By Edozie Obasi-Eze
The recent industrial action embarked upon by employees of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), which threw the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the entire Kogi, Nasarawa, and Kaduna States, including parts of Edo State into total blackout between 7am and 8pm on Monday has started claiming casualties.
Information filtering out from the Presidency says that “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the management of” of the AEDC, “and a new interim governing board appointed to oversee the day to day operations of the electricity distribution company.”
The statement added that the Presidency had conveyed the sack of the management team to the Federal Ministry of Power and it “takes immediate effect.”
Recall that the Minister of Power, Aliyu Abubakar and the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy Agba had earlier intervened through dialogue with the Ministry of Labour, Bureau of Public Enterprise, and the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees, (NUEE), to resolve and call off the 14 hours strike action.
According to the statement, the presidential directives “also directed the Bureau of Public Enterprises to set up a new management team of the AEDC.”
In a related development, in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), jointly signed by the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, the Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sanusi Garba, Director General Bureau of Public Enterprises, Alex Okoli, a d Comrade Joe Ajaero on behalf of the union, the Federal Government ordered the suspension of the strike, and gave 21 days within which the outstanding emoluments and entitlements of staff should be paid.
The Federal Government had described the nonperformance and incompetence of the AEDC as a National embarrassment, saying the suspension of the management team would subsist until further notice.