The secretary to Rivers State Government, Hon Magnus Abe, has reaffirmed the state government commitment to building a better result-oriented civil service system for the state.
Abe gave the assurance at the weekend in Port Harcourt, while receiving the Report of a five-man Committee on the resolution of the industrial action recently embarked upon by the Rivers State branch of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to press for the implementation of the consolidated Judiciary Salary Structure.
He described civil servants as tools with which government would implement set goals and visions for Rivers people, pointing out that without a functional civil service system, the overall task of governance would be incapacitated.
According to him, the fight to make the Rivers State Cicil service better is a fight we will not give up on”, stressing that it was with the realisation that making the civil service better must necessarily make the civil servants happier and that part of the key to making a workforce happier was also for them to acknowledge what happiness meant by taking their jobs seriously.
He recalled that the state government had in October, 2007, set out to resolve fundamental issues bordering on payment of Christmas bonus, consolidated salary package for workers and the provision of capacity and training for staff of ministries and extra-ministerial departments to enable them deliver on their job.
Abe further pointed out that at the time the present Administration came on board, not only did government in agreement with the leadership of the Labour Union accept to pay outstanding Christmas bonuses of 2006 and 2007 together, but increased the figure and paid off every single staff of the State’s Civil Service the sum of forty thousand Naira as a “one-off thing”.
On the consolidated salary package for workers, he noted that government in consultation with labour discovered that the commitment made by the former Administration was unacceptable to the workers and that what was supposedly implemented as 15 percent eventually turned out to be 45 percent increase in every worker’s salary, bringing the total wage bill of the State to over three billion naira.
Other policy measures he outlined as being in line with nurturing a vibrant civil service included, the implementation of automated salary payment system aimed at prompt payment of workers’ salaries, observance of Due Process and proper documentation in all transactions of government business, as well as the setting up of a committee for regular payment of emoluments due workers on their retirement .
Abe who expressed disappointment that the approach used by some workers to press for their demands did not reflect the deep friendship between government and the workforce, wondered if the leadership of the workers’ Union ever communicated the decisions reached in agreement with them to other civil servants.
He however appealed to Rivers workers to take advantage of the good intentions of government for them and improve on their capacity to excel on the job while their service lasted
The Secretary to the State Government assured that government would carefully study the Committee’s Report and communicate her decisions on the recommendations to the JUSUN and the public at the appropriate time.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Autine Nwakoh, had said that apart from a total of twenty-seven documents received and examined in the course of their assignment, several meetings and consultations were held with stakeholders in the Judiciary, both in and outside the State.
Other members of the Committee were, the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Dame Mina Benebo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. George Nwaeke, Permanent Secretary, Establishments, Training and Pensions Bureau, Mr. Gift Chima Ake and Director (Administration) Office of the Secretary to the State Governn1ent, Sir Augustus Fubara.
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
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