Nigeria: Senior power company staff feared an interview, they turned the lights out in protest

By Eniola Akinkuotu
Posted on Thursday, 18 August 2022 11:06

A worker on an electric pole along a street in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos. The AIIF3 fund is targeting Nigerian power infrastructure. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Electricity workers push 210 million Nigerians into 8-hour blackout to protest a promotion interview.

Striking electricity workers on Wednesday 18 August 2022, turned off Nigeria’s power grid for nearly 18 hours to protest a promotion interview that the Transmission Company of Nigeria was to conduct for some senior staff.

The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, were protesting a directive by the board of the Transmission Company of Nigeria mandating principal managers in acting capacity to appear for a promotion interview.

In videos that have gone viral, the electricity workers could be seen shutting down power facilities, effectively plunging a nation of 210 million people into a blackout.

Representatives of the Nigerian government including the minister of labour and the minister of power, later met with the unions and promised to look into their demands which also include the payment of entitlement of some former electricity workers.

The leader of the unions, Joe Ajaero, said the strike had been suspended for two weeks but added that they would resume the strike if their demands were not met.

Although the strike lasted for less than eight hours, Nigerians slept in total darkness as the grid was only turned back on the following day.

The action of the striking workers attracted criticism from thousands of Nigerians on social media.

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