By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The federal government has commenced moves to develop operational guidelines for operators in the Nigeria’s power sector.
Therefore, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has initiated the processes towards the development of an operational guideline for the power sector, for effective service delivery.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Deputy Director and Head of Public Relations, Mr. Charles Akpan, he said the guidelines would moderate the activities of the stakeholders for the purpose of ensuring enabling and harmonious industrial relations in the sector.
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Yerima Peter Tarfa, stated this at the opening of a one-day interactive session (Phase 1) with stakeholders towards the development of an ‘Operational Guideline for the Power Sector’.
He said the call for an operational guideline was informed by the need to tackle the numerous labour crises bedeviling the sector recently, and which inevitably have affected the economy adversely, as “the power sector is one of the key and major sectors in the Nigerian economy upon which other sectors depend on for their operations.”
Represented by the Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations (TUSIR), Mrs. Omoabie Akpan, Tarfa stated that the crises arose from the unhealthy relationship among the various stakeholders in the sector.
According to him, the conflicts among the stakeholders “oftentimes result in a lot of crises, trade disputes, strikes, and their attendant man-hour losses brought about by the occasional shutdown of the national grid resulting to the devastation of the national economy.”
He disclosed that labour crises in the power sector in recent times had mostly been due to “the unbundling of the power sector and the subsequent privatisation, which led to the emergence of new players (stakeholders) such as the power generating and distribution companies (GenCos and DisCos), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).”
The permanent secretary explained that while the new stakeholders, obviously coming from a profit-oriented background into a purely service-based sector, grappled with a lot of operational challenges they were ill-prepared for, the regulators, on the other hand, worked to ensure the maintenance of standards and protection of consumers’ interest.