The Lagos State Government said it has no intention of implementing the improved Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) this year.
The statement which was disclosed to newsmen in Lagos by the Special Adviser to the Governor in Education, Elijah Odewale, came on the heels of the strike embarked by public school teachers in Lagos State.
Elijah said the government will not do anything in line with the teachers’ agitation until the 2010 budget is passed.
He said it is wrong in the first place for public school teachers to embark on strike without finishing negotiation with the state.
It would be recalled that the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), and other states embarked on an indefinite strike to press for the implementation of the new Teachers’ Salary Structure (TSS).
Chinese investors have made commitments to establish industries that will commence operations in Ogun State by the end of this year.
To this end no fewer than 57 of them have signed a pact with the state government to set up their firms at the state-owned industrial park along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The investments are a fallout of the state Governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel recent tour to some Chinese cities, during which a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the companies and their partners were endorsed by the governor as part of the new economic focus for the state.
Some of the cities visited include Taiwan, Sumjian, Chang, Shanghai and Zhejiang.
In July, a 70-man delegation from the Province of Zhejiang visited the state and had indicated interest to invest in Ogun.
Some of the proposed firms will be involved in the production of goods and services, oil and gas and construction, and also assist in the development of roads, power, agriculture, textile and timber.
Another visit by Daniel to Hangmin Group, a village like cooperative cluster of business and industries with multi-million dollar annual turnover with interest in textile, agriculture and real estate development, has also facilitated an investment of another set of companies.
The state government also offered free land to companies that accepted to come into the state with the governor saying that the industrial park will be partnered after trade mart, which is regarded as the largest global commodities market in the world with 129,600 shops.
To prepare ground for the expected economic turn around of the state, the government has also embarked on provision of other infrastructure, among them is the Olokola free trade zone and the cargo airport projects.
Three industrial unions in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, have appealed to former President Olusegun Obasanjo to intervene in the ongoing dispute between Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government.
The unions are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), The National Associationof Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).
In a letter joint issued by the Chairman of SSANU, Mr Alfa Gimba, NAAT Mr Jerry Bale and NASU, Mallam Abdullahi Sham in Zaria, the union called on the former president to mediate in the ongoing dispute in the university system. “Baba, you will recall that in April 2006 your administration empowered the negotiation team headed by Deacon Gamaliel Owosode as chairman. The union have been negotiating for the past three years, but no result, hence the need for your quick intervention to save the university system from collapse, the letter said.
It described as contentious the 65 year retirement age and the issue of staff welfare, adding that while an agreement had been reached on salary increase, the government opted for arbitrary awards.
It will be recalled that workers in the university system have been on strike over improved working conditions.
The government has agreed to pay a 40 percent salary increase to university lecturers and 20 percent to other workers in the system but the unions have rejected the offer.
Kwara State Commissioner For Information and Communications, Mr Ben Diutoye has commended the Governor Dr Bukola Saraki for taking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to greater height and introduced a breath of fresh air into the hitherto moribund forum.
Saraki is Chairman of NGF an association established to encourage fair competition and peer-review among the governors. The organisation has since the tenure of the governor adopted some refreshingly new and exciting features, including the establishment of a functional secretariat and more pro-active programmes.
“We have a better organised NGF now which is active with a visible secretariat. The secretariat has professional hands that advise and give support to the forum. NGF has been used to promote greater relationship between the federal and states governments. There is therefore a better inter-governmental relationship, just as the U.S. Governors Association often give technical support to members,” Diutoye said.
On the succession plan for the governor who would complete his two terms in May 2011, Diutoye said Saraki had delivered good governance to Kwara people and wishes the people would be included to supporting some one who would continue the governor’s legacies.
The State Security Service (SSS), has foiled an alleged plot by three university undergraduates to kidnap the Minister of Education, Dr Sam Egwu and his labour and productivity counterpart, Adetukumbo Kayode.
The suspects are said to be undergraduates at the University of Abuja, while a fourth suspect is described as dubious businessman.
Parading the suspects the SSS spokesperson, Meriline Okah said the suspects were planning to use the ongoing strike by university lecturers as an excuse to carry out the plot.
She also said, in the alleged plot the Minister of Education and his labour and productivity counterpart would have paid N300 million ransome and the Minister of Education made to sign the controversial agreement to end the ASUU strike.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), hinted that it has concluded plans to train 154,800 emergency volunteers across the federation. Besides it said it has approached Universities in the country to include Masters Degree on Emergency Management in their courses.
The North Central Zonal Co-ordinator spoke at a press briefing, marking the Agency’s 10th anniversary, in Jos.
According to Mr. Alhassan D. Aliyu, North Central Zonal Co-ordinator at least 200 emergency volunteers will be trained in each of the 774 local councils in the federation. Represented by the Assistant Zonal Co-ordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Abdulsalam, the zonal coordinator explained that three Universities among the number approached have accepted to introduce Disaster Management Studies.
According to him, many Universities in developed countries were running the course that attention has been focused on risk reduction.
stated that the Agency will in future extend training programmes to primary schools to teach pupils on safety measures.
He told his audience that disaster response activities were not solely the work of experts and emergency “responders”, but also government disaster management organisations, local volunteer organisations, business organisations and citizens. He emphasised that they have active roles to play in disaster management, while lamenting the poor level of disaster awareness among Nigerians.
He pointed out that the zone witnessed about 15 major disasters between January to September 2009, listing them to include those of Niger state flood and River Asa flood disaster, Kwara State, adding that 6,800 were displaced. While two persons were killed.
Consequently, the NEMA chieftain urged stakeholders to cooperate with the Agency to reduce disasters to minimum in the country.
Disturbed by the shortage of buses to convey women only as required by the sharia legal system, Zamfara State government has awarded a contract worth N100m for the procurement of 200 new buses, which would be used by women as means of transportation within and outside the state.
Making this known in Gusau, while fielding questions from newsmen, the state commissioner for Religious Affairs, Malam Tukur Sani Jangebe, said the measure is aimed at preventing women from mixing with men or climbing okada to various locations in the state.
He said government is totally committed to the implementation of the sharia legal code across the state.
Jangebe said the contract was given to a local firm in order to ensure that the vehicles were delivered in good time and based on contract specification.
He said the buses reduce the hardships by women travellers and commuters who “do not feel men while on transit.”
The commissioner said when fully functional, the women-only transport system will ensure that Muslim women who violate the system are arraigned before any of the sharia court in the state.
He said the law banning women from using okada as passed by the State House Assembly has not been repealed. He therefore asked security operatives to Hsbah board in order to ensure that offenders are apprehended.
Jangebe further disclosed that the state government has also awarded contract worth N500 million for the construction of a befitting permanent headquarters of the Religious Affairs Ministry and the state Pilgrim Welfare Agency.
Nigerians have been advised to shun selfishness and sentiments in order to realise the “noble” objectives of the 1999 constitution, Senator Abubakar Halilu Girei has advised.
Girei, who gave the advise in Yola at the weekend, while reacting to calls for a regional constitution by a newly formed group, “change Nigeria”, headed by retired generals, said the 1999 constitution was been made to look inadequate because, the Nigerian politicians have not adopted the right attitude and spirit envisaged by the drafters of the document.
He said the perception that the 1999 constitution was deficient was actually a reflection of the indiscipline in the society, as the constitution has not been fully put to test for a reasonable period of time, for any group to term it unworkable.
Girei, who is currently Monitor General of Course 35, Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS) Kuru, Plateau State, said it was condemnable for some retired generals to group themselves into an organisation, called “Change Nigeria”, stressing that the group’s statement was inciting and should be condemned.
He said the sovereign National Conference and other true federalism sloganeering was not only a sabotage, but potent danger to national security of the country, as such statements were capable of encouraging intransigent militants, who were now on the verge of negotiating a peaceful end to Niger Delta crisis with the federal government.
Girei said Nigerian political leaders should eschew the differences that were capable of drawing the country back to the era of regional and ethnic empires as most Nigerians wee resolved and marching towards being one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.
Lagos Orders Closure Of Ladipo Spareparts Market
The Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has ordered immediate closure of Ladipo Market, Mushin, for several environmental offences ranging from reckless waste disposal, unhygienic premises, and non-payment of waste bills, among others.
Wahab said that the market would remain closed until the mandatory conditions of redress were met by traders and market stakeholders, adding that it was part of ongoing efforts at instilling compliance in markets around the state.
Wahab, while speaking on the development, underscored the critical importance of environmental hygiene in markets.
He said: “It is imperative that markets in the state adhere strictly to environmental laws and regulations put in place for the well-being of residents.
“The closure of Ladipo Market serves as a stern reminder that no entity, regardless of its size or influence, is above the law.”
He stated that the state government was fully committed to collaborating with market stakeholders, to facilitate necessary adjustments and improvements, to enable them meet required environmental standards, adding that the market would not be reopened for business until set standards were met.
The commissioner said, “Ladipo Market, a prominent hub for automotive spare parts and related services, has been a focal point for environmental concerns due to various activities that contravene established regulations. LAWMA’s intervention is a significant step towards rectifying these issues and bringing the market to compliance.”
In his reaction, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. MuyiwaGbadegesin, said that the closure was expected to allow for a thorough assessment of the environmental impact of the market’s activities and the implementation of necessary remedial measures, serving as a clear signal that LAWMA would not hesitate to take decisive actions, where and when environmental laws were flouted.
“As Lagos State continues to grow and develop, it is imperative that economic activities are conducted in a manner that is sustainable and environmentally responsible.”
“LAWMA’s recent actions demonstrate the authority’s commitment to this cause. The offensive against environmental infractions will continue till sanity is restored in our markets, while the next stop will be illegal markets,” he stressed.
The closure of Ladipo Market follows a similar action taken against Oyingbo, Alayabiagba, Oke-odo markets, and some sections of Tejuosho Market, for serial infractions.
The decision to shut down those markets underscored the state government’s unwavering commitment to the restoration of environmental sanity in the state.
Tinubu, Sultan Beg NLC, TUC To Shelve Strike
President Bola Tinubu and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, have appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned strike over the removal of fuel subsidy.
The organised labour had fixed Tuesday, October 3, for the commencement of an indefinite strike over fuel subsidy removal.
However, speaking during the public lecture and special Juma’at prayer to mark the 63rd independence anniversary of the country at the National Mosque, Abuja, on Friday, Tinubu appealed to the workers not to embark on the strike.
Represented by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Jibrin Barau, the President reiterated the commitment of his administration to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
This was contained in a statement by the media aide to the Deputy Senate President, Ismail Mudashir.
The statement said, “The Sultan has talked about the issue of strike by the NLC. I also call, on behalf of His Excellency, the President, and the entire government, on the labour leaders to shelve the strike.
“Let’s dialogue, let’s sit together, let’s understand ourselves, and let’s look at the prevailing situation in the country. How do we meet this country, the challenges ahead and the current challenges? It is through dialogue that we can solve our problems collectively.”
While stating that the government was new and working hard to bring succour to Nigerians,” Tinubu added, “It (Federal Government) has set aside N500bn and other packages are being unveiled to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal. Therefore, we need to support and pray for the government.”
Earlier, the Sultan had appealed to organised labour to give the Federal Government another chance.
He said, “For God’s sake, for Allah’s sake, anybody planning to go on strike should please give the government another chance. Please, rethink and give the government another chance.”
The Sultan, who said he had been involved in the negotiation of the labour leaders and the government since 2007, said if the NLC and TUC embarked on the strike, it would do more harm than good.
Police Conniving With Land Grabbers, Ogun Assembly Alleges
The Ogun State House of Assembly has accused the police of alleged connivance with land grabbers in the state.
The assembly called on the Inspector General of Police, KayodeEgbetokun, to look into the alleged illegal arrest and detention of innocent Ogun residents on trumped-up charges by the police in connivance with some suspected land grabbers in the State.
The Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, made the appeal at Tuesday’s plenary when other lawmakers took turns reporting rampant cases of land-grabbing in their constituencies.
The discussion took place when members were contributing to a debate on the second reading of the State Anti-land Grabbing (amendment) bill.
According to the Speaker, hundreds of innocent residents of Ogun are languishing in the various police cells, both at Alagbon in Lagos and the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
This, the Speaker said, was “due to the connivance of land grabbers with some security agents against innocent members of the public.”
Oluomo pleaded with IGP Egbetokun to wade into the matter so as to ensure that innocent Ogun residents are not made to suffer on account of trumped-up charges.
Oluomo advised that any land-related matters should be charged to court, while promising that the new amendment would ensure the constitution of a task force by the state government to handle land matters.
In their various submissions, the lawmakers stressed that the activities of the land grabbers had been affecting the peace, progress, and development of the state, hence the need to take a holistic approach towards addressing the menace.
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