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Stakeholders Urge FG To Increase Workers’ Salaries

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Some financial experts and other Nigerians last Sunday urged the Federal Government to review the salaries of workers upwards.

They told newsmen in Lagos that a substantial increase in workers’ wages would complement the government’s efforts in tackling corruption and other social vices.

Managing Director of Boaz Management and Financial Strategies Ltd., Mr Oluwole Ibikunle,  said that the high level of inflation had eroded the value of workers’ salaries which had remained stagnant.

Ibikunle said that periodic upward review of workers’ wages would reinvigorate economic activities and boost the liquidity system as well as encourage investments among workers.

“Low wages make workers less productive, create discord in families and compel majority of the workers to engage in shady deals to make ends meet,’’ he stated.

Managing Director of Remmy Associates Ltd., Mr Remi Alarape,  attributed the increase in corruption and other social ills among the working class to the prevailing ‘dismal wages’.

Alarape said that the inability of the Nigerian working class to financially support extended family members to create small businesses had contributed to unemployment and high level poverty nationwide.

“A well-paid worker will not only support extended family members in operating small businesses but would find it difficult to engage in corruption or any social vice,’’ he said.

A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Mr Ojo Makinde, also told newsmen that the poor wage profile had robbed the country of committed workers interested in professional career growth.

“Job seekers are no longer concerned about the prospect of the jobs they get.

“They are only interested in the salary they will earn. This is the reason why many people want to work in multinational companies and oil firms that pay huge salaries,’’ Makinde said.

Deputy Manager of Integrated Capital Services Ltd., Mrs Dupe Bakare, said that workers in the civil service earned less than their counterparts in the private sector.

“A World Bank research conducted sometime ago shows that over 120 million Nigerians live on less than two dollars per day.

“The situation has not improved. Even with the N18,000 minimum wage, it is very hard for people to survive on that kind of salary in a country where most goods are imported.

“Our salary is not good enough; we are grossly under-paid. We live on loans and without loans we can’t embark on meaningful projects like having houses and cars of our own.

“We would have finished spending the salary before it is even paid at the end of the month and we would have incurred lots of debts.

“We buy necessities like food and clothing on credit; it is like a cycle. At the end of the year, we always have nothing to show for our labour,” she said.

A medical practitioner, Mr Peter Johnson, appealed to government to increase workers’ salaries through improved wages.

“Many Nigerians are struggling to make ends meet; they can’t live the kind of lives they desire because of poor wages.

“How can people buy goods when they do not have money? It is good to encourage the growth of foreign and local businesses in the country. We should, however, empower people who will buy the products,’’ Johnson said.

The Managing Director of Ethical Business and Management Associates (EBAM), Mr Ladi Afolabi, said that poor wages constituted one of the greatest challenges to the Nigerian economy.

“In Nigeria, the computation of salary does not take into consideration the changes that affect the average worker as a result of the economic challenges facing the nation.

“As a result, at the end of the month, take home pay does not take people home again,” Afolabi said.

The managing director suggested that there should be a periodic review of national wages, based on contemporary indices.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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