By Bimbola Oyesola
MINISTER of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday in Abuja, disclosed that Nigeria lost over N7 billion to industrial strike in the electricity sector in the last two years.
Speaking as a keynote speaker at the 3rd Triennial National Delegate Conference of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), Fashola said the amount which could have contributed to the growth of the sector was lost due to the strike embarked upon by the unions in the sectors between April 2014 and March 2016.
Noting that the harmony in the sector was essential to provision of electricity to Nigerians, Fashola wondered how an employer that is not making profits can progress in the sector.
“Let us not see those who have invested in the sector as our opponents; now that the private sector has come, let us work together,” he charged.
The Power Minister said that it was the responsibility of workers as well as the government to provide electricity for Nigerians and therefore should stop trading blames.
He said, “our job is to provide electricity. If we don’t, it means we don’t do our job, and there would be no electricity unless we produce it and work with our colleagues in the oil sector to provide gas for the turbine to run.
“Finger pointing should stop. If there is dispute, it would be resolved. 47,000 out of the 50,000 outstanding have been resolved; we will resolve others. With more light, we will have less generators and spend less on diesel.”
The Minister enjoined Nigerians and workers to cooperate with the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to improve the power sector and provide sustainable electricity, adding that short time is not enough to correct the ills done over a long period of time.