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Strike: National blackout as TCN workers shut down power

Although the power sector is privatized, TCN remains government-operated, and its staff can disrupt grid operations by opening breakers at individual power plants, causing a systemic shutdown.

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Nigerians are experiencing a nationwide blackout following the collapse of the national grid, which dropped to zero power generation capacity early this morning following a strike called by the organized labor.

Persecondnews gathered that the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), primarily workers at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), deliberately shut down the grid.

The national grid collapsed overnight, dropping from 2,805 MW at 1 a.m. to zero by 4 a.m. as most gas and hydropower plants went offline, leaving 16 power plants idle.

The NUEE joined the strike action called by the NLC and TUC, mobilizing its members to shut down power generation.

Although the power sector is privatized, TCN remains government-operated, and its staff can disrupt grid operations by opening breakers at individual power plants, causing a systemic shutdown.

According to the TCN Independent System Operator’s website, which manages the national grid in Osogbo, Osun State, the grid had zero power generation as of 7 a.m., indicating a complete blackout.

The General Manager, Public Affairs at TCN, Ndidi Mbah, confirmed that the national grid shutdown occurred at about 2:19 a.m.

She said: “At about 1:15am this morning, the Benin Transmission Operator under the Independent System Operations unit of TCN reported that all operators were driven away from the control room.

“Staff who resisted were beaten, and some were wounded in the process. Without any form of control or supervision, the Benin Area Control Centre was brought to zero.

“Labour union’s strike led to the shutdown of key transmission substations, including Ganmo, Benin, and Osogbo, forcing generating units to shut down.

“The sudden load cuts caused high frequency, system instability, and ultimately, a national grid shutdown at 2:19 a.m.”

TCN began grid recovery at 3:23 a.m., using Shiroro Substation to restore power to Katampe Substation, but the labor union’s ongoing strike continues to hinder grid recovery efforts nationwide.

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