Workers protest electricity cut in textile coy

Posted by News Express | 25 January 2017 | 2,005 times

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•NUTTGWN General-Secretary Issa Aremu

National Union of Textile Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTTGWN) has shut Ikeja Electricity Plc over threat to 5, 000 jobs due to disconnection of two textile companies.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the companies, Nichemtex and Cotsyn, have been disconnected for the past three months.

The Ikeja Electric disconnected Nitchemtex because of an accrued debt of N560 million which the company had yet to pay since increase in tariff from MYTO 2.0 to MYTO 2.1.

The NUTGTWN members barricaded the entrance of the Ikeja Disco at about 8 am to protest against what they called “insensitive disconnection” of their companies since Nov. 17, 2016.

The workers who were led by the leadership of the union and the employers’ body carried various placards on Tuesday.

Some of the placards read: ‘No electricity, No industry,’ ‘Reconnect NIchemtex Ikorodu,’ ‘Save our jobs, save our industry!’

 The workers marched to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) head office to protest the continuous disconnection of their companies since December.

Speaking on the issue, Mr Issa Aremu, General Secretary of the union, said that disconnecting electricity supply to the companies and forcing them to shut production negated government policy on job creation.

Aremu said that it was wrong for Ikeja Electric to disconnect a manufacturing company while power was constantly supplied to some government agencies that were not producing anything.

Mr Hamma Kwajaffa, Director General, Nigerian Textile Manufacturing Association also said that except the companies were reconnected, it would not be able to produce and pay its bills.

Kwajaffa said that the companies had lost billions of Naira as well as customers since they were disconnected.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, appealed to the electricity company to reconnect the companies to save the workers job.

Abubakar, who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Mr Banabas Dejo, pleaded that after re-connection, all parties would dialogue to find a lasting solution to the issue.

However, Mr Felix Ofolue, Head of Public Communication, Ikeja Distribution Company, said that the disconnection became necessary as the company’s debt now stood at N560 million.

“The company’s name was not part of the list sent to us by MAN, but they have been paying on the old rate of MYTO 2.0.”

He said that the difference was huge and that was why they were disconnected, adding that since dialogue was on, electricity would be reconnected.

“We are ready to reconnect them, we want the management to come and sign the payment plan, but since the second meeting no one has come.” (NAN)

Source: News Express

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