Connect with us

Front Pix

Rivers NLC Joins Nationwide Strike, Wednesday …Over Non-Implementation Of Minimum Wage

Published

on

President Goodluck Jonathan (right) in a handshake with Speaker, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Mohamane Ousumane after the latter submitted documents to the President in Abuja, last Friday. Photo: NAN

President Goodluck Jonathan (right) in a handshake with Speaker, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Mohamane Ousumane after the latter submitted documents to the President in Abuja, last Friday. Photo: NAN

The Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has pledged to join the nationwide strike over the non-implementation of the new minimum wage on Wednesday.

Chairman of NLC in the state, Chief Chris Oruge in a chat with newsmen over the weekend in Port Harcourt said the action was the agreement reached at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting last week.

Though the labour chief affirmed that the state government had agreed to pay the new wage, he noted that the action was in solidarity with the national body, and therefore, called on all affiliate labour bodies to join in the three days strike.

Chief Oruge warned that labour may proceed on an indefinite strike if all attempts to prevail on the Federal Government to pay the new wage package failed.

The Rivers Labour chairman observed that the federal government had reneged on its agreement to raise workers pay, saying, “you would recall that the NLC proposed a N52,000 minimum wage which the Federal Government cut down to N18,000, yet it has become difficult for them to implement it.”

Chief Oruge continued, “strike is the last weapon labour has and we have exhausted all negotiations and the extent we have reached now, labour believes that we are being dribbled.”

The position of the state NLC, he further reiterated was to toe the line of the federal salaries, “in short we plan to enter an agreement such that anytime the FG increases salaries, the same should be done at the state level.”

Meanwhile, in a quick reaction to the NLC proposed strike, President Goodluck Jonathan said last Saturday, the issue of minimum wage with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) would be resolved amicably.

The NLC had threatened to embark on strike on Nov. 10, following government’s delay to implement an increase in minimum wage.

Jonathan, who was speaking with airport correspondents at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, was in Lagos to attend the 30th Anniversary of the Silverbird Group.

“I think it will not result in any serious industrial action. I believe that labour will agree that within this period that I have been in office that we have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the government is labour-friendly.

“And, if two friends are discussing on friendly things, they have no reason to exchange blows. It is when you are not discussing on friendly things that people exchange blows.

“So I believe labour will stay with us and we are also pleading with them that they should reason with us.

“The issue of the wage you know, the Federal Government presently pays N17, 000 and within this period, we raised it from N7, 500 to N17, 000, and they are talking about the minimum wage of N18, 000.

“You will agree with me that that N1, 000 difference for good people that have been friendly will not lead to any industrial action.

“And if you become very strict on the issue of minimum wage as applied elsewhere in this country, I find it very difficult to believe that presently any Federal Government staff is even earning less than N18, 000,” the President said.

He noted that the minimum wage of N18, 000 was for a level one staff on step one.

According to him, this is supposed to be for primary six holders and most of the Federal Government staff are either on level three or level four or above, noting that even these categories are few.

“If it was salary increase, I don’t think we will be discussing this matter, but this is minimum wage and because it is minimum wage, it has to pass through all the sections of government as specified by law.

“It must go to the National Assembly because the law must be made and the minimum wage does not affect only government employees and that is what Nigerians should know.

“Assuming Federal Government and States can pay and Local Governments, what of the private people who employ?

“So, if we now just go and impose a minimum wage on all Nigerians without due consultation, do you think small and medium-scale enterprises can all meet up?” the President asked.

He, however, said that nobody had said that labour’s demand would not be paid but that they should let the consultations be done properly.

According to him, this was to ensure that government would not be blamed if there were some lapses along the line.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Front Pix

90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

Published

on

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

Continue Reading

Featured

We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

Published

on

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

Continue Reading

Featured

Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

Published

on

Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

Continue Reading

Trending