The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu has issued a warning to electricity workers against damaging the national grid during the proposed NLC strike even as he has written the National Secrutiy Adviser, NSA to provide security during the strike.
The minister asserted that shutting down the grid was illegal and undermined efforts to guarantee a reliable supply of electricity for Nigerians.
Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu stated over the weekend, “You can carry out industrial action without shutting down or vandalising the grid.
“Unauthorised access to the National Control Centre is a crime and economic sabotage that must be treated with serious consequences. We need to talk to ourselves”.
During the two-day Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) warning strike earlier this month, the minister alleged, the government learnt that electricity workers had attacked the control centre in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, with the intent of causing a nationwide blackout.
Adelabu addressed power workers in Osogbo (TCN) at the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s sub-regional office.
He was inspecting the control centre’s facilities before it underwent a technical upgrade.
Adelabu informed the workers that his ministry had already written to the National Security Adviser (Nuhu Ridabu) to beef up security around its sites around the country.
He said: “No matter what the circumstances are, nothing must push us to deliberately destroy these assets (national grid). I’m not against industrial actions, it is part of labour relations but when we are doing it, we must be conscious of what is our collective asset.
“Industrial actions will be resolved whether we like it or not but in the course of the action, we must not destroy what we have. We need to talk to ourselves.”
“It is regrettable that during the two-day warning strike, I learnt that the control centre was attacked. It is not the best for us as a country. These are things that baffle our international partners. We should see ourselves as defendants of our national assets.
“Once anything happens here, it touches every Nigerian and every household. If we touch the National Grid, the entire nation goes into a blackout. During industrial actions, let us be civil and protect what belongs to the entire country.
“Whatever our feelings are and whatever sympathy we have for anybody should not push us to destroy national assets.
“You can carry out industrial action without shutting down the grid, without vandalising the grid, the government will still listen to you.
“I am only pleading. You have your right to industrial action but don’t set the entire nation on total blackout. If you do, everybody will suffer, so that is like blackmailing the entire Nigeria.”
The minister also stated that the ministry would “focus on expanding the capacity of electricity transmission, improving its capacity vigorously, and ensuring a consistently stable national grid,’ the minister said in reiteraitng the integrity of the national grid during the proposed NLC strike.