SPN CALLS ON FG TO MEET ALL ELECTRICITY WORKERS DEMANDS
* Privatisation has failed! Nationalisation of the electricity sector under workers and consumers’ democratic control and management is the only way out!
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) calls on the Federal Government to avoid another strike in the power sector by ensuring all grievances of electricity workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employee (NUEE) are addressed.
The electricity workers suspended their strike after shutting down the national grid for 24 hours on Wednesday 11 December 2019. The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) strongly believes that the only way to prevent a reoccurrence of the shutdown and the agonising implications for millions of businesses and homes is for the Federal Government to ensure the workers’ demands are met fully and unconditionally.
The indefinite strike was called by NUEE following the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum. The strike main objective is to address grievances over non-payment of salary arrears, remittance of pension deductions and payment of gratuity to former PHCN workers etc.
While the issues the workers have put forward as the raison d’etre of the strike are crucial issues of pay and conditions, the reality also is that the privatisation of the sector has failed and without addressing this failure, the power sector faces imminent collapse which would wipe out jobs and devastate lives. The private owners of the distribution lines have demonstrated their incapacity to deliver and so far, the privatisation has cost the government enormous amount of money as intervention funds and bailouts.
On the basis of this, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) demands revocation of the licenses of Discos, seizure of their assets in order to avert asset stripping, and prosecution of their owners and management for tax evasion and corrupt practices that make it impossible to deliver power and repay debts. Most importantly, the privatisation of the electricity sector should be reversed and the sector should be nationalised and placed under workers and consumers control and management. Only this can ensure the power sector provides jobs and ensures job security while also guaranteeing regular power supply and end to exploitation and other unwholesome practices.
Acting National Chairperson