The employees of electricity companies in Nigeria have warned against the system of outsourcing work which they claim exposes electricity workers to enslavement by local and multinational companies operating within the country.
According to the electricity workers who are under the coalition of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), the trending employment system in Nigeria is illegal. The union stressed that workers are being exploited by electricity companies who are involved in it.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Comrade Joe Ajero, the General Secretary of NUEE, urged the private sector to avoid outsourcing workers of the electricity sector to agencies with the intention to enslave them.
Companies in Nigeria are now exploring the outsourcing system which usually requires less pay. It is viewed as cost-effective as outsourced workers are not entitled to opportunities of full-time workers.
Ajero’s Condition for outsourcing: Ajero, however, stated that if the need arises for companies to outsource, the electricity union must be informed before such a move is finalised. He made this comment while recently speaking at the signing ceremony on the Condition of Service for staff of Kano Electrical Distribution Company Plc.
In his remark, Ajero said most companies that outsource their workers to agencies do so because they have a stake in the agency. In other words, most of the outsourcing agencies are allegedly owned by electricity companies who become major beneficiaries of the outsourcing system.
He went further to disclose that the issue of outsourcing had earlier been sorted out prior to the privatisation of the electricity industry. According to the agreed terms;
“If you must outsource we must know the owners of those companies so that we must negotiate their own welfare. You cannot make them slaves forever.”
Meanwhile, commenting on the signing of the contract regarding the condition of service for Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Ajero stated that it will help prevent unnecessary disengagement from electricity companies.
He also commended the peaceful process that led to the eventual signing of the contract, even though it was five years behind schedule.