The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has threatened to withdraw its members from service nationwide within the next 24 hours should their employers failed to take adequate precautionary measures to protect staff against the ravaging Corona Virus.
The threat was not unconnected with the Minister of Power – Sule Mamman, who was on a recent trip to Germany and Egypt with the Chief of Staff to the President.
The General Secretary of NUEE, Joe Ajaero in a letter to the Minister titled, COVID- 19: Adhere to Precautionary Measures or Risk a Shutdown in the Sector, warned that the union would be forced to pull out our members and would not be held responsible for any consequence arising there from. He said, “Our attention has been drawn to the return of the Honourable Minister of Power – Engr. Sule Mamman from his trip to Germany and Egypt while on the entourage of the Chief of Staff to the President.
“The Honourable Minister, despite the President’s directive to self isolate, reported at the office in the midst of agitation and complains from staff at TCN Head Quarters, Abuja. If not for the intervention of the Union, there would have been pandemonium at the office, on Monday March 23, 2020.
“In view of recent developments arising from the print and electronic media suggesting that the Chief of Staff to the President may have contracted the Corona virus (COVID -19), the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) wishes to state unequivocally that the Honourable Minister of Power – Sule Mamman- will be held responsible for the transmission of COVID-19 to any staff in TCN, especially its Headquarters, for his failure to comply with the Federal Government’s directive on people that travelled to countries with high cases of infection to self isolate.”
Besides, the union warned other employers in the power sector, especially those whose staff constantly have interface with customers/public, that should they fail to, within 24 hours, take adequate precautionary measures to protect staff, it would be forced to pull out its members and will not be held responsible for any consequence arising there from.
“Employers of labour in the power sector are hereby urged to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of staff in the power sector”, Ajaero said.
Meanwhile, in spite of the current displeasure that the deadly Coronavirus has brought upon Nigeria, the citizens may be in for a more severe hardship should the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) go ahead to withdraw his members in the informal sectors from Friday.
The union in a statement by the President, Williams Akporeha and the General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, noted that it might be forced to direct Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Petrol Station Workers (PSW), Petroleum Depots Workers, Independent Marketers Employees, Oil and Gas Suppliers (OGS), Surface Tankers Kerosene Peddlers ( SUKATEP), Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers, (LPGAR), etc. to stay at home with effect from 00.00hrs on Friday March 27, 2020.
The union said this was a very difficult decision but necessary and important with respect to the safety of this set of workers who are their members in the informal sector.
The union said, “In view of the growing cases of the deadly global Coronavirus Pandemic and the stay-at-home orders given by the Federal Government and states governments, the leadership of the NUPENG is seriously concerned with the health and safety of our very vulnerable members who are rendering critical services to the nation on daily basis in these critical times.