Happening now: Nationwide blackout as Labour Union shuts down national grid over strike

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Monday morning, announced that Labour Union has shut down the national grid to plung the country into darkness as it commenced the indefinite strike today.

Recall that the Organised Labour had declared an indefinite nationwide strike due to the Federal Government’s refusal to increase its new minimum wage offer above N60,000.

TCN in a statement issued in Abuja today by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, announced that the blackout began at approximately 2:19 am.

She said the incident started at 1:15 am when the Benin Transmission Operator, under the Independent System Operations unit of TCN, reported that all operators were forcefully removed from the control room.

According to TCN, staff members who resisted were assaulted, resulting in several injuries. With no control or supervision, the Benin Area Control Center was completely shut down.

Mbah said the Labour Union’s actions extended to other key transmission substations, including Ganmo, Ayede, Olorunsogo, Akangba, Osogbo, and Benin. The Union’s activities also led to the opening of several transmission lines, exacerbating the situation.

According to her, the power generating sector has not been spared, adding that various generating stations were forced to shut down units, including the Jebba Generating Station, which shut down one unit, followed by the automatic shutdown of three other units due to high frequency issues.

She added that the development had sudden forced load cuts destabilized the system, culminating in the nationwide grid collapse at 2:19 am.

Mbah, however, disclosed that despite the severe disruption, TCN had initiated efforts to restore the grid.

“At 3:23 am, TCN began recovery operations using the Shiroro Substation to attempt to feed transmission lines supplying bulk electricity to the Katampe Transmission Substation. However, ongoing obstructions by the Labour Union continue to hinder the grid recovery process”, she said.

TCN’s General Manager also reassured the public that the company was tirelessly working to stabilize the grid and restore normal electricity transmission to distribution centers across the country.