ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's worker union for the state-run power company has called a general strike, a day before the nation's president is to announce his plans to privatize the industry.

The National Union of Electricity Employees called the indefinite strike Wednesday over unpaid allowances promised by the federal government. The strike will cripple the ability of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to provide electricity to Africa's most populous nation.

Even when workers are present, Nigeria remains beset by blackouts and problems with its aging federal power grid, forcing the population to rely on private generators to provide electricity.

President Goodluck Jonathan is to outline a proposed $3.5 billion overhaul and privatization of the industry Thursday during a speech in Lagos.