Former National Commissioner of National Electricity Regulatory Commission, Eyo Ekpo, spoke in an interview about the privatization of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) during The Morning Show on Friday.
Mr Ekpo said that the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) are the only beneficiaries of the privatization that took place in 2013, when they held the country to ransom and requested that they were paid off and given employment before any hand over.
According to him, the majority of the privatization’s revenue were given straight to the employees. This, he claimed, was simply another example of their tried-and-true strategy of using blackmail to force the government to give them what they want.
“This is a play book that has been used over and over again by the NUEE where they blackmail the Nigerian government just to have a way for a narrow and selfish interest and it needs to stop.”
He said that at the time, there were two sets of privatization: the generation side and the distribution side. He was involved in the process from beginning to end, making sure that everything proceeded as planned.
According to Eyo Ekpo, there is a standing procedure that must be followed before any industrial action is taken, and it must be in the best interests of the workers, so it doesn’t sit well that the interests of TCN members, who number only a thousand at most, will take precedence over the interests of the 12 million grid-connected customers.
“There is a procedure to follow before a union decides to embark on an industrial action and it can only take place in the best interest of its workers.
I don’t see how the interest of promoting a thousand TCN members outweighs that of the 12 million customers who are connected to the grid.”
Sunday Oduntan, executive director of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, who was also a guest on The Morning Show, expressed his displeasure and urged that the NUEE and other unions engaging in similar behavior be brought to order and dealt with appropriately.
“I call on the Ministry of Labour to stop money cuddling unions like the NUEE and deal with them the way they should be dealt with.”