The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the N30,000 minimum wage should not be a justification for any form of bullying or victimisation against the workers by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
PDP made the remark while saluting all Nigerian workers on the occasion of the 2019 Workers Day, for their service towards the stability and development of our dear nation.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party also acknowledged the “patriotism and resilience of the workers, particularly for remaining steadfast to the course of nation building, in spite of the harsh economic conditions foisted on them by the overtly corrupt, incompetent and grossly insensitive President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.”
“It is rather unfortunate that Nigerian workers found themselves operating under an inept administration that does not appreciate their inputs; that has no tangible strategy for their much-needed capacity building and reward system, but only relishes in Greek gifts and official bullying.”
PDP cautioned against “such unproductive tendencies, adding that the N30,000 minimum wage should not be a justification for any form of bullying or victimization against the workers.
“The Buhari-led APC administration must elevate its discourse in understanding that workers welfare is not tied to a minimum wage but in creating conducive working environment, established capacity building and reward system as well as a secure and economically viable environment that enable the workers, and indeed all Nigerians to meet their social and economic needs without stress; as contained in the AtikuAbubakar Master Plan.
“It is however unfortunate that at the time Nigerian workers should have been getting ready to enjoy the benefits of a new order under Atiku Abubakar, the nation is being set back by the ills of electoral manipulations,” the party stated.
The PDP urged the “Nigerian workers not to be despondent, as the mandate, which was freely given to Atiku Abubakar, will be retrieved at the tribunal.”
The party called on the workers, as patriotic Nigerians, to continue to put in their best in serving the nation even as it wishes them a happy Workers Day.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for collaboration of all political parties in the country to “rescue Nigeria from alleged misrule of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)”.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Diran Odeyemi, in a statement, yesterday, explained that three incidents that happened recently had shown that APC would never change its style of governance, which he claimed had brought Nigeria to her knees.
Odeyemi said the 10-day trip undertaken by President Muhammadu Buhari, without formally informing the National Assembly, goes beyond disregard for the legislative arm of government but remains gross violation of the Constitution.
He stated that Buhari and APC were hell-bent on foisting a leadership on the National Assembly so as to annex that arm of government, force a docile leadership on the parliamentarians and continue illegality that hallmarked the present administration since it came on board.
The PDP deputy spokesman also wondered why a party that had not justified a mandate it allegedly stole, would be talking about 2023 presidency, insisting that Nigerians must be ready to rescue the country and join hands with the PDP to stop APC and redirect the ship of the country to a safe harbour.
The statement reads, “Is it not sad that a party that stole mandate many Nigerians freely gave to the PDP, using all illegal means to perpetrate itself in office, even with its baggage of woes, misdeeds, missteps, jaundiced policies and wanton plundering of the nation’s treasury, would be talking about 2023 presidency in 2019?
“Has the party justified the temporary stay it is currently occupying let alone seeking another term in far away 2023? APC must have concluded that Nigerians are gullible.
“Only a president that has no regard for the governed would disregard for the law of the land and travel out of the country ‘on a private visit’ without delegating governance to the Vice President as stipulated in the constitution.
“We in PDP have demonstrated over and over again our readiness to lead the rescue mission that would safe Nigeria from her tormentors and safe once blossoming country made ‘poverty headquarters’ by APC. We are only calling on other parties to join hands with us to defeat our common enemies”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of replacing electronic servers in its headquarters and state offices.
The party, which has gone to court to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 election, said INEC was replacing the servers to obliterate the actual presidential election results transmitted from the polling centres.
A statement by PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the development as “completely reprehensible”, saying it further exposed INEC’s culpability in the alleged manipulation and rigging of the 2019 presidential election.
The statement reads: “The PDP has been well briefed on how INEC’s leadership and officials of the Buhari Presidency became jittery and resorted to the desperate measure, after they realised that the servers have information of Atiku Abubakar’s victory at the election.
“Our party also has details of how INEC leadership and the Presidency agents procured and detailed computer experts to the commission’s offices to switch the servers, mutilate vital information in the system and attempt to erase all trails of transmitted results to the main server.
In a related development, as workers in the country troop out in their numbers to celebrate this year’s May Day today, the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Rivers State Council, has called on the Federal Government to put mechanism in place to create employment opportunities for Nigerians to stem the tide of criminality across the country.
The Rivers State Chairman of NCSU and State Auditor 1 of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Opuoyibo Lilly-West, who made the call in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt yesterday said in keeping with the theme of this year’s May Day celebration, ‘Another 100 Years Of Struggle for Jobs,’ the Federal Government should create employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the country, contending that the rate of criminality has increased tremendously in the country because of lack of jobs.
“We are using this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to ensure that jobs are created at all cost. When our youths are gainfully employed, nobody will think of criminality, “he said, adding that the May Day celebration would be anchored on social justice and job creation within the context of the country’s 100 years existence as a nation.
Lilly-West further indicated that the celebration, as it were, was expected to be a wake up call on government at all levels to begin to engage stakeholders, with a view to preparing the platform and process for the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage across the country, stressing that by virtue of the signing of the Minimum Wage Bill into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, state governments across the country were expected to automatically key in and begin the payment of the new wage to their workers.
He expressed delight that the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike would be at the venue of this year’s celebration as he did last year and celebrate with the workers, adding that the event was expected to be a colourful one, by virtue of the fact that the NLC in the state had just emerged from election of its new officers which he described as very peaceful.
Lilly-West disclosed that this year’s May Day celebration was expected to be his last as State Chairman of NCSU, having meritoriously served the union for a second term in office in that capacity.
He enjoined civil servants in the state to continue to support the Wike administration to achieve set goals, and expressed optimism that the governor would in turn do everything within his powers to improve the welfare of workers.
31 States Lack Insurance Cover For Workers
Thirty-one states in the federation have no insurance cover in place for workers as of March, despite the provision of the requirement in the Pension Reform Act 2014.
Figures obtained from PenCom on ‘Status of implementation of the CPS in states as at March 2021’, last Saturday, showed that only five states, including the Federal Capital Territory, have insurance in place for their workers.
Other compliant states are Lagos, Osun, Ondo and Edo, which also have pension schemes for their workers, according to PenCom.
A former President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele, said it was not appropriate that most states lacked insurance cover for their workers.
Esele stated, “It speaks volumes to the fact that when the private sector has not shown respect for group life insurance, they are actually borrowing a leaf from the state governments.
“Ordinarily, what you should expect is that respect for our laws should be what state governments should be all about, but what they have done now is to show lack of respect for the law and their citizens because, ordinarily, it is in the best interest of not only the workers but also the management, that is, the government.
“It is so that whatever happens, the families of the people working with them are safe. For them not to have done that is sad and discomforting.”
The Director, Centre for Pension Rights Advocacy, Ivor Takor, urged state and local governments to comply fully with the regulations in the CPS.
He expressed worry that most states had yet to comply with the law.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, Hon Darlington Nwokocha, said the lawmakers were reviewing the insurance laws which would enhance the sector’s performance and assist the implementation of the compulsory insurance laws.
The Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the commission was engaging states to ensure full compliance with the PRA.
She noted that it had continued to review the implementation of the scheme in the states.
Also, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, said the National Insurance Commission was seeking compliance on the compulsory insurance schemes.
Thomas stated that NAICOM had visited some of the state governors to solicit the support for compliance with insurance laws.
Also, PenCom, in a recent circular, ordered employers of labour to comply with the Group Life Insurance Policy as stipulated in the Pension Reform Act 2014.
PenCom also ordered employers to display a copy of the GLIP certificate in a conspicuous place within the premises before the end of July 31, 2021.
It stated this in a circular to all employers and employees titled ‘Re: Compliance with PRA 2014 on Group Life Insurance Policy for employees and display of insurance certificate for 2021’.
The commission said, “In accordance with the provisions of Section 4(5) of the Pension Reform Act 2014, every employer shall maintain a Group Life Insurance Policy in favour of all employees.
“The GLIP should be a minimum of three times the annual total emolument of the employees. Similarly, Section 5.5 of the revised guidelines on GLIP for employees provides that the employer shall display a copy of the GLIP certificate in a conspicuous place within its premises, for the information of the employees and as evidence of having taken such policy.
“Employers that have not displayed a copy of the GLIP certificate within their premises are advised to do so on or before 31 July, 2021. Failure to provide GLIP is a violation of Section 4(5) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.”
PenCom disclosed that only 15,418 organisations got its clearance to do the business of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government between January 4 and May 10.
It said the clearance was given to them for having pension accounts and life insurance cover for their employees.
According to the commission, the clearance enables them to do the business of the Federal Government for the 2021 financial year.
PenCom said companies that had no insurance cover for their workers would no longer be allowed to do any government business.
One In 100 Die By Suicide, WHO Alerts
The World Health Organisation (WHO), has said, suicide remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide and responsible for one in 100 deaths globally.
In its latest estimates entitled, “Suicide worldwide in 2019”, WHO noted that every year, more people die as a result of suicide than HIV, malaria or breast cancer or war and homicide.
The latest estimates noted that in 2019, more than 700 000 people died by suicide: one in every 100 deaths, prompting the WHO to produce new guidance to help countries improve suicide prevention and care.
The WHO guidance is to help the world reach the target of reducing the suicide rate by 1/3 by 2030.
Speaking on the new estimates, Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the world cannot and must not ignore suicide.
“Each one is a tragedy. Our attention to suicide prevention is even more important now, after many months of living with the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of the risk factors for suicide 6 job loss, financial stress and social isolation still very much present.”
He said the new guidance would provide a clear path for stepping up suicide prevention efforts.
“Among young people aged 15-29, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death after road injury, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence. The rates vary, between countries, regions, and between males and females.”
The report also explained that more than twice as many males die due to suicide as females (12.6 per 100 000 males compared with 5.4 per 100 000 females).
“Suicide rates among men are generally higher in high-income countries (16.5 per 100 000). For females, the highest suicide rates are found in lower-middle-income countries (7.1 per 100 000).
Suicide rates in the WHO African (11.2 per 100 000), European (10.5 per 100 000) and South-East Asia (10.2 per 100 000) regions were higher than the global average (9.0 per 100 000) in 2019. The lowest suicide rate was in the Eastern Mediterranean region (6.4 per 100 000).
Globally, the suicide rate is decreasing; in the Americas, it is going up. Suicide rates fell in the 20 years between 2000 and 2019, with the global rate decreasing by 36 per cent, with decreases ranging from 17 per cent in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to 47 per cent in the European Region and 49 per cent in the Western Pacific.
“But in the Americas Region, rates increased by 17 per cent in the same time period. Although some countries have placed suicide prevention high on their agendas, too many countries remain uncommitted.
“Currently only 38 countries are known to have a national suicide prevention strategy.
“A significant acceleration in the reduction of suicides is needed to meet the SDG target of a one-third reduction in the global suicide rate by 2030.”
However, WHO has released comprehensive guidance for implementing its LIVE LIFE approach to suicide prevention. The four strategies of this approach are: limiting access to the means of suicide, such as highly hazardous pesticides and firearms; educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide; fostering socio-emotional life skills in adolescents; and early identification, assessment, management and follow-up of anyone affected by suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
WHO further recommended the banning of the most dangerous pesticides given that pesticide poisoning is estimated to cause 20 per cent of all suicides while national bans of acutely toxic, highly hazardous pesticides have shown to be cost-effective.
Other measures recommended by WHO include restricting access to firearms, reducing the size of medication packages and installing barriers at jump sites.
On responsible reporting by the media, the guide highlighted the role the media plays in relation to suicide.
“Media reports of suicide can lead to a rise in suicide due to imitation (or copycat suicides) – especially if the report is about a celebrity or describes the method of suicide.
“The new guide advises monitoring of the reporting of suicide and suggests that media counteract reports of suicide with stories of successful recovery from mental health challenges or suicidal thoughts. It also recommends working with social media companies to increase their awareness and improve their protocols for identifying and removing harmful content.”
WHO also noted that support for adolescence (10-19 years of age) was a critical period for acquiring socio-emotional skills, particularly since half of the mental health conditions appear before 14 years of age.
“The LIVE LIFE guidance encourages actions including mental health promotion and anti-bullying programmes, links to support services and clear protocols for people working in schools and universities when a suicide risk is identified.
“Early identification, assessment, management and follow-up apply to people who have attempted suicide or are perceived to be at risk. A previous suicide attempt is one of the most important risk factors for future suicide.
“Health-care workers should be trained in early identification, assessment, management and follow-up.
“Survivors’ groups of people bereaved by suicide can complement the support provided by health services. Crisis services should also be available to provide immediate support to individuals in acute distress.
The new guidance, which includes examples of suicide prevention interventions that have been implemented across the world, in countries such as Australia, Ghana, Guyana, India, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, Sweden and the USA can be used by anyone who is interested in implementing suicide prevention activities, whether at the national or local level and in the governmental and non-governmental sectors alike.
On his part, suicide prevention expert at the World Health Organisation, Alexandra Fleischmann said, “While a comprehensive national suicide prevention strategy should be the ultimate goal for all governments, starting suicide prevention with LIVE LIFE interventions can save lives and prevent the heartbreak that follows for those left behind.”
Wike, Others Grace Prof Antonia Omehia’s Thanksgiving
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and other eminent personalities were among personalities that graced the thanksgiving ceremony in honour of Professor Antonia Celestine Omehia, yesterday.
The thanksgiving organised by former Governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia was to mark the conferment of his wife, Professor Antonia with the rank of Professor of Library and Information Science by Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni.
Professor Antonia Omehia is a lecturer in the Library and Information Science Department of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rivers State.
Governor Wike, his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Austin Opara, former Presidents, Nigeria Bar Association ( NBA) Onueze C.J Okocha (SAN), and Okey Wali (SAN) were among other dignitaries who attended the thanksgiving ceremony at Omehia’s residence in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Former Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia said his family decided to organise the thanksgiving to honour God for his wife’s unparalleled academic excellence and passion for scholarly research.
He acknowledged that it is not an easy feat to attain the rank of an academic professor. According to him, his family will remain eternally grateful to God for granting his wife the grace of academic excellence.
Former NBA President, Okocha, who spoke on behalf of Rivers’ elders, said Professor Antonia Omehia has indisputably distinguished herself in academics, because professors are scholars that are experts in their fields and teachers of the highest rank in the university.
He heaped praises on Sir Omehia for allowing his wife to soar in her academic pursuit, because most men often feel intimidated when their wives excel in life.
The legal luminary said when women excel in academics, they should be celebrated.
He commended Professor Antonia Omehia for making her husband and children proud by virtue of her unquestionable commitment to academic excellence.
”We are proud of you for honouring our brother.”
Eminent personalities that also attended the thanksgiving included: Chairman of Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba, former Minister of Transportation, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Senator (Dr) Bennett Birabi, Davies Ikanya among several others.
- Entertainment4 days ago
Alibaba, Banky W, Others Attend Wizkid’s Debut Album’s 10th Anniversary
- Politics4 days ago
Ayade And The APC Albatross
- News4 days ago
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
- Business4 days ago
Travellers To Access $4,000 As CBN Boosts Forex Supplies
- Niger Delta4 days ago
Abducted NLC Chairman Regains Freedom In C’River
- Politics4 days ago
PDP’ II Bring Desired Change In 2023 – Diri
- Women4 days ago
60 -Year – Old Man Commits Suicide After Assaulting Daughter
- Women4 days ago
Women Now Drink As Much As Men