Connect with us

Featured

Minimum Wage Saga: FG Invites Labour To Meeting, Jan 4 …NLC Mobilises For Prolonged Strike …Govs Say NLC’s Stand Mischievous, Misleading

Published

on

The Federal Government has said that the Technical Committee announced by President Muhammadu Buhari to be set up on the new Minimum Wage was not to review the report of the Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee.
Besides, the government team on the new minimum wage has invited leadership of the organized labour for a meeting on Friday, January 4, 2019, to brief the workforce on the steps government was taking to ensure the implementation of a new wage.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige told our correspondent on telephone that the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami were looking through the minimum wage bill submitted by the Tripartite Committee.
According to him, “There is no bad situation, we are meeting them (labour) on the 4th, and we have sent them a letter inviting them. I will meet them with the Budget and Planning Minister on the 4th so that they will know what government is doing. “We will brief them properly.
The labour technical committee is not for them, it is not for their consumption, it is for the executive. It is an executive committee, a committee to advise the executive, we are not reviewing the minimum wage report.
“Government will look at the bill and the Attorney General office is looking at that bill and we will bring out an executive bill from it for consideration by the National Economic Council, Federal Executive Council, National Council of States before transmission to the National Assembly, that is the sequence and we will do these things in January because the National Assembly is on recess.”
On why the Minimum Wage bill was not submitted to the National Assembly before they went on recess, the minister explained, “It is going to be part of the budget, that is why the President talked about it in the budget, the entire quantum of money that would be used is captured in the 2019 budget.
“That was why the President talked about it while presenting the 2019 budget. Besides, the Office of the Accountant General is still working on their own bill, they have not finished.”
He further disclosed that people expected to attend the meeting from the government side include the Minister of Budget and National Planning as well as the Minister of Finance.
He said, “The government side is me (Ngige), the Budget and Finance Ministers. Labour has been invited. We sent their invitation about three days ago.”
However, national President of the United Labour Congress, ULC, one of the three labour centers in the country,
Comrade Joe Ajaero, told our correspondent that any meeting by government now was just to buy time, stressing that what was needed presently was for President Muhammadu Buhari to forward an executive bill on the N30,000 new minimum wage as recommended by the Pripartite Committee to the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has pledged commitment to workers welfare while appealing to the Federal Government to urgently transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba,made the appeal in a New Year message yesterday in Abuja.
According to him, 2018 remains one of the most traumatic for workers especially given the failure of government to enact and implement the new national minimum wage of N30,000.
“This is in spite of the unimpeachable tripartite process leading to the agreement by the social partners on the new national minimum wage.
“It is unfortunate that the Federal Government is yet to transmit to the National Assembly an executive bill for the enactment of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
“Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue has strained Government-Labour relations with a potential for a major national strike which could just be days away.
“Accordingly, we would use this opportunity to appeal to the Government to do the needful by urgently transmitting the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.
“We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilise for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right,” he said.
The NLC president said the strike became the inevitable last option for labour, while calling on all Nigerians and businesses to understand and support it.
He, however, assured workers that their labour, patience and diligence would not be in vain.
Mr Wabba said the NLC leadership remained committed to giving all that it takes to ensure that workers get just and fair wages in a decent work environment appropriate to their well-being.
He added that the leadership was similarly committed to ensuring there is social protection for workers.
“The new year presents great opportunities for workers, pensioners, civil society allies and their friends and families to put their numbers to good use.
“This is by voting out, not on the basis of tribe or religion but purely policy, any candidate that cannot serve their interest.
“In the year that is ahead of us, the NLC remains unequivocally committed to the national and workers’ goals which include the campaign for industrialisation, against selective enforcement of ‘No Work..No Pay policy of government, among others.
“We will work assiduously to promote and advocate for the removal of all barriers to industrialisation, growth and productivity. We should be able to build a country where we produce what we consume.
“We cannot continue to export precious jobs away to other countries through successive poor policy choices of government and expect to change our unfortunate status as the poverty capital of the world,” he said.
The labour leader also described the use of the “No Work… No Pay” policy by government as aimed at hounding and victimising workers.
Mr Wabba said the NLC would continue to resist such unjust, draconian and insensitive policy and insist that workers’ salaries, pension and gratuity be paid.
“In furtherance to this, the Nigeria Labour Congress will intensify the struggle for regular, predictable and appropriate payment of salaries, pension and gratuity.
“We will continue to insist on accountability. The NLC will continue to promote worker-education and mobilisation through Congress education programmes and other union training programmes.
“These activities will be religiously held with the objective of positive impact on workers.
“Therefore, we urge government at all levels to consider workers as assets and partners in development rather than liabilities,” he said.
He stressed that the NLC would continue to insist that the elections are clean and that the congress focus was particularly trained on the 2019 general election.
Mr Wabba also said the NLC would continue to demand that both the election umpire and political actors play by the rules of the game.
“This is by shunning violence, election malpractices, vote buying, and manipulation of election rules and politics of bitterness.
“We will also deepen our campaign for good governance and fight against corruption in the same manner that we sustained the campaign for tax justice and illicit financial flows.
In a reaction to NLC demands, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) last Monday described as mischievous the insinuations by Peter Eson, the Secretary General, Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), that they do not want to pay the N30,000 minimum wage as prescribed by NLC.
Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, Head, Media and Public Affairs, in a statement, noted that the statement which was published in a section of the media, is not only mischievous, but misleading and in bad faith.
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) wishes to make it categorically clear that the Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC, through an interview granted by its Secretary General, Peter Eson, that governors are refusing to pay the N30,000 national minimum wage as demanded by NLC, which was reported in your paper (The Punch), Monday, December 31, 2018, is not only mischievous, but misleading and in bad faith.
“The report “Minimum Wage: NLC wants governors who diverted bailouts probed” is a needless attempt by the leadership of Labor to steer the public away from the promise by President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute another committee to review the minimum wage gridlock.
“Governors have collectively made it abundantly clear that they would have been happy to pay workers the N30.000 but times are hard and because of financial constraints and other limitations, many states cannot afford it, for now.
“The NGF had offered workers a token increment to the sum of N22.500 from the current N18000 after the submission of the report of the Tripartite Committee set up by the President and headed by a retired Head of Service Ms. Amma Pepple on October 6th.
“The N22.500 was arrived at, after extensive deliberations among all 36 governors, outlining their financial capacities and liquidity, considering the economic situation of the country and the states’ other obligations to the majority of the people of their various domains.
Governors also emphasized that N22,500 is a “baseline threshold”, meaning that any governor who can pay more than N22,500 is therefore free to go ahead and do so.
“Let it be known that governors have met the President twice on this matter and presented their books to buttress their point. First, a batch of state governors, led by the NGF Chairman, Governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar of Zamfara State, in company of Govs Ambode of Lagos, Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Bagudu of Kebbi attended a closed door meeting with the President where the financial standing of six states, one each from all the geo-political regions in the country, were shown to the President, after which, on Mr. President’s request, all the states forwarded their books, their revenues, both internally generated and their earnings from the Federation Account along with their other sources of revenue, for examination. The president appears satisfied with the governors’ position, thus the decision to set up a new committee.
“It is important to add that there has never been a time in this country, when states have embarked on a more aggressive revenue drive than they are doing today. And this is without exception or prejudice to any state.
“To put the records straight, governors are not under any obligation, by law, to show their books to the NLC. But they have, in their pursuit of the understanding of the union, done so, not once, but several times over, with a view to letting NLC know that what they are asking for is neither realistic nor sustainable. Yet, NLC remains adamant that its will must be done, or the heavens will fall.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Featured

Catholic Bishops Vow To Work For Credible Polls In 2023

Published

on

Bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja have pledged to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure free, credible and transparent general elections in 2023.
The commitment is contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Abuja and Very Rev. Fr. Sam Tumba, after the 3rd General assembly of the Archdiocese.
In the communique issued on Saturday in Abuja, the bishops enjoined Parishes, families, Church societies and groups to dedicate special moments to pray for a hitch-free election.
“We call on Catholics and indeed all Nigerian citizens to be consciously and actively involved in the electoral processes at all levels.
“Voter registration, collection of Permanent Voters Card, casting votes on election days with a firm and clear conscience to elect credible leaders who will bring about the true dividends of democracy”, they said.
The bishops commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Electoral Act into law to enhance the sanctity of the electoral process.
“We task the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure political fairness and transparency, to consolidate the trust reposed in them by Nigerians.
“Parishes and Catholic institutions within our Archdiocese are encouraged to arrange and organize voter awareness programmes, seminars and workshops guided by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission, to better equip our people for greater political responsibility.
“We remain open and willing to collaborate with relevant government agencies, electoral bodies and security operatives to ensure peaceful and credible election processes in the coming year,” the communique added.
The bishops cautioned politicians not to regard the election as a ‘do or die’ affair, adding that they must also refrain from money politics, manipulative and divisive practices along ethnic, social and religious lines to win elections.
“Even though we decry the hard economic situations in the nation, we strongly discourage all Catholics and especially our youths from lending themselves as easy recruits for political thuggery and other criminal activities to enthrone selfish and incompetent aspirants into electoral offices.
“We discourage and condemn any form of vote buying or selling and other electoral malpractices during the elections,” the bishops said.
The bishops advised catholic politicians from all political parties within the Archdiocese to participate in Church activities, so as to be better known by the faithful.
They called on all people of goodwill to cooperate with security agencies to root out criminal elements within communities.
The bishops, however, urged security agents to remain professional in discharging their duties and resist any attempt to be used to intimidate the people by corrupt politicians.
The communique called on Catholics across the country to match work with prayer, for peaceful electioneering process.
They called for sustained prayers for the country, adding: “Nigerians should take courage and be of ardent hope, for the storms will soon be over.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Featured

Take 2023 Elections Seriously, Wike Tasks Rivers People

Published

on

The Rivers State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged Nigerians to take the upcoming 2023 General Election seriously by securing their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and using it wisely and prayerfully.
Wike stated this during the Inter-Denominational Church Service in commemoration of the 62nd Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria, at St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Diobu in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said he believes God would use the 2023 elections to grant the pleas of Nigerians for a rebirth of a new nation.
“Nigeria must rise again, it must fulfil its divine purpose for which God has put it together, Nigeria has a prophetic agenda, whether the devil likes it or not. We must have the confidence that our votes will count and that we will use our votes to bring in the leaders after the heart of God”, the governor said.
Wike said under his watch, the state government has been resolute and consistent in providing the dividends of democracy to the people living and doing business in the state.
“We have seen it, in the massive improvement in security.We have seen it in social and physical infrastructure.What will you say, when public tertiary institutions have been on strike for the past seven months, and some of the students are being killed, some are roaming about, some are going into crime, while others are abusing drugs and going mental, but in Rivers State, all the state institutions are functioning none-stop, and salaries are paid as at when due and lecturers are teaching the way they should”, Wike further stressed.
The state chief executive expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for the 62nd Independence anniversary of the country and for keeping the nation as one in spite of all the security and economic challenges, adding that “God in His infinite mercy has kept us together as a people, what seems impossible with men, is possible with God”.
In his sermon drawn from Matthew Chapter 7: 7-12, Bishop Diocese of Niger Delta North,St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, said “if Nigeria must go forward, we must obey the golden rule”.
He said,”We must not give up on Nigeria; no matter the challenges, God would make the nation great again, but it behooves on us to pray and do the right things at all times”.
A schedule of activities released by the state government shows that on Friday, September 30, 2022, a Jumma’at Prayer would be held at the JIBWIS Directorate Headquarters, Central Mosque, 36 Bonny Street, Port Harcourt Township, at 1:00pm.
According to the programme, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Bureau, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Sir George Nwaeke, the grand finale would hold on Saturday, October 1, 2022, with a parade ceremony/march-past at Sharks Football Stadium, Port Harcourt by 10:00am.
The statement said that the state Governor, Chief NyesomWike, would preside over the activities at the grand finale on Saturday.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Featured

Buhari Launches INFF In New York

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of his administration to the achievement of inclusive, broad-based and sustainable development.
The President spoke while delivering his keynote address at strategic High Level Event held on the sidelines of the 77th session of United Nations General Assembly in New York to launch Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) for Sustainable Development.
The President noted that Nigeria adopted the INFF as a tool to improve the financing of SDGs without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals; and the United Nation Development Programme for working together to develop Nigeria’s INFF in a process which started in 2020.
“Today’s event marks the end of a long process which began in 2020, when the Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework were inaugurated.
“The Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) has been developed to map out a much-needed sustainable financing plan for Nigeria to deliver on our commitment to the SDGs and our National Development aspirations,” the President said.
He further noted that as part of its commitment to sustainable and inclusive development, his administration aligned its 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP); the 2020 Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP); the 2021 National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS); and the 2021-2025 National Development Plan (NDP) with the SDGs.
“It is in line with this commitment and with a focus on the National Development Plan (2021-2025) that, the Federal Government of Nigeria, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has adopted the INFF as a tool to improve SDGs financing without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.
“The INFF is backed by Nigeria’s Medium-Term Revenue Strategy and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework. As Nigeria champions the INFF process, we hope to promote the strategic alignment of financial policies with sustainable development and provide the enabling conditions for domestic and international, public, and private financial actors to best respond to our national needs.
“I urge all Nigerians, the international community, and our development partners to recognize the importance of this integrated approach to financing development, as you continue to count on my leadership in its immediate implementation,” the President said.
Speaking earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs,Princess AdejokeOrelope-Adefulire, described the launch of the INFF report as a significant milestone in the commitment and efforts to achieve the SDGs in Nigeria.
She noted that the INFF is in line with Nigeria’s strategic approach to the implementation of the SDGs working at the National and Sub-national levels.
“At the National level, we work closely with the Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to integrate the SDGs into their sectorial policies and plans. At the Sub-national level, we are working closely with the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to mainstream the SDGs into their medium and long-term development policies and plans”.
She noted that her office, with the support of UNDP, has supported 16 states to develop SDG-Based Development Plans as part of Nigeria’s Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for the agenda.
The INFF report, she added, was also another feat recorded by the country in the bid to institutionalize the SDGs, noting Nigeria was the first country in the Global South to have successfully completed a country-led Independent Evaluation of SDG-3 on ‘quality health and well-being for all’ and SDG-4 on ‘qualitative and inclusive education and lifelong learning for all’.
The two reports, she said, were officially launched on the 25th of August, 2022.
The presidential adviser noted that on the 21st of December, 2021, Nigeria became the first African country to successfully realigned its National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs, hence the country will be now be able to track progress on the 230 Key Performance Indicators of the agenda on annual basis through the National Bureau of Statistics.
Orelope-Adefulire further noted that in 2019, Nigeria successfully domesticated the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Simulation Model (iSDG Model) as a home-grown analytical tool for evidence-based SDGs policymaking and planning with the report launched on the margins of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly by the President.
“The Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) Report we are about to launch today is a product of series of efforts led by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs; and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“Nigeria is now among the INFF Pilot Countries that have made significant progress by completing the design process. Indeed, this is an expression of Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
She expressed appreciation and profound gratitude to the President for accepting to launch the report as well as all the Institutional Members of the National Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s INFF for the commitment demonstrated during the design phase.
“We look forward to similar commitment during the implementation phase,” Orelope –Adefulire said while affirming the commitment of her office to continue to drive the process of achieving the SDGs in Nigeria.
“I would like to conclude by re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the successful implementation of the SDGs. We look forward to working more closely with you all in this ‘Decade of Action’ for the Global Goals, so that no ‘One is left behind’.”
In his remark, Head/Sustainable Development, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the UN, Axel Maisonneuve, said EU had also support the mobilisation of capital for an inclusive and sustainable transition, which is at the heart of an INFF, in several ways.
“For instance, we know that whilst public finance of course has a key role to play, it will not be sufficient to bridge the SDG financing gap, and private finance needs to be mobilised as well.
“In the EU, we believe in fact that sustainable finance is critical to enable private financial flows being channelled towards sustainable investments.
“The EU’s Green Deal and the Global Gateway strategies are some of the key examples of the EU efforts in this direction. Indeed, sustainable finance is part and parcel of an INFF,’’ he said.
According to him, private finance is very much part of Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework.
Maisonneuve said the INFF was designed to help the Nigerian government explore innovative financing options linking government with private sector and development partners to increase public revenue and private investments.
“Let me take this opportunity to praise Nigeria for the efforts undertaken toward the achievement of the 2030 agenda and the SDGs and for the key milestone that you have achieved.
“In September 2019, 16 countries committed to pioneer the development and implementation of INFFs, and Nigeria was among them.
“Now, Nigeria has successfully designed its INFF Strategy, and is offering a leading example for INFF progress toward a more systematic, holistic approach to achieve sustainable development objectives,’’ he said.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, and development partners.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending