed critical sectors of the state’s economy.

Likewise, Governor El-Rufai in reaction to the overwhelming effects of the industrial action on socio-economic activities in his state had declared the NLC Chairman and other leaders wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure in Kaduna State under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

Meanwhile, power authorities have said that electricity had been restored in Kaduna State Wednesday night after three days of blackout because of the NLC strike.

Abdulazeez Abdullahi, Spokesperson of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in a statement announced Wednesday, May 19, that power was restored by 10:30 p.m.

Abdullahi said: “We are happy to report that power supply has been restored to many parts of Kaduna State after the suspension of the strike action by the Nigerian Labour Congress this evening.

“As at (of) 10:30 pm, we were able to pick load on most of our 11KV feeders hence many parts of the metropolis including Zaria and environs have had their supply restored. This was possible after restoration of the 33KV feeders by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.”

The statement also noted: “We once again thank all our esteemed customers and other stakeholders for bearing with us in the past four days.

“We also appreciate the efforts of the TCN team for supporting us in restoring supply back.”

Earlier, report indicated that El-Rufai said his government was yet to see the evidence that the NLC was backing off from what it described as a campaign of economic and social sabotage against the people of the state.

Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser on Media and Communication, in a statement had emphasised the need for prompt restoration of electricity in the state.

The Kaduna State Chief Executive also warned that Labour unions should not expect that it would be a matter for negotiation, much less being viewed as a precondition.

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