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FG To Harmonise Public Workers’ Salaries

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The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to harmonising salaries of workers in the public sector.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation,  Boss Mustapha, stated this at a Two-Day National Forum on Compensation Management organised by Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) in collaboration with the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), in Abuja, Monday.
Mustapha said the presidential committee set up for that purpose had commenced work to ensure that all federal workers across board were remunerated appropriately.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary,  Office of the Government of the Federation, Dr Maurice Mbaeri, he said the forum with the theme, “Compensation Management in Nigeria: Resolving Dilemmas, Mainstreaming Milestone’’ was apt and came when there was the need to improve workers’ salaries.
Mustapha said President Muhammadu Buhari had always taken the issue of compensation policy very seriously, adding that he had demonstrated that over time and evidential in the  fact that he did not retrench any federal worker in spite of the harsh economic situation.
According to him, the Federal Government has ensured implementation of the National Minimum Wage Act, payment of pension, increment of duty tour allowances, and payment of Special COVID-19 allowance among others.
He noted that the issue of compensation was a recurring decimal in the workplace globally, stating that it had generated interest overtime and had often pitched social partners and institutional actors in the industrial relations system against one another.
According to him, compensation as one of the key elements of relationship had direct relationship with workers’ performance and productivity adding that all these factors were critical to the success of any organisation and the economy at large.
“In Nigeria, at the heart of most industrial challenges is the issue of compensation and remuneration.
“Over the years, industrial sectors and specific enterprises have witnessed mixed reactions in terms of productivity of workers because of incessant industrial actions.
“While some progress have been made by government and other regulatory agencies with respect to establishing certain parameters for effective compensation management, a lot still needs to be done,’’ he said.
He expressed optimism that the discussions from the two-day workshop would produce policies that would reflect adequate compensation for workers.
While noting that government would be ready to make use of the outcome of the forum, Mustapha urged workers to reciprocate government’s gestures by being productive.
Speaking, Chairman, NSIWC, Ekpo Nta said it was high time recurring compensation crisis was brought to an end.
Nta, who doubles as the Chairman of the occasion noted that there had been lots of infractions on wages that needed to be looked into and resolved accordingly.
On monitoring implementation of personnel cost, Nta regretted that not so much attention had been paid to personnel cost as much as capital budget and overhead cost.
He called for more scrutiny of personnel cost to fish out any form of infraction.
“The personnel cost in the 2023 budget is estimated to gulp about N4.99 trillion and this cannot be ignored.
“I hope at the end of 2023, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) would give us clear analysis of what happens with regard to implementation”, Nta said.

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2023: PWDs Seek Inclusion In Election Processes 

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As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the International Day of Persons With Disabilities (IDPD), Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) have tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other electoral stakeholders on accessibility of polling booths and election materials
The PWDs also urged the INEC to ensure that the over 30 million PWDs are not disenfranchised in the 2023 general elections.
The disabilities community also called on presidential and governorship candidates to come up with tangible roadmap of policies and programmes that will alleviate their sufferings in the country..
They spoke separately with journalists on the  IDPD, a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.
The theme for this year’s IDPD is ‘Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of innovation in Fuelling An Accessible and Equitable World,’ with focus on the overarching theme of innovation and transformative solutions for inclusive development, covering three different interactive dialogues.
The first dialogue is innovation for disability inclusive development in employment, discussing the linkages between employment, knowledge and skills required to access employment in an innovative, rapidly changing technological world.
Another dialogue was the innovation for disability inclusive development in reducing inequality, focusing on innovations, practical tools and good practices to reduce inequalities in both public and private sectors.
The third dialique was the innovation for disability inclusive development with sport as an  case, a sector where all of these aexemplarspects coalesce.
Explaining the importance of the day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it is important for governments and all of society to include PWDs in decision-making about their health and lives.
“WHO calls for more inclusion in the health sector and society, in line with the newly adopted ‘WHO framework for action to achieve the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities 2022–2030’.

“The framework is an ambitious strategy that calls on countries to ensure that people with disabilities can access the care they need, and outline ways for countries to build inclusive and enabling health systems and environments.”

The Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), David Anyaele, said issues that deal with PWDs ahead of the general elections give them cause for worries, as the campaigns of the leading presidential candidates are low on welfare for them.

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Flooding: 600 Persons Died, 1.3m Dsplaced-UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said about 600 persons died and 1.3 million were rendered homeless as a result of the floods that ravaged most states across the country.
Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Enugu, Juliet Chiluwe, stated this on Saturday, during an official handover of supplies for Anambra State Flood Response from UNICEF to Anambra State Government.
Chiluwe said the figure was obtained according to available data it received from government.
During the visit by the UNICEF, the first set of supplies of 100 drums of chlorine for disinfection of water sources, 40 cartons of Aquatabs for household water treatment and 320 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic food were handed over to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who was represented by his deputy, Onyekachukwu Ibezim.
In her address, Chiluwe said, “We bring you greetings from UNICEF, Nigeria and sympathise with the government and people of Anambra State on the recently encountered flooding experience, especially with the women and children who remained vulnerable during these times.
“We acknowledged that since September 2022, the worst floods in a decade affected 2.8 million people, of which an estimated 60 per cent are children, across 34 of the 36 states in Nigeria. Of those affected, 1.3 million people have been displaced, and over 600 people have died in relation to flooding according to government data.
“Continuous heavy rains have collapsed hundreds of public health facilities, water systems and sanitation facilities, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhoea, and malaria.
“To contribute to the effort of government and other development partners, UNICEF, with funding from the  Central Emergency Response Fund, has initiated a multisectoral response comprising Health, Child Protection and WASH sectors, to mitigate the impact of the floods support the early recovery-phase of the affected population in Anambra State.
“For child protection, the response will focus on protection concerns in three key areas: the provision of psychosocial support for flood-affected children; the prevention of family separation and the reunification of separated and unaccompanied children, as well as the strengthening of community-based protection systems.”
She added that as part of the response, UNICEF would make available, essential medicines and health supplies, sexual reproductive kit, chlorine for disinfection of water sources in health centres, schools and communities.
In his response,  governor Soludo assured UNICEF of continuous collaborations, adding that the state government was working out modalities to mitigate the effect of the flood on victims as well as put proactive measures to checkmate such emergencies in the future.
He commended UNICEF’s interventions in the state, especially as it concerned women and children.

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Minister Tasks Examination Agencies On  ICT, Others Against Malpractice

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Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has called on examination and assessment agencies in the country to adopt the use of ICT as best method to prevent malpractices and build a multi-dimensional approach to address the menace.
Adamu made the call at the opening of a One-Day National Sensitisation Workshop, tagged: ‘Role of Education Stakeholders in Tackling Examination Malpractice’, organised by National Examination Council (NECO), in conjunction with the National Assembly, held at Marriott Hotel,  Ikeja, Lagos.
Represented by the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Adamu noted that malpractice was a major problem affecting examinations, not only in Nigeria but also in other countries.
“This is a threat, and many of us are directly or indirectly involved in exam malpractices. We must be creative in adopting strategies and putting in measures to fight and stand against malpractice,” he said.
Adamu stated that the Federal Ministry of Education would continue to ensure a high standard of education to reduce malpractices.
NECO Registrar, Ibrahim Wushishi, said it waa time to reorient youths, community leaders, parents and teachers concerning the issue.
“No doubt, examination malpractice has the tendency to discourage hard work among serious students, lower education standards and discredit certificates. We have a collective responsibility to stop this bad habit.”
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education (Basic/Secondary), Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, stressed the need for stakeholders to work together to boost the education sector.
He also expressed disappointment that children no longer fear to indulge in examination malpractice because sanctions are lacking.

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