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…Withdraws From ASUU Negotiation

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The Federal Government negotiating team on Monday announced its official withdrawal from the re-negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Univerisities (ASUU).
Disclosing the resolve of the team to withdraw from further talks with ASUU, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode said until the union suspends its current strike, it would not continue because of lack of enabling environment for governing councils to continue the negotiation with their employees.
Onosode said ASUU as well as other inions have written officially to reject the 40 per cent offer from government.
However, Daily Champion gathered that the July salary of the striking university lecturers was withheld in line with the ‘No Work, No Pay’ by government and that the same fate will befall the August salary unless they call off the strike.
While ASUU confirmed that government had wielded the big slick, a government source said it was legal and part of the labour-law, adding that ASUU cannot eat its cake and have it.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, chairman of the government re-negotiating team, Deacon Onosode said “based on the authoritive information, my principal, the Federal Government, had taken a final position on the salaries of staff of Federal Universities.
“You will also recall that an invitation was extended to the unions to enable the committee to convey the Federal Government position to them on July 10, 2009. the unions, including ASUU, have officially reacted in writing, rejecting the offer.
“In the desire of Government to resolve outstanding issues with particular reference to the grey areas in the proposed Draft Agreement, Government held a meeting with ASUU. At that meeting of July 29, 2009, the Re-Negotiation committee was advised to reconvene and resolve all such issues. In line with this position, the FGN/ASUU at the meeting of August 3, 2009 constituted a sub-committee to review and resolve all such grey areas.
“At the point of presentation of the Sub-committee Report on August 10, 2009, ASUU detoured and refused the presentation, insisting on my mandate to sign an agreement after the proposed draft document will have been vetted and not at the level of individual Federal University Councils, the true employers of federal university staff.
“The Government Team endeavoured to facilitate the conclusion of these negotiations at the strictly employer-employee level. Unfortunately, that effort has been stalled by the current strike. We, therefore, cannot get to the point where the councils can receive the documents and speedily conclude the negotiations for implementation. Consequently, the Government Team is not in a position to continue further negotiations with the unions until it suspends its strike to provide an enabling environment for them.
“Finally, I join all well-meaning Nigerians in appealing to the Unions to, at least, suspend the on going strike in order to create an enabling environment for the facilitation of the conclusion of the Re-negoliations.
“”However, the Governing Councils of Federal Universities have been advised to recall their staff who are on strike and provide an enabling environment for teaching, research and community services for those who are willing to work,” Onosode said.
It would be recalled that ASUU had on Sunday, after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Makurdi, Benue State, decided to continue the strike until government signs the agreement to its satisfaction.
ASUU had in its statement read in Makurdi accused government team of playing politics with the future of Nigerian youths by flouting the directives given by the Vice President Goodluck Jonathan for both team to resolve the contentious issues within two weeks,.

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SEAMATA Condemns Inport Duty Increment On Cargo

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Members of the the South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) have strongly criticised and rejected the recent astronomical and indiscriminate increment in the import duty on cargoes charged by Nigerian Customs.
SEAMATA is the umbrella union of traders in all the markets in the South-East Geo-political Zone and traders of South-East extraction doing business across the states in the Federation and in Diaspora.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by SEAMATA’s President General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and its Secretary General, Mr Alex Okwudiri, in Enugu yesterday.
According to them, the Nigerian Customs introduced a method of working out import duty payment on goods and set out a particular minimum amount payable for each 40ft container.
The statement noted that items with the least percentage tariff of five per cent are not even spared.
The  current import duties, the statement further regretted, are no longer calculated based on invoice value of consignments.
”Between 2020 and now, the amount charged on cargoes as import duties have risen in geometric proportion from N750,000 to N2 million, again to N3 million and presently, to N3.3 million for 40ft containers; while 20ft containers jumped to N1.8 million.
”The Nigerian Customs on their own, work out payable import duty now based on “estimated” invoice value of consignment as against the actual invoice value of goods from the country of origin.
”This development is not only bringing untold hardships to importers but is also compounding the pains of the citizens as it dovetailed to astronomical increase in prices of imported goods as the Nigerian Customs estimated invoice value is always far above the actual cost of the imports.
”The indiscriminate estimate of value of goods by Nigerian Customs is adversely affecting the prices of goods in the markets today both imported and locally produced as it triggered a chain reaction.
”Even agricultural products are not spared in the chain effect of the price increase.
”In the general meeting held in Onitsha on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, the traders resolved to very strongly condemn and reject the increment.
”We are appealing to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to prevail on the Nigerian Customs to, as a matter of urgency, suspend the exercise.
”This is to save the Nigerian citizens from further economic hardships as further economic pains that follow such situations could lead to social unrest which our nation doesn’t need now”.
The statement also prayed and expected that the appeal of the traders would be favourably considered in the overall interest of the masses across the country. 7Ends.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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Kaduna SUBEB To Sack 233 Teachers Over Fake Certificates

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Chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (KADSUBEB), Alhaji Tijjani Abdullahi, on Thursday, hinted that 233 primary school teachers have been pencilled down for dismissal for gaining employment with fake certificates.
Abdullahi, who spoke at a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, further noted that for the Board to be sure that the newly-employed teachers have the requisite qualifications, it went into secret verification of their credentials from various institutions attended.
According to him, the board has already verified 451 institutions they claimed to have attended, but only nine of them have responded so far.
He further added that the responses from the institutions showed that 233 teachers presented fake certificates.
He added that one of the institutions disowned 212 of the 233 fake certificates, adding that, the board would forward their files to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for forgery.
A visibly shaken Abdullahi noted that the Board will continue to check the integrity of the certificates presented by teachers to ensure that the teaching profession is not devalued by impostors.

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How I Delivered 125 Children After Govt Hospitals Rejected Us -Woman Leader

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Women leader of the Internally Displaced Persons, Durumi camp, Garki Abuja, Mrs Liyatu Ayuba, has narrated how she became a midwife in the camp following rejection of their pregnant members in government hospitals.
The women leader, who was displaced from Borno State after the Boko Haram insurgents killed her husband in 2015, revealed that she has successfully assisted in delivering about 125 children in the camp.
Speaking with The Tide source in the camp, Mrs Liyatu alleged that the National Hospital, Abuja, and other government medical facilities had denied their pregnant members access to medical care following their inability to pay bills.
According to her, a lady in the camp who needed a cesarean section died in the National Hospital after they were unable to pay for the operation.
“Few years ago, a lady came to this camp and she was 7 months pregnant. She came barefoot with only a wrapper and she didn’t have a bacha (hut) so she was squatting on another person’s own.
“The next three days, she was in labour and we took her to the National Hospital in Abuja here and we were told to bring 100,000 but we told them that we do not have such money that they should please try and save her life.
“They said they can’t do anything, that we IDPs are disturbing them. That was how the woman and her baby died in the hospital. They even refused to release the corps for us because we could not pay,” they disclosed.
According to her, she was angered by the incident which prompted her into midwifery to save the lives of other women in the camp.
“I learnt how to be a midwife from my grandmother. I started delivering babies on January 2, 2015, so from that year till date, I have delivered a total of 125 babies in this camp,” she stated.
Liyatu told our source that she has been sensitizing households in the camp to embrace family planning due to lack of funds to train the children.
“I have been telling them that people who have four to five children should do family planning because we are facing a lot in this camp, we are not collecting salary.
“And these children are not going to school and women keep getting pregnant. God will hold us responsible for the children that we are bringing to this world without training them,” she noted.

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