The organised labour, yesterday, said that the Federal Government has before or on December 31 to send the tripartite committee report on N30,000 minimum wage to the National Assembly. Ayuba Wabba, NLC President Minimum Wage:
The three labour centres, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) took the decision after a joint meeting in Lagos.
The organised labour gave the ultimatum following President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that a “high powered technical committee” would be set up to device ways to ensure that its implementation did not lead to an increase in the level of borrowing.
Buhari spoke at the presentation of 2019 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly in Abuja on Wednesday.
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, who addressed newsmen after the meeting, said that setting up a technical committee could not be a condition for passing the minimum wage report to the National Assembly.
Accoridng to Wabba, the organised labour cannot guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the country if the wage report was not passed for implementation on or before Dec. 31.
“We reject in its entirety the plan to set up another `high powered technical committee’ on the minimum wage. It is diversionary and a delay tactics.
“The national minimum wage committee was both technical and all-encompassing in its compositions and plan. To set up another technical committee is alien to the tripartite process.
“It is also alien to the International Labour Organisations’ conventions on national minimum wage setting mechanism,’’ he said.
The labour leader said that issues on payment of minimum wage was a law that was universal, citing that other African countries like, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa had increased their minimum wage this year.
“If you increase minimum wage, you are increasing the purchasing power of the economy which will help to reduce inflation rather than increase it,’’ Wabba said.
He urged workers to be vigilant and prepare to campaign and vote against candidates and politicians who are not willing to implement the new minimum wage.
Mr Joe Ajaero, President of ULC, also called on the government to send the report to lawmakers so that the implementation of the new minimum wage report would begin without delay.
Ajaero said that all affiliate members of the organised labour had been informed to be alert ahead of the Dec. 31 notice if the government failed to submit the report.
The organised labour had planned to go on a nationwide strike on Nov. 6, following the Federal Government’s delay to accept the N30,000 minimum wage agreement.
Meanwhile, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) has given the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum within which to resume “re-negotiation” with its national executive to avert a nationwide industrial action by its members.
SSANIP, according to a release made available to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Adebanjo Ogunsipe, said the resolution was made at its 58th National Executive Councils/General Executive meeting held at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi State.
Ogunsipe said the Association frowned at the apathy and continued delay of the re-negotiation of the 2010 agreement the Federal government had with all unions in the polytechnic sector.
In a similar vein, the senior polytechnic administrators called on the National Assembly to expedite actions on the bill for the review of polytechnic Act, noting that the challenges confronting the polytechnic sector would abate if the bill is passed.
SSANIP expressed great displeasure over what it described as gross inadequate funding of state polytechnics and similar institutions by some state governors.
It urged state governors to live up to their responsibilities by adequately funding their respective polytechnics.
The polytechnics senior workers lamented the state of insecurity in the country with particular reference to the kidnap and death of its members at Oshun State College of Technology, Esa Oke and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and called on the Federal government to check the spate of insecurity across the nation.
On discrimination against HND holders, SSANIP’s apex body condemned in strong terms, the continued discrimination and marginalization of HND holders in the labour market, especially, by public and private organizations despite the abolition of the HND/B.SCdichotomy by the federal government.
It urged all stakeholders to adhere strictly to the federal government policy on the abolition of HND/BSC dichotomy.
In related development, the four-day warning strike called by aggrieved workers of the National Assembly has been suspended, our correspondent report.
The workers had under the auspices of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), last Monday commenced the action in protest of their unpaid 28 percent consolidated legislative salary structure (CONLESS), approved since 2010, as well as other issues bordering on poor conditions of service.
ýAddressing news men in Abuja to update the public about on the warning strike, the Chairman of PASAN Comrade Musa Muhammed Bature and other union leaders disclosed that the strike action had been suspended as some of their demands were being addressed by the management.
According to him, the management had agreed to implement 28 percent increment in the Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS) after lengthy discussions with the workers and that its payment would start from January next year.
He further disclosed that on the review of condition of service, the management had confirmed that both the two Chambers of the National Assembly had passed the document and that the process of harmonisation had commenced and would be formalised as soon as the document was endorsed.
The union leader explained that on the issue of promotions, the management vigorously agreed that outstanding letters of promotion would be released as soon as work resumes while on the issue of no vacancy, a committee was set up with the union to identify available vacancies before the end of the year 2018.
Speaking on the constitution of the Commissioners of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), he said that the names of the nominees had been forwarded to the President for appointment.
The Union said that they continue negotiations with the management on those issues and thanked the workers for their commitment to ensure the success of the strike.
They had issued a notice of strike to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Secretariat of National Assembly Service Commission on Friday December 14, 2018.
Ensure Security Of Govt Projects, SSG Tasks Community Leaders
The Secretary to Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, has implored leaders of community associations in the state to monitor ongoing projects in their communities to ensure that the security of the contracting firms was not compromised.
Danagogo made this assertion when the leaders of a socio-cultural group, Nyemoni Awome Ogbo of Abonnema, paid him a courtesy visit in Port Harcourt, last Tuesday.
On the ongoing Trans-KalabariRoad project, Danagogo noted that the governor’s determination to deliver the first phase of the road in 14 months was unshakable as it was cash-backed.
“This is a crucial project to the development of Kalabari Kingdom. Every right-thinking Kalabari person must condemn, and avoid anything that will cause delays to the project delivery. What the governor is doing for us is unprecedented in the annals of the history of governance in this state.
“As Kalabari people, we must condemn every gang-up to sabotage the development of the Trans-Kalabari Road project. This road project is being executed to transform our communities, and this government is doing it for us. If our own people either by acts of omission are trying to sabotage this developmental effort, then, you must be proactive in condemning it and stopping them. You must as leaders commend what deserves commendation, and condemn what deserves condemnation”.
The SSG further condemned the recent kidnap of a staff of the contracting company, and particularly noted with dismay the sad comments made by notorious Kalabari group whose founder/leader is a known kidnapper and illegal bunkerer who owes Kalabari and Rivers State explanation and apology for several kidnappings, including the kidnap of the wife of the late High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs.
He urged Kalabari leaders not to allow people without meaningful source of livelihood or good intentions to speak on their behalf.
Earlier, the former President of Nyemoni Awome Ogbo of Abonnema, Prof. Adaye Orugbani, had said that the visit was to serve as an opportunity for the association to express its appreciation to Governor Nyesom Wike for his benevolence and love for the people of Kalabari Kingdom and Akuku Toru Local Government Area in particular.
“We are here to thank the governor through the SSG for the immense developmental projects in our community. These projects are crucial to the development of our community, particularly the Ring Road. In a record time, he commenced and completed the project.
“As an island, it used to be difficult to access Abonnema Town, but today, we have easy access in and out of the town because of the Ring Road. As an island community, the land is scarce and expensive, but the sand-filling projects of 52 hectares of land also awarded by Governor Nyesom Wike will provide us with more land for other developmental projects and expansion,” he stressed.
Orugbani added that the ongoing Trans-Kalabari Road project was a goldmine that all sons and daughters of Kalabari Kingdom should be happy about.
Rivers Exco Approves N5bn To Resuscitate Health Institutions
The Rivers State Executive Council has approved over N5billion required for the revamping of the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital, and the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital located in Port Harcourt.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, presided over the meeting that held at the Executive Council Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike said, the approved sum would be spent on renovation, rehabilitation and installation of medical equipment at the health facilities.
“For the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital in Port Harcourt, the civil work is to cost N1, 007, 205, 941, 51, while the equipping and furnishing and installation of medical equipment will cost N693, 570, 367, 25.”
The commissioner said the work at the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital was expected to last for a period of 13 months, and when completed, would be an affiliate of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, to add to the training of medical doctors and medical personnel.
Chike also spoke about the approval given for the revamp of the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital, which he said, when completed, would also be affiliated to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital for the training of medical personnel.
“The civil work is to cost N1, 789, 395, 743, 87 only, while, the equipping, installation and furnishing will cost N1, 590, 671, 047,31.”
Chike also provided explanation as to why the Mother and Child Hospital has not commenced full operations after it was officially inaugurated.
He said the Council had approved a committee which was working together with the Bureau for Public/Private Procurement, to make sure that the necessary processes for seamless take off of the hospital was put in place so that the facility can offer maximal service to the public.
Chike stressed that the State Executive Council was also briefed about the approval given by the Medical and Dental Council to the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences to admit 100 students per session.
The commissioner said the cases of Covid-19 in the state have continued to grow because residents have refused to observe the Covid-19 protocols.
He called on residents in the state to avoid crowded areas like weddings, burial events, market places, wash their hands regularly, and also wear facemasks.
Also speaking to journalists, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said council approved that a bill be sent to the Rivers State House of Assembly for the enactment of a law for judicial officers to own their houses on retirement.
He explained that the approval was in line with policy of the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration to ensure that judicial officers who put in their best to ensure that justice was done in a very fair manner in the state were well housed after their service years.
“And to entrench this as its policy, a bill has been sent to the Rivers State House of Assembly for the enactment of a law,so that, at the end of this administration, subsequent administrations that will come will ensure that this policy is not toiled with”, Nsirim said.
Nsirim also said that Rivers State has been approved as the South-South Zonal Headquarters of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
According to him, the state was to also establish a Judicial Institute for the training of judges and magistrates which would complement the activities of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“The establishment of the institute is a way of helping to ensure that judges and magistrates who are in the state here have regular training as a way of updating them on their skills to complement what the National Judicial Service Commission does for them.”
On his part, the Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on Special Projects, Dax Alabo George Kelly, said the council ratified the approval given for the construction of Nabo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt.
According to him, all the structures both on the campus in Rumueme community and at the staff quarters opposite the Hotel Presidential will be completed within the stipulated seven months, and ready as part of projects to celebrate the third-year of anniversary of Governor Nyesom Wike’s second tenure next year.
Scare As EFCC Chairman Slumps At Aso Rock
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, reportedly slumped, and was rushed out of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Bawa was giving his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking.
According to reports, Bawa was talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards when the incident happened.
Bawa had stopped talking and covered his face with his right palm, saying, “Please, excuse me, I can’t continue.”
However, in a swift reaction to the incident, the organisation’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa,was hale and hearty.
He said in a two-paragraph statement, yesterday afternoon that, while giving a goodwill message at an event at the Presidential Villa, yesterday morning, Bawa felt unwell and decided to return to his seat.
The statement reads in full, “The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa is hale and hearty.
“This clarification became necessary following an incident today September 16, 2021, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he was giving a goodwill message to the National Identity Day celebration, felt unwell and had to return to his seat.
“He has since received medical attention and is due back at his desk”.
Meanwhile, the reason the Chairman of the Economic and Crimes Commission, Abdurasheed Bawa, collapsed while delivering a goodwill message at the National Identity Day at Banquet Hall, State House Abuja, has been revealed.
Bawa was rushed to the State House Clinic for medical attention.
Reacting to the development, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, attributed the collapse to pressure and work burden.
He enjoined Nigerians to pray for Bawa, noting that he has regained consciousness.
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