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Union serves notice to challenge illegal extension of DisCos, GenCos


Distribution companies (Discos)

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), has called on the Federal Government not to renew the licences of privatised electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), and Generation Companies (GenCos), by December 31, 2019, for operating with impunity and without conditions of service.

They also called on the Federal Government to handle the issue with sincerity of purpose and with the urgency it deserves towards ensuring that the unending darkness in the country is finally addressed.They said they, in conjuction with other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) would not allow the dastardly act continues unabated.

The workers expressed worries that since the core investors took over the privatised electricity assets on November 1, 2013, their performances have been abysmal, with Nigerians bearing the burden of paying outrageous and estimated bills, as they have refused to provide their customers with prepaid meters.

They argued that a good number of them have carried out their operations within the period under review without conditions of service, thereby turning the workplace to slave camps, where workers are being disengaged without recourse to any law.A statement by the General Secretary of NUEE, Joe Ajaero, accused Egbin Power Plc and Enugu Distribution Company, of impropriety in theirt dealings with the unions.

Besides, to conduct an unbiased final periodic review of the performance of the DisCos and the GenCos, the union, asked that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), be excluded from being part of the process.The union, which argued that a player cannot be a referee in his own game, insisted that the process must be devoid of bias, and free from offices capable of negatively influencing the outcome of the exercise.

NUEE also asked that the Federal Government worked with independent bodies, the public, relevant government agencies, and other stakeholders to properly review the performance of the DisCos under the management of core investors, with a view to properly evaluating their performances based on purchase agreements.

A letter written by the union to the Chairman, National Council on Privatisation (NCP), and obtained by The Guardian, maintained that BPE’s involvement in the performance review is worrisome, being government’s representative on the board of these companies, which have not declared any profit since the sale.

However, NUEE noted that the DisCos and GenCos are already due for final performance review by October 31st, which is the 5th year anniversary of their take-over of the power assets.

It added that anything short of this is an attempt to cover up for the inefficiency and the low performance of the companies against the expectations of Nigerians, noting that since the core investors took over the assets on November 1st, 2013, their performances have been abysmal.

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