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.
Lagos Orders Closure Of Ladipo Spareparts Market
The Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has ordered immediate closure of Ladipo Market, Mushin, for several environmental offences ranging from reckless waste disposal, unhygienic premises, and non-payment of waste bills, among others.
Wahab said that the market would remain closed until the mandatory conditions of redress were met by traders and market stakeholders, adding that it was part of ongoing efforts at instilling compliance in markets around the state.
Wahab, while speaking on the development, underscored the critical importance of environmental hygiene in markets.
He said: “It is imperative that markets in the state adhere strictly to environmental laws and regulations put in place for the well-being of residents.
“The closure of Ladipo Market serves as a stern reminder that no entity, regardless of its size or influence, is above the law.”
He stated that the state government was fully committed to collaborating with market stakeholders, to facilitate necessary adjustments and improvements, to enable them meet required environmental standards, adding that the market would not be reopened for business until set standards were met.
The commissioner said, “Ladipo Market, a prominent hub for automotive spare parts and related services, has been a focal point for environmental concerns due to various activities that contravene established regulations. LAWMA’s intervention is a significant step towards rectifying these issues and bringing the market to compliance.”
In his reaction, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. MuyiwaGbadegesin, said that the closure was expected to allow for a thorough assessment of the environmental impact of the market’s activities and the implementation of necessary remedial measures, serving as a clear signal that LAWMA would not hesitate to take decisive actions, where and when environmental laws were flouted.
“As Lagos State continues to grow and develop, it is imperative that economic activities are conducted in a manner that is sustainable and environmentally responsible.”
“LAWMA’s recent actions demonstrate the authority’s commitment to this cause. The offensive against environmental infractions will continue till sanity is restored in our markets, while the next stop will be illegal markets,” he stressed.
The closure of Ladipo Market follows a similar action taken against Oyingbo, Alayabiagba, Oke-odo markets, and some sections of Tejuosho Market, for serial infractions.
The decision to shut down those markets underscored the state government’s unwavering commitment to the restoration of environmental sanity in the state.
Tinubu, Sultan Beg NLC, TUC To Shelve Strike
President Bola Tinubu and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, have appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned strike over the removal of fuel subsidy.
The organised labour had fixed Tuesday, October 3, for the commencement of an indefinite strike over fuel subsidy removal.
However, speaking during the public lecture and special Juma’at prayer to mark the 63rd independence anniversary of the country at the National Mosque, Abuja, on Friday, Tinubu appealed to the workers not to embark on the strike.
Represented by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Jibrin Barau, the President reiterated the commitment of his administration to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
This was contained in a statement by the media aide to the Deputy Senate President, Ismail Mudashir.
The statement said, “The Sultan has talked about the issue of strike by the NLC. I also call, on behalf of His Excellency, the President, and the entire government, on the labour leaders to shelve the strike.
“Let’s dialogue, let’s sit together, let’s understand ourselves, and let’s look at the prevailing situation in the country. How do we meet this country, the challenges ahead and the current challenges? It is through dialogue that we can solve our problems collectively.”
While stating that the government was new and working hard to bring succour to Nigerians,” Tinubu added, “It (Federal Government) has set aside N500bn and other packages are being unveiled to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal. Therefore, we need to support and pray for the government.”
Earlier, the Sultan had appealed to organised labour to give the Federal Government another chance.
He said, “For God’s sake, for Allah’s sake, anybody planning to go on strike should please give the government another chance. Please, rethink and give the government another chance.”
The Sultan, who said he had been involved in the negotiation of the labour leaders and the government since 2007, said if the NLC and TUC embarked on the strike, it would do more harm than good.
Police Conniving With Land Grabbers, Ogun Assembly Alleges
The Ogun State House of Assembly has accused the police of alleged connivance with land grabbers in the state.
The assembly called on the Inspector General of Police, KayodeEgbetokun, to look into the alleged illegal arrest and detention of innocent Ogun residents on trumped-up charges by the police in connivance with some suspected land grabbers in the State.
The Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, made the appeal at Tuesday’s plenary when other lawmakers took turns reporting rampant cases of land-grabbing in their constituencies.
The discussion took place when members were contributing to a debate on the second reading of the State Anti-land Grabbing (amendment) bill.
According to the Speaker, hundreds of innocent residents of Ogun are languishing in the various police cells, both at Alagbon in Lagos and the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
This, the Speaker said, was “due to the connivance of land grabbers with some security agents against innocent members of the public.”
Oluomo pleaded with IGP Egbetokun to wade into the matter so as to ensure that innocent Ogun residents are not made to suffer on account of trumped-up charges.
Oluomo advised that any land-related matters should be charged to court, while promising that the new amendment would ensure the constitution of a task force by the state government to handle land matters.
In their various submissions, the lawmakers stressed that the activities of the land grabbers had been affecting the peace, progress, and development of the state, hence the need to take a holistic approach towards addressing the menace.
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