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Crisis brewing in power sector over removal of TCN boss

…NUEE asks for resignation of power minister

A crisis is brewing in the power sector as the two unions in the industry have taken sides over the removal of the managing director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Gur Mohammed.

While the National Union of Electricity Employees is calling for the resignation of the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) on the other hand has hailed the decision of the minister, saying that that has brought an end to impunity.

The NUEE in a press statement said it wished to draw the attention of Nigerians to the recent developments in the Power Sector; especially the TCN. “It is no gainsaying that the little improvement made in the Power Sector in recent times is due to the strengthening of the Transmission Network Nationwide. But unfortunately, this gain is about being lost as the present Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh has ensured the removal of the MD/CEO of TCN who had made the gain possible.”

The statement, which was signed by Jeo Ajero, general secretary of the union, said that the Minister’s action which may have taken the Power sector 30 years backward may not be unconnected with the impending Siemens contract racketeering which the Union has raised alarm to Nigerians but he is bent on ‘reaping-off the people’.

The general secretary said Nigerians the question Nigerians should be asking the Minister of Power is: why the haste to remove of TCN boss?

“We want to know if any managing director is removed based on incompetence or corruption and not at the wimps and caprices of any Minister.”

He said the union has expressed worry that the Federal Government is handling very sensitive part of the Nation’s Power Sector to Siemens who have failed three times in the unsuccessful SCADA/EMS contract awarded to them in Nigeria.

“We had stated that Siemens has a contract for the rehabilitation of one of the 330KV line circuit breaker between Ajah and Egbin, which is dangerously standing on one feeder circuit, but for over two (2) years, the Company is yet to mobilize. It is not on record that they construct Transmission Line; which is one of the major needs of Nigeria’s Power Industry.

The union said despite the alarm raised, the Minister has gone ahead to remove the perceived stumbling block on his way. It therefore went ahead to enumerate the achievements of Usman Mohammed as the managing director and chief executive officer of TCN to include provision of good welfare packages for the workers, has stabilisation of the Network and System, generated a lot of revenue for government, and protected the interest of the country against foreign predators.

The TCN was there to serve the interest of government, electricity users in the country, the Workers and Nigerian in general and not the selfish interest of any Minister, the union said.

The Union challenges the Minister of Power to a public debate on any National Television Platform addressing Challenges in the Power Sector.

SSAEAC, on the other hand, has hailed the decision of the minister, saying that that has brought an end to impunity.

“SSAEAC hereby send a heartfelt appreciation to President/Commander-in-Chief and the Honourable Minister of Power, for liberating the hub of power sectors (TCN) from the stranglehold of its former boss. We foresaw this coming. We are glad that the truth has prevailed with the announcement of his removal. It is a welcome relief to TCN staff and power sector operators, the union said.

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