Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi


The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has confirmed a nationwide blackout as striking workers belonging to its union shut down the national grid early Monday morning. The TCN General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, stated that the grid shutdown occurred at approximately 2:19 a.m. on June 3rd, 2024.

The Benin Transmission Operator reported disturbances at about 1:15 a.m., with control room operators forcefully removed and some injured in the process. Substations in Ganmo, Benin, Ayede, Olorunsogo, Akangba, and Osogbo were among those affected, leading to significant disruptions in power transmission.

Additionally, Mbah revealed that several power-generating units across different stations were compelled to shut down, exacerbating the situation. At Jebba generating station, one unit was forced offline, triggering a chain reaction that led to the shutdown of three additional units due to high frequency and system instability.

Efforts to restore the grid commenced at 3:23 a.m., with TCN deploying resources from the Shiroro substation to feed transmission lines supplying bulk electricity to the Katampe Transmission Substation. However, the ongoing obstruction by the labour union continues to impede grid recovery efforts nationwide.

The blackout coincides with a nationwide strike initiated by Nigeria’s labour unions, seeking resolution on several issues including a new minimum wage and a review of electricity tariffs. Despite a failed meeting between government representatives and union leaders on Sunday, the unions proceeded with the indefinite strike, which is expected to garner support from various sectors including healthcare, education, aviation, and energy.

Emmanuel Ugboaja, General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), emphasized the need for comprehensive compliance with the strike directive, underscoring the importance of solidarity among affiliated bodies to ensure its success.

As Nigeria grapples with the dual challenges of a widespread blackout and a nationwide strike, stakeholders are closely monitoring developments and hoping for a swift resolution to restore normalcy and address the grievances of the workforce.

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