Blackout: PHED Restores Electricity Supply In Akwa Ibom

After a three-day statewide blackout, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED), in Akwa Ibom State has restored electricity supply to its teeming consumers.

The truce was brokered by Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) at the national level between the NUEE at the state level and PHED management on Thursday.

Though members of NUEE in Akwa Ibom State Council have called off their three-day strike, their grievances have not yet been settled.

The members began the strike Tuesday morning after the management of PHED, Akwa Ibom was alleged to have turned deaf ears to their five-point grievances.

As at Thursday morning, PHED state Headquarters located at 153b Edet Akpan Avenue, Uyo was desolate as staffers were not allowed entry into the office.

Even customers who visited the office were turned back by angry unionists who besieged the office and stationed traditional drummers in front of the office to be playing.

Our reporter who visited the office discovered that walls of the office were plastered with cardboards conspicuously displaying the grievances.

Among their grievances included refusal of PHED management to sign the conditions of service and procedural agreement, insensitivity of the management on workers’ welfare and obnoxious policy of restructuring and repositioning.

Others were refusal to remit already deducted check-off dues and delisting/de-unionisation of union members.

Speaking with Straightnews at the office, Comrade Bassey Essien, the state Organising Secretary confirmed that they have suspended the strike and directed their members to resume work immediately.

Essien who is also the state Vice Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Akwa Ibom State council said their members suspended the strike based on the intervention of the national body of the union.

He said the PHED Managing Director was being quarantined and that the negotiation would resume Thursday next week.

Meanwhile, electricity has been supplied to most parts of Uyo, Akwa Ibom capital. Even consumers from Eket, Ikot Ekpene and other local government areas have confirmed supply of electricity to their houses.

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Efforts to reach the management of the PHED proved abortive.