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PIC. 3. PHCN DISTRIBUTION CENTERS ON WUNTI STREET AND YANDOKA ROAD CHAINED AND LOCKED DURING THE PROTEST BY NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) OVER INCREASE OF ELECTRICITY TARIFF, IN BAUCHI ON MONDAY (8/2/16). 0757/8/2/2016/DJ/EO/BJO/NAN

Textile workers picket Ikeja Electric, lament threat to 5,000 jobs

By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos
Members of the National Union of Textile Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTTGWN) on Tuesday picket the Ikeja Electricity Plc over threat to 5,000 jobs due to disconnection of two textile companies.
Workers claimed that their companies, Nichemtex and Cotsyn have been disconnected for the past three months, thus threatening over 5,000 jobs.
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 workers barricaded the entrance of the Ikeja Disco at about 8 a.m to protest against what they called “insensitive disconnection’’ of their companies since November 17, 2016 and that they were led by the leadership of the union and the employers’ body carried various placards.
Some of the placards read: “No electricity, No industry, “Reconnect NIchemtex Ikorodu,’’ “Save our jobs, save our industry! Reconnect Nichemtex Ikorodu & Cotsyn Ilupeju,’’ Ikeja.
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.

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