By Chris Ochayi
THE Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, said the picketing of the company’s Corporate Headquarters by Trade Union Congress, TUC, was in flagrant and brazen disregard of a subsisting court order.
TUC had on Monday morning of May 13, 2019, picketed the corporate headquarters of TCN. The TCN lawyer, Mrs. Fatima Lawan said in a statement issued in Abuja that the court specifically restrained the defendants in the suit (SSAEAC and TUC) “from picketing or any industrial action, or further industrial action against the claimant pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.”
The General Manager (Legal/Company Secretary) noted, the contemptuous picketing of the TCN CHQs office by the TUC and SSAEC is an affront on the authority of the Court. She said the court order was issued by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Suit No. NICN/ABJ/121/2019 upon application by TCN.
According to her, “The unlawful picketing by SSAEAC and TUC was violent as some staff of TCN were grievously injured by SSAEAC and TUC members and are currently receiving medical attention. “It will be recalled that TUC was misled byComrade Chris Okonkwo, current President of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) to serve notice of picketing on the company on the flimsy excuse that there is no industrial harmony in the Company. “However, real motive of the SSAEAC President is to settle scores with the TCN branch of his union, having lost the support of TCN staff in his misguided bid to use the Association to advance his selfish interest.
“Comrade Okonkwo lost the support of TCN staff after they discovered he mismanaged their superannuation fund and the monthly subscriptions from members of the Association. The TCN Branch of SSAEAC has made this act of misconduct by Okonkwo a subject of investigation by EFCC. “Comrade Chris Okonkwo, out of sheer mischief, took the position that the TCN Branch of SSAEAC has the backing of TCN Management in the call for his probe by EFCC.” “Management believes that the actions of SSAEEC are an attempt to sabotage the successes recorded by the Company. TCN under the current Management has successfully expanded the capacity of the Grid from 5,000MW, when it took office in February 2017, to 8,100MW in December 2018.
“It is on record that TCN receives less than 30 percent of its revenue from the Discos; yet she has been able to attain this unprecedented stride in Grid expansion largely due to staff support. “Using in-house capacity, TCN has installed transformers and strung lines with associated transmission system devices in the last two years more than had ever been achieved in the previous 15 years before this administration. “Unlike before, TCN – using in-house capacity – has prepared projects and secured more than $1.6 Billion from multilateral donors.”
This is meant to reinforce the network across the nation to N-1 Reliability standards.
“TCN has also achieved a level of system frequency control never experienced in the nation’s history and this was recently commended by West African Power Pool (WAPP). “Current TCN management has been promoting staff more than it had ever done before in its history; we are working assiduously to enhance the company’s revenue base so we can pay better salary. “Management wants to use this medium to call on staff to please ensure they remain law-abiding amid the unwarranted provocation by Comrade Okonkwo and his sponsors.”