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Assembly Holds Public Hearing On Pension Bill

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Rivers State House of Assembly, at the weekend, held a public hearing to reform the pension law of the state, as it assured pensioners that henceforth they will start enjoying their retirement benefits as at when due.
This follows the presentation of an executive bill tagged Rivers State Pension Reform bill 2019(HA23) to the House penultimate week.
Speaker of the Assembly Rt Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani in his remarks  urged the pensioners to have hope in the government insisting that the Rivers State House is duty bound to synergize with the executive to better the lives of the people, noting that one of the defects that the bill seeks to address is to make it possible for pensioners to access their pensions even when the government has not contributed theirs.
Chairman of the Committee on SSG, Head of Service and Pension, Hon. Benibo Anabraba described the bill as a good one that will better the lives of pensioners in the state and expressed the commitment of the House to making laws for the good of Rivers people and those resident in the state.
Also speaking, Rivers State Commissioner for Justice and  Attorney General, Barrister Zachaeus  Adango said with the new law in place Government would no longer bear total responsibility of funding pensions.
“Under the former scheme government was solely responsible for funding pension, but under this scheme that responsibility  is shared between government and the employees, so you must be prepared to commit your monthly emolument towards saving for your pension,” he said .
The Attorney General posited that retirees  would only  have to earn according to the level of their contribution and the return on their investment.
On her part,  Chairperson of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Beatrice Itubo in her statement described the bill as a good one,  lamented the failure of government  to contribute their own part of the pension which according to her constitute a major challenge in the scheme
“But what we have seen is that our leaders have not gotten the political will to implement their own part of the bargain,” Itubo stated.
She also solicited for the implementation of the accrued pension right for civil servants to make it possible for civil servants who were not in the contributory pension arrangement to at least benefit something upon retirement
Also a member of the Association of Civil Servants in the state, Comrade Sam Chikwere who disclosed that over N70bn is being owed pensioners in the state and urged the government to scrap the entire contributory pension scheme
He said, “because there is no sincerity on the part of government, government lacks the capacity to manage this pension we are saying that the scheme should be scrapped forthwith
A representative of the national pension commission Murtala Mohammed Modibo said the national pension commission which regulates pension matters in the country has  established an institutional framework to ensure a sound and sustainable   pension industry in the country, noting that the commission has engaged states in the country in guiding them in the implementation of pensions operations while adding that since government can no longer fund pensions alone, certain amounts should be deducted at source from the salaries of civil servants for pension. He also lamented the lack of commitment on the part of government towards implementation of the pension law

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CAN Accuses El-Rufai Of Hidden Agenda

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The Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused Governor Nasir El-Rufai of engaging in politics with civil servants and residents of the state.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the state chairman of CAN, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, in the aftermath of the pronouncement of a four-day work week by the governor.
El-Rufai had said the state government would begin implementing the transitional arrangement in the public service starting from December 1, 2021.
However, the CAN Chairman urged caution, stating that the citizens of the state had been subjected to pains by this government through some of its unpopular policies.
He advised civil servants in the state not to celebrate the policy yet until they were convinced that there was no hidden agenda behind it.
“Workers must be sure that the policy is not aimed at reducing their salaries.
“They must be convinced that the government will not wake up one day with another shocking news of salary reduction since the five working days have been reduced to four.”
“How can a state that is not secured talk about giving workers time for agriculture and be with family when bandits move about freely, terrorising people in their homes, on the farms, and on the highways!
“How can one spend time with family when you have nothing to feed them or provide for their basic needs?” he said.

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Meagre Allocation Stalls Adamawa LG Polls

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The Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC) has postponed the December 4 local government council polls indefinitely due to  lack of funds.
ADSIEC Information Officer, Innocent Daniel, said on Monday that the commission was awaiting funds from the government to conduct a free, fair and transparent election.
“Among the major challenges that led to the postponement of the election was the meagre allocation to the commission in the state’s 2021 budget.
“The allocation is too meagre for the commission to organise and conduct the election.
“Also, the re-usable election materials such as ballot boxes, duty vests, bags and kits were completely vandalised during the #Endsars protest,” he said.
The Information officer said that the commission was also faced with the problem of handling the new polling units that were converted from voting points by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said that the conversion had raised the polling units in the state from 2,609 to 4,104.
“This development will lead to an increase in facilities and ad hoc staff. The ongoing registration of new voters will also have a resultant increase in ballot paper requirements.
“It is in this regard that the preparations for the local government council election for December 4, is hereby suspended to give the government time to source for funds,” Mr Daniel said.

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2023: Northern Youths Urge Old Politicians To Steer Clear

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Politicians above 60 years of age have been urged to stay away from the presidential race come 2023.
The appeal was made by the leadership of the Concerned Northern Youth Forum (CNYF) in Kaduna yesterday.
They argued that in developed nations, people of that age and experience were mostly engaged in charitable activities, free consultancy services and other forms of selfless services.
The spokesman of the group, Comrade Abdulsalam Moh’d Kazeem, called on youths to take advantage of the “not too young to rule”  to participate actively in the political arena.
Also, a north-based group has tasked Nigerian youths to join politics to free the country of bad governance.
Coordinator of the group, National Youth Movement for Good Governance, Nasiru Aliyu, who disclosed this at a news briefing in Kaduna, said Nigeria requires young hands that can work assiduously to address its developmental challenges.
Meanwhile, some stakeholders in the North Central zone and bigwigs of the PDP in the region, have thrown their weight behind the candidature of Bukola Saraki in the 2023 presidency.
The group, led by Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, stated this on Monday during the advocacy committee meeting for Saraki with party members and delegations from across the zone at the Nasarawa State party secretariat in Lafia.
An associate of Saraki, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, urged the party to consider Saraki as its presidential candidate for 2023 to salvage the country from total collapse.
Also, the campaign team of a former presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Monday met with the party’s officials and stakeholders from the three senatorial districts of Benue State over the 2023 general elections.
The leader of the team, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, said they were in Benue as forerunners of Atiku to consult with the elders of the PDP in the state and ask them for support for their principal who will be contesting the presidential poll in 2023.
Similarly, a support group, Tinubu Legacy Forum (TLF), has said the national leader of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is not too old to contest the presidency.
While 69-year-old Tinubu has not formally declared his presidential interest, his recent visitations and series of support groups, rooting for him, show his interest in contesting the 2023 presidency, probably under the APC.
Addressing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the Coordinator, TLF, FCT Chapter, Barrister Abdullahi Awwal Muhammad, said Tinubu was not too old to contest for the presidency.
In Lagos, a Yoruba group yesterday endorsed the former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha as the next president. The group, under the aegis of Oduduwa Sons and Daughters for Equity and Justice, declared that the Yoruba people have decided to support a South-Easterner as successor to President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

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