NLC Threatens Nationwide Strike Over Kaduna Govt’s Plan To Sack Workers - IReporteronline
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NLC Threatens Nationwide Strike Over Kaduna Govt’s Plan To Sack Workers

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has resolved to declare an industrial action nationwide if the Kaduna State government goes ahead with its plans to sack civil servants.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.

Mr Wabba did not explain the appropriateness of shutting down other states of the federation over an action taken by Kaduna State.

Last week, Governor Nasir El-Rufai announced the plan to disengage civil servants in the state, citing fiscal reasons.

Mr El-Rufai said a significant amount of the statutory federal allocations to the state is being spent on the wages of public servants.

According to the governor, the decision was one of the necessary moves to salvage the state’s finances.

“Therefore, the state government has no choice but to shed some weight and reduce the size of the public service. It is a painful but necessary step to take, for the sake of the majority of the people of this state,” the governor was quoted in a statement.

“The public service of the state with less than 100,000 employees and their families cannot be consuming more than 90% of government resources, with little left to positively impact the lives of the more than 9 million that are not political appointees or civil servants.

“It is gross injustice for such a micro minority to consume the majority of the resources of the State,” Mr El-Rufai said.

Although silent on the number of workers to be sacked, the state promised to work with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAS) to expedite payments of the contributory pension benefits to cushion the effect of the disengagement.

Mr El-Rufai also vowed to give “preferential treatment to those disengaged that are willing to take advantage of the state government’s various agricultural and entrepreneurship development schemes.”

Displeased with Kaduna

Apparently displeased with the plan, Mr Wabba said the decision of the Kaduna government “falls short of the legal process of redundancy in the Labour Act”.

“He has violated the fundamental law that guides redundancy. Section 20 of the Labour Act. It provided three very important points that must be addressed before you declare redundancy. Item 1 says the employer shall inform the trade union, or workers’ representatives in this case, about the extent of anticipated redundancy. So, before you even anticipate, you must first inform the union which is the workers’ representatives.”

Mr Wabba said the Kaduna governor “failed to consult with the trade union or negotiate the payments to the workers to be disengaged”.

The NLC President also disputed Mr El-Rufai’s claims and figures on the amount expended on salaries of civil servants.

“What he (El-Rufai) quoted as what is being paid to workers as salary is not correct because we are aware that he included the salary of political office holders.”

Mr Wabba, however, did not provide what the correct figure should be.

He also said 90 per cent of over 20,000 teachers laid off by the El-Rufai-led administration in 2017 are yet to be paid their terminal benefits. PREMIUM TIMES is unable to confirm this as of the time this report was published Tuesday.

Looming strike

Mr Wabba said the NLC at a meeting of its National Representatives Council decided that the workers in the state should down their tools, “after which a nationwide solidarity strike will follow if Mr El-Rufai insists on the planned retrenchment”.

“So as I speak to you, that decision has already been taken by the national representatives’ council. The national executive council of the TUC and NLC will meet on Thursday to actually adopt that decision.

“When it is adopted we’re going to give you specific dates time on our that that decision will be taken,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.

He added that the NLC has written to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the governor to order.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson to the Kaduna Governor, Muyiwa Adekeye, was yet to respond to enquiries on the number of those to be sacked and allegations levelled by the NLC President.

Mr Adekeye acknowledged the receipt of PREMIUM TIMES’ questions on Monday morning but was yet to send his reply as of the time of this report.

Following the upward review of the nation’s minimum wage to N30,000  in 2019 and the reduction in revenues as a result of the drop in oil price, states of the federation have been having difficulty paying salaries and allowances of their workers.

In March, the Kano State government slashed the salaries of its political office holders by 50 per cent. Later it announced that it was reverting to the N18,000 minimum wage regime for civil servants.

Source: Premium Times

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Lai Mohammed’s Statement Confirms Buhari Presidency Has Surrendered To Terrorists – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that prosecution of bandits is not the responsibility of the Federal Government because it is not a federal offence, has confirmed apprehensions that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Buhari Presidency have surrendered the nation to terrorists.

The PDP stressed that the statement by the minister is another clear evidence that President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed absent, has completely abdicated the responsibilities of his office and capitulated to bandits.

PDP, in a statement by its Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said that Lai Mohammed’s statement further reveals that the Buhari Presidency has not been committed to combating banditry but had, all along, been feeding Nigerians with lies, propaganda and falsehood, while bandits are pillaging the nation.

“It is incredulous that the Buhari Presidency, in its failures, is abdicating a responsibility exclusively vested on it by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to operate all apparatus of national security; the police, military, paramilitary and all other armed services; to secure lives and property in all parts of our country.

“Perhaps, President Buhari and his Minister of Information need to be tutored that the Second Schedule (Exclusive Legislative List) clearly vested the control of all apparatus of national security on the federal government and not the states.

“Items 2, 28, 38, 45, 57 of the Exclusive List are clear investing the operation of the police, the military and other armed services; the control of arms and ammunitions as well as criminal records among other statutory paraphernalia of national security on the Federal Government and not the state,” the party said.

The PDP said that APC and the Buhari Presidency needs to be tutored that bandits and kidnappers are terrorists and that in line with the provisions of the constitution, the agencies vested with the statutory responsibility of protecting Nigerians from such outlaws are under the control of the Federal Government.

“It is unthinkable that President Buhari, who promised to lead from the front, is now running away from duty while seeking to heap the burden of his office on the states, who do not have control of security agencies.

“Moreover, the fact that a cabinet minister in the shade of Lai Mohammed is left to address this critical aspect of our national security that is vested on the President, shows that our nation is plagued by Presidential absenteeism and a dysfunctional command structure.

“Such situation never occurred under the PDP administration.

“Now that President Buhari and the APC-led Federal Government can no longer guarantee the safety of lives and property, the only way out is for the National Assembly to immediately amend the Constitution and establish state police to guarantee the security of Nigerians as already recommended by the PDP,” the party said.

The PDP called on President Buhari to come out of hiding and address the nation, in his own voice, on the worsening insecurity in our country, occasioned by his misrule.

In the same vein, the PDP is set to commence consultations with critical stakeholders across the six geo-political zones in furtherance of its democratic efforts to rescue the nation from misrule.

The party is also working on templates that will enable it to, within the ambits of laws, further harness suggestions from Nigerians on democratic means to tackle the festering insecurity, guarantee the safety of life and property as well as restore our national stability and cohesiveness.

PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, stated this at the PDP national secretariat on Wednesday, while receiving former Minister of Information and National Orientation and founding National Secretary of the PDP, Prof. Jerry Gana, who recently returned to the party.

Prince Secondus stressed that the main objective of the PDP is to rescue the nation from misrule, adding that it was imperative to tap from the wealth of experience of leaders like Prof. Gana.

Earlier during the visit, Prof. Gana emphasized that Nigeria “is in a dire strait,” adding that all hands must be on the deck to rescue the nation.

“Nigeria is on the brinks. The economy is stagnated. There is insecurity everywhere. Nigerians are beginning to doubt our nationhood. The political answer to the situation today is for PDP to take back power. Nigerians do not deserve what we are going through today. We must take decisive steps that will help rescue our nation,” he said.

Also, the party has vehemently condemned the incessant attacks by suspected killer herdsmen and terrorists on innocent Nigerians in Benue State.

The party further condemned the manifest failure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC to take decisive steps to apprehend the assailants as well as provide adequate security in the state, even after the attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom’s life.

The PDP holds that the body language and lethargic approach of the APC-led administration appear to validate apprehensions that the assailants are enjoying the cover of some persons in government, in the execution of their bloody enterprise against Nigerian citizens.

“Our party insists that President Buhari has no further excuse but to take responsibility and adopt urgent security measures to stop the carnage in Benue and other states where invading terrorist elements, under various shades are displacing our citizens and taking control of their common patrimony,” the party said.

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Distribution Of CBN’s Free Prepaid Meters Starts Soon -FG

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The Federal Government on Wednesday said the distribution of the four million free electricity prepaid meters promised by the Central Bank of Nigeria would soon commence across the country.

The Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, disclosed this while answering questions from State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Recall that the CBN had promised to augment the government’s effort to distribute free prepaid meters with additional four million pieces.

Saleh assured Nigerians that the government is wrapping up the distribution of its initial one million meters, which he labelled phase zero, and will soon begin the distribution of the four million others, which he dubbed phase one.

He said, “It’s ongoing, we are almost rounding off. We have almost finished with phase zero, we are now going into phase one of the distribution of the meters, that is the remaining four million the Central Bank promised to augment with.

“The first set is one million, we’re about to finish with that, but you know it’s not the target, one million is very negligible compared to the demand of Nigerians.”

The minister added that Nigeria now generates 5,000 MW as opposed to the initial 3,000MW.

He further disclosed that the FEC approved $8.29 million as well as N3 billion for the execution of six major electricity projects in the country.

Saleh said that the projects, which include the procurement of equipment as well as designs and manufactures, are meant to upgrade Nigeria’s electricity facility and improve power supply across the country.

He added that the Ministry of Power which is under his purview tabled six memoranda to the FEC, with all six being approved.

He said, “The Federal Executive Council today approved six memos under the Ministry of Power. The first one is the award of a contract for the design, manufacturing, and supply of critical spare parts for Crompton Greaves 330 kV, 132 kV, and 33 kV circuit breakers to Messrs. Legen Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of N298,339,887.04.

“The second one is the award of the contract for the procurement of 50 sets of 400 AH battery banks, 30 to 50 volts and 30 number of 110-volt battery charges for the substation used by the TCN in favour of Messrs. DTS Transformers Electric Industry Limited at the sum of N644,805,953.10.

“The third award of the contract is for the procurement of 50 cents also of 132 kV isolators for the TCN in favour of Messrs. Leading Diagonal Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of $840,650 plus N53,900,000 within the delivery period of six months.

“The fourth one is the contract for the design, manufacturing and the supply of three 60/66 MVA 132kV power transformers with accessories and 15 number of 500 kV transformers, 33/0.415kV earthing transformers for the TCN in favour of Messrs. Zhenjiang Transformers Company Limited, in the sum of N1,296,953,044.55 with a delivery period of 12 months.

“The fifth one is the award of the contract for the design, supply and installation of Optical Wire (OPGW) and Universal Optical Transportation Network System (OTN) for some critical transmission lines in favour of Messrs. Xinjiang Power and Transportation Company Limited in the sum of $6,800,743.51, plus N668,843,634.74, with a delivery period of 12 months

“The last one is the upward review of the contraction for the design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of 1X 100MVA, 132/33kV power transformers at Ogba Transmission Substation, Lagos, in favour of Messrs. Power Control and Appliances Limited, in the sum of $648,038.31, plus N48,342,524.18, with the delivery period of six months.

“All these procurements are geared towards upgrades of the transmission system to the national grid so that we can have sufficient power supply to the nation,” the Minister added.

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Buhari Appeals To Bandits To Release Abducted Greenfield University Students

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Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has appealed to bandits to free abducted students of Greenfield University, Kaduna State.

Twenty-two undergraduates of the private university were seized from their campus on April 20, 2021, by bandits. Five of them have since been killed by their abductors, while one was released on Tuesday after payment of an undisclosed amount of money in ransom.

Buhari who took to his verified Twitter account to call for the release of the remaining 16 students on Wednesday, condemned what he described as increasing polarization of the country while asking that all hands be on deck to resolve growing insecurity in the country.

The president said he welcomed the release of 27 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna, who were freed on Wednesday by bandits, while appreciating all those who contributed to their release.

“I welcome the release of the 27 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, and congratulate their friends, families, and the government and people of Kaduna State. We are happy they have been released,” Buhari wrote via his handle, @MBuhari

“Our deep appreciation to all who contributed one way or the other to this happy outcome, in particular, the defence and security agencies, the officials of the Ministry of Environment, and the Government of Kaduna State. We equally thank Nigerians for their prayers.
Muhammadu Buhari

“I again appeal for the release of the students of Greenfield University & all other citizens held in captivity. We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that Nigerians live in a country where everyone can move where and when they want—without the fear of kidnapping & banditry.

“I call for steadfastness & security awareness on the part of the law enforcement agencies and citizens. Let me once again condemn the increasing politicization of security in Nigeria, by opportunistic politicians. All hands must be on deck to achieve enduring peace & security.”

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