Some protesters yesterday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly to express their displeasure over the killing of Nigerians in South Africa.
Our correspondent reports that the protesters stormed the gate of the assembly at about 6p.m.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions: “Stop the killing of innocent Nigerians in South Africa;” “MTN Nigeria, DSTV, Shoprite will not operate until the killings are stopped,” etc.
Our correspondent reports that the violence gathered momentum on Sunday when a protest march against drug dealing by local residents at the centre of Johannesburg was blamed on immigrants and later degenerated into violence, with shops being attacked and looted.
The violence spread to the nearby city of Pretoria, where mobs attacked immigrant traders, workers and shopkeepers on Monday.
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, condemned the violence yesterday and promised to discuss with ministers having responsibility for security.
The leader of the Lagos Assembly protesters, Allwell Ademola, said they had visited the Assembly to express their grievances over the “gruesome killings of innocent Nigerians in South Africa.”
Ademola, a popular Yoruba actress, urged the House of Assembly to come to the aid of Nigerians living in South Africa by stopping the killings.
While addressing the protesters, Mr Rotimi Olowo, representing Shomolu Constituency I, urged the protesters not to engage in destroying property owned by South Africans in Nigeria.
“We have thousands of Nigerians working in DSTV, MTN and some other South Africa companies, so if you destroy their property, it will surely affect the livelihoods of these Nigerians working for them.
“Let us follow due process in resolving this issue because we cannot use violence to resolve violence,” he said.
On his part, Mr. Temitope Adewale, representing Ifako Ijaye I, appealed to the protesters not to take laws into their hands, promising that the House would take urgent steps on the issue.
Customs Exceeds Revenue Target, Generates N343bn
The Acting Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Adewale Adeniyi, says the service has exceeded the revenue target for the months of July and August.
Adeniyi, who spoke while presenting the scorecard for his 100 days in office in Abuja, yesterday, said that the NCS generated N307 billion in July and N343 billion in August
“One of our early achievements has been a remarkable boost in monthly revenue collection.
“We have witnessed a substantial increase, with an average monthly collection of 202 billion in the first half of the year that concluded in June, surging to an impressive 343 billion in August.
“This outstanding growth amounts to a remarkable 70.13 per cent increase in revenue collection.
“I am delighted to announce that we have consistently exceeded the monthly target collection, marking a remarkable departure from previous performances,” he said.
He said that the ongoing revenue recovery review activities hadly contributed an additional eight billion Naira during the period.
“This underlines our commitment to revenue generation. Subject to unforeseen circumstances, our aim is to sustain and even expand this momentum until the end of the year.
“This commitment is driven by our resolve to minimise the deviation from the target, especially in light of the substantial shortfalls recorded during the first half of the year,” Adeniyi said.
He said that the NCS had recorded appreciable results in its ongoing battle against smuggling.
“We have successfully intercepted various contraband items, including arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, substandard pharmaceuticals and other prohibited goods that pose grave risks to our citizens.
“These seizures accompanied by the apprehension of 62 suspects undergoing legal procedures, underscore our commitment to tackling smuggling and safeguarding our communities.
“ Notably, a significant surge in impactful seizures, especially involving arms, ammunition, and drugs, has occurred in the past two months, reinforcing our resolve to combat these illegal activities,” he said.
He said that NCS had forged stronger alliances and fostered an environment of trust and cooperation among stakeholders in the public and private sectors., as well as international partners.
The acting CG said that NCS was at the verge of introducing multiple cutting-edge solutions to support the enforcement strategies, starting with the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that seeks to put vehicle smugglers out of business for good.
“As we reflect on the achievements of the first 100 days in office and the journey we have embarked upon, it is essential to look ahead with a clear vision for the future.
“The next phase builds upon the foundation we have laid, and it is characterised by unwavering dedication to our policy thrust of consolidation, collaboration, and innovative solutions.
“ Looking forward, we envision a service that is not only the most efficient and service-driven government organ but also a pivotal driver of national economic growth and border security.
“ There are also challenges we face but we are working hard to overcome it and get a better result,” he said.
According to him, the NCS plays a pivotal role in facilitating international trade and economic growth and equally serves as a bridge connecting the nation to the global marketplace.
He expressed commitment to aligning with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda on economic growth and development.
Trump Boycotts Republican Primary Debate
Seven US presidential hopeful tussled over immigration, China and the economy on Wednesday at the second Republican primary debate, but saved some of their most strident remarks to slam frontrunner Donald Trump for spurning the showdown.
The former president, who is battling multiple criminal cases, has decided to skip the debates and instead met auto industry workers in the battleground state of Michigan.
Trump’s no-show prompted former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the ex-president’s biggest antagonist among the candidates, to accuse the 77-year-old tycoon of hiding “behind the walls of his golf clubs.”
“You’re ducking these things, and let me tell you what’s going to happen. You keep doing that, no one up here is gonna call you Donald Trump anymore. We’re gonna call you a Donald Duck,” he said, earning boos for the zinger.
Christie was facing off against Trump’s chief rival, Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, as well as political newcomer, Vivek Ramaswamy, former UN ambassador, Nikki Haley and Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence.
South Carolina Senator, Tim Scott and North Dakota Governor, Doug Burgum, rounded out the field for the clash at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California, moderated by Fox Business and Univision.
More than 2,000 miles (3,000 kilometers) away in Michigan, Trump was attempting to boost his blue-collar credentials and attack the pro-worker reputation cultivated by President Joe Biden, who visited striking union members in the state on Tuesday.
“Joe Biden claims to be the most pro-union president in history. Nonsense. Think of it. His entire career has been an act of economic treason and union destruction,” Trump said in a speech at a non-union factory.
Underscoring the importance of union workers as a voting bloc, the first question of the debate was about handling the strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, now in its second week.
While Ramaswamy voiced sympathy with the workers, Scott made clear his priority was immigration rather than the labour dispute.
“Joe Biden should not be on the picket line. He should be on the southern border, working to close our southern border, because it is unsafe, wide open and insecure,” Scott said.
Trump’s legal troubles have done little to dent his lead, with 59 percent of Republican primary voters in a new NBC News poll making him their top choice, with DeSantis a distant runner-up at 16 percent.c
Despite being the leading candidate onstage, DeSantis wasn’t asked a question in the first 16 minutes. When he did get his turn, he took his own swipe at the frontrunner for not showing up.
“Donald Trump is missing in action. He should be on this stage tonight,” DeSantis said.
“He owes it to you, to defend his record, where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt that set the stage for the inflation that we have”, he added.
Christie criticized the former president’s record on controlling immigration, an issue central to the current deadlock over government funding paralyzing Congress and threatening to shut down the government.
Despite a fractious debate, with the candidates regularly shouting over one another, the presidential hopefuls agreed on much. But there was genuine division over the war in Ukraine, with Christie, Scott and Pence defending US support for Kyiv, in contrast with skepticism from DeSantis and Ramaswamy.
There were several questions about the growing challenge from Beijing, and Ramaswamy defended his attendance at an event hosted by Chinese-owned video app TikTok, which is banned on US government devices, by saying he was reaching out to young people.
“Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say,” Haley told the entrepreneur.
The Biden campaign offered a withering perspective on the policy proposals aired over the two-hour scuffle, especially on border control.
“Not one person on that stage is serious about enacting meaningful immigration reform, and it shows,” spokesman Kevin Munoz said in a statement.
Subsidy Removal: You Can’t Go On Strike, FG Tells NLC, TUC
The Federal Government has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their plan to embark on a nationwide indefinite strike action on October 3.
The government maintained that the proposed industrial action by the labour unions would amount to a gross violation of a subsisting court injunction.
It stressed that issues bordering on fuel subsidy removal, which informed the decision of the NLC and the TUC to declare the strike action, are already pending before the National Industrial Court (NIC).
According to the Federal Government, it was due to the willingness of the unions to enter into a negotiation over the issue that it was persuaded to withdraw a contempt proceeding that it initially instituted against them.
Therefore, the government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), wrote to the head of the legal team of the two unions, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), urging him to persuade his clients to abort the planned strike action.
The letter, dated September 26 read: “The attention of the Ministry has been drawn to media reports on the proposed nationwide strike action by the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, scheduled to commence on 3rd October 2023.
“You are kindly invited to recall the antecedence of previous steps/actions on this matter, particularly the exchange of correspondence between this office and your firm, before and after the nationwide ‘action/protest’ declared by the NLC on 2nd August 2023.
“Whilst your clients had maintained that the nationwide protest by NLC is in furtherance of its constitutional right to embark on protests, the Ministry has repeatedly advised on the need to advise your clients to refrain from resorting to self-help and taking actions capable of undermining subsisting orders of a court of competent jurisdiction.
“It is also to be recalled that based on the conduct of the said nationwide action/protest, this Office instituted contempt proceedings against the labour leaders.
“However, upon the intervention of the President and National Assembly, coupled with the decision of the labour unions to discontinue their action/protest, the contempt proceedings were not prosecuted further.
“This was advisedly done to enable the government and labour union engage in further negotiations without any form of encumbrances.
“However, in its Communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting on 31st August 2023, NLC resolved to embark on a total and indefinite shutdown of the nation within 14 working days or 21 days from 31st August 2023.
“Also on 26th September 2023, the Presidents of NLC and TUC, jointly issued a communiqué stating that organised labour had resolved, ‘to embark on an indefinite and total shutdown of the nation beginning on zero hours Tuesday, the 3rd day of October, 2023.’
“From a review of the contents of the above communiques and available media reports, the proposed strike action is premised principally in furtherance of issues connected with the removal of fuel subsidy, hike in fuel price and consequential matters of making provisions for palliatives and workers welfare.
“These are undoubtedly issues that have been submitted to the National Industrial Court for adjudication.
“Therefore, the proposed strike action is in clear violation of the pending interim injunctive order granted on 5th June 2023 restraining both Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress from embarking on any industrial action/or strike of any nature, pending the hearing and determination of the pending Motion on Notice.
“We wish to reiterate that a court order, regardless of the opinion of any party on it, remains binding and enforceable until set aside.
“It is the expectation of the public that the labour unions would lead in obedience and observance of court orders and not in its breach.”
The letter was copied to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chief of Staff to the President, National Security Adviser, Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General, State Security Services (DSS).
Recall that the labour unions had vowed to enforce an indefinite nationwide strike action from October 3, following Federal Government’s failure to address the economic hardship that Nigerians are currently facing owing to removal of fuel subsidy.
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