Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has initiated the processes towards the development of an Operational Guideline for the Power Sector, for effective and efficient service delivery.
The Guideline would moderate the activities of the stakeholders for the purpose of ensuring an enabling and harmonious industrial relations in that sector.
Permanent Secretary, 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 that the call for an Operational Guideline was informed by the need to tackle the numerous labour crises bedeviling the Sector in recent times, and which inevitably affect the economy adversely, as “the power sector is one of the key and major sectors in the Nigerian economy upon which other sectors depend for their operations.”
Represented by Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations (TUSIR), Omoabie Akpan (Mrs), Tarfa stated that these crises arose from the unhealthy relationship among the various stakeholders in the sector.
According to him, the conflicts from 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 the 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 these 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.
According to Tarfa, it is in view of these conflicts that the Ministry proposed the development of an Operational Guideline in that sector.
In attendance at the interactive session were relevant government agencies such as Ministry of Power, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), GenCos, DisCos, and TCN.
Others are the trade unions – National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC).
Tarfa noted that the interactive session would commence with the trade unions in the sector, and charged the participants to work towards coming up with a document that would stand the test of time.