Nigerian unions shut down power grid with indefinite minimum wage strike

Nigeria's main labour unions on Monday shut down the national grid and disrupted flights across the country as they began an indefinite strike over the government's failure to agree a new minimum wage. This strike is the fourth embarked upon by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), two of the country's biggest union federations, since President Bola Tinubu took office last year.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said union members drove operators away at the country's power control rooms and shut down at least six substations, eventually shutting the national grid at 02:19 am (0119 GMT).

Nigerian airline Ibom Air said it was suspending flights until further notice due to the strike, while another, United Nigeria, said airports across the country had been shut down and striking workers had permitted none of its flights to operate.

Electricity and aviation unions said in a statement on Monday they had directed members to withdraw their services in compliance with the indefinite strike.

The oil unions also threatened to halt oil production, but Nigeria's oil regulator chief Gbenga Komolafe said contingencies were in place to ensure output was not disrupted by the strike.

He has been under pressure from unions to offer relief to households and small businesses after scrapping subsidies on petrol, which kept fuel cheap but cost the government $10 billion a year.

The TCN said it was making effort to recover and stabilise the national grid, but unions were obstructing grid recovery nationwide.


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