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Giving a bag of rice to 12 people, N100m to each lawmaker insulting – Labour

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NLC/TUC STRIKE ACTION NOT IN NATIONAL INTEREST

Giving a bag of rice to 12 people, N100m to each lawmaker insulting – Labour

•Govt has absconded from negotiation table, fails to meet workers’ demands, says NLC

 

 

Barely one week after leading a two-day nationwide warning strike, the organised labour on Tuesday threatened to begin an indefinite strike should the Federal Government fail to meet its demands at the end of a 21-day ultimatum which will expire in approximately one week’s time.

 

 

 

 

The workers union said the proposed strike was necessary following the failure of the Federal Government to provide palliatives to assuage the Nigerians hardships as a result of the fuel subsidy removal.

 

 

 

 

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress said the industrial action which may commence any day from next week would lead to an indefinite shutdown of commercial and economic activities across the country.

 

Giving a bag of rice to 12 people, N100m to each lawmaker insulting – Labour

 

 

 

Speaking with The PUNCH on Tuesday, the National Assistant General Secretary of the NLC, Mr Christopher Onyeka, said the FG was wrong to share a bag of rice to a dozen citizens while reportedly giving N100m palliative to each member of the National Assembly.

 

 

 

The union had on September 1 handed down a 21-day ultimatum to the FG over the delay in sharing of palliatives, saying it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if its demands were not met.

 

 

“If the government fails to provide the appropriate responses to our demands, we encourage you to maintain your steadfast resolve. The same passion and determination that fuelled this warning strike will be crucial if we find ourselves compelled to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike,’’ the labour body said in a letter to the FG.

 

 

 

 

To demonstrate its seriousness, the NLC mobilised workers for a two-day warning strike on September 5 and 6, partially grounding social and economic activities in several states with banks, ministries, agencies and departments closed to the public in some states.

 

 

 

 

The NLC leadership had said the action was in preparation for a total shutdown which would start at the expiration of the ultimatum next week.

 

 

 

 

Among other demands, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress were asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances to the public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.

 

 

 

 

Though the FG made a commitment to restructure the framework for engagement with organised Labour on palliatives, the eight-week timeframe set for the conclusion of the process expired in August with no action whatsoever.

 

 

The committees were given eight weeks to conclude their assignment and hasten the implementation of the framework in cushioning the effect of petrol subsidy removal on Nigerians but weeks after the timeframe expired, the sub-committees had yet to meet or actualise their mandates.

 

 

 

 

President Bola Tinubu had since June 19 set up the Presidential Steering Committee and various sub-committees to discuss the framework to be adopted on the palliatives.

 

 

 

 

The sub-committees had been created to implement FG’s palliative package in areas such as Cash Transfers, Social Investment Programme, Cost of Governance, Energy, and Mass Transit and Housing.

 

 

 

 

This was a fall-out of the President’s closed-door session with the leadership of the NLC and the TUC during a nationwide protest by the organised labour.

Nationwide protest

Giving an update on the planned walk out following the lukewarm attitude of the government, Onyeka insisted that the FG had absconded from the negotiation table, noting that it had also failed to meet the workers’ demands.

The union leader hinted that the strike would not notify the government before carrying out any action it deems fit.

He said, “We sent the letter to the Federal Government on September 1, 2023, so by September 22, 2023, the 21-day ultimatum will end.

“We have made it clear that the Federal Government has abandoned and absconded from the table for negotiation; that government is no longer negotiating with Nigerians and there is no good faith negotiation that is going on.’’

“President Bola Tinubu promised Nigerians on his own on the television with the President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, that he was going to restructure the committees, but he did not do that, and since then the committees have not met and there has been no negotiation that is on-going. As it is, NLC is not negotiating with the government,” Onyeka said.

The Assistant General Secretary said Nigerians were insulted by the inadequate palliative being given.

He lamented, “Can you see the insult that a ward would share a bag of rice and the government calls that a palliative? It is an insult to Nigerians, whereas the government gave legislators N70bn and each of the legislators gets over N100m in a country where Nigerians are suffering.

“The FG is buying cars and houses of over N100m for each person and Nigerians are keeping quiet as if what is going on is a normal thing. NLC calls Nigerians to join hands together because they cannot do it alone.

‘’When NLC calls for action, people should come out, they should because it is a collective effort to make the government yield to the desires and the interest of Nigerians.”

Workers who spoke to our correspondents said they have been badly affected by the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy, urging the government to quickly cushion the pains.

In order to beat the harsh economic situation, civil servants said they have been devising various survival strategies, including skipping work as well as engaging in farming and trading to augment their incomes.

Some workers in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Lagos revealed that their organisations have reduced the number of work hours and days.

They further noted that their organisations had also adopted the work-from-home model which became popular during the lockdown period following the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

An Abuja-based civil servant, Judith Obiora said, “Most of the offices at the Federal Secretariat are no longer filled up as they used to be before the fuel subsidy removal. Now, we only come to the office twice or thrice a week.”

A civil servant who is planning to relocate abroad said he could no longer cope with the high cost of living.

He said, “The situation in Nigeria is very terrible because the minimum wage no longer meets the cost of living. Civil servants are suffering because the prices of things have increased, and it is tough to cope these days.

“By the time you weigh everything, you will see that it is not worth it. Even as a businessman in this country, getting customers to patronise you is difficult, and getting your profit from the work you are doing is hard.”

A worker, who identified himself as Friday, said he had been going to work three times a week to cut costs.

He said, “It has greatly affected me because I can’t afford to go to work Monday through Friday anymore. I go three times a week. Even if the directors have their ways, they won’t show up.

“The effect of the subsidy removal is general. The bus provided for my area is an 18-seater bus but we have over 50 staff living in Kuje, and the senior staff always get preference over the junior staff.

‘’The junior staff members are left behind. I don’t even try boarding the bus because I don’t want any senior staff member to talk to me anyhow (disrespectfully).”

Hard times

A staff member of a prominent agency who wished to be known as Vivian stated, “It has been tough, especially in the area of feeding. Things are very expensive, and for people like us who still have young children, it has been quite difficult meeting up.

“If it is an adult, you can still manage, but how do you tell a child that the money is not enough? Also, in the area of transportation, it has been very difficult. For instance, the transport fare that used to be N100 before has jumped to N300, and when you calculate it, you will find out that the easiest thing to do is to work remotely once in a while.”

A civil servant who identified herself as Sade said she and her husband had been having sleepless nights over the survival of their family.

She lamented, “I was at the market yesterday, and I screamed. Things are too expensive. Honestly, we can’t continue like this. Apart from the high food prices, the school fees of my children have increased, and my husband and I have been having sleepless nights trying to manage ourselves.”

One Mr Kunle Adams, who worked with a federal agency, said he had been forced to become a cab driver in order to generate extra income.

He noted, “I usually do not like to pick passengers when going to work, but I have been doing it to cover the amount I spent on fuel. I once tried parking my car at home, but it was not convenient for me to do so; otherwise, I would have dropped it because it is cost-effective.

‘’If you are talking about high prices of commodities, that is everywhere, so who am I not to be affected? If only the government could intervene, it would be lovely.’’

Lamenting the situation, Ade Abayomi, a Lagos-based civil servant said, “It’s not been easy since the subsidy removal was announced. But I think the government has been reasonable too. I only go to work about thrice in a week these days.”

Hassan Ahmed, who works with a federal parastatal in Abuja, admitted that he works remotely and only visits the office occasionally.

“The cash crunch is affecting everyone, including government organisations and private companies and individuals. Most of us now work from home. I only go to the office occasionally now,” he disclosed.

The Ekiti State NLC Chairman, Kolapo Olatunde, declared that the workers were working under harsh conditions since the Federal Government removed the fuel subsidy.

Olatunde, who said the fuel subsidy removal had led to an increase in the prices of goods and services, justified the need for salary increment.

“If you must fill your car tank now with petrol, you must have over N35,000 and that won’t serve you for two weeks. It means you have to fill your tank twice amounting to N70,000 to take you for four weeks.

‘’If you are a civil servant from whichever level to grade level 14, I am not sure the salary is up to that on a monthly basis. The equation is not balanced, that is the truth. That is why the government should have a listening ear,” Olatunde said.

The NLC leader, who said reducing the working days was not the solution, noted, “The solution is to give workers what is required of them to do their work effectively so that at the end of the day, there will be a positive plough-back.

“If you go to the office to solve problems, someone is now saying don’t come to the office twice or thrice in a week, who solves the problems of those days? It means that the office is not doing anything. It means we are deceiving ourselves. ‘’

“Then, what becomes of the unemployed if you are asking the employed people to stay at home? Definitely, that is a brighter picture that people will no longer be employed,” he concluded.

Kwara workers

In Kwara State, workers go to their offices three times a week in order to save money in view of the high cost of petrol.

The state government had earlier directed the workers to report for work three times and added N10,000 to their salaries pending the review of the minimum wage.

A female civil servant simply identified as Lola, explained that since the fuel subsidy was removed, she had been going to work thrice a week.

‘’Workers in my office agreed that we should be reporting in the office three times a week. We have agreed on which days to come to the office since the government said that we should come to work for three days in a week,’’ she noted.

She complained about the high cost of transportation which she said had increased by 200 per cent.

‘’I have been reporting for work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday while others also selected other days of the week when they come to the office. In my house, we have also reduced the quantity of food we eat. We only eat in the morning and evening.

‘’On days that I don’t go to work, I supplement the feeding of my two children with garri in the afternoon if they complain of hunger as they are presently on holiday,” Lola stated.

A worker in the governor’s office, Mallam Makun Abdullahi, revealed that he had stopped bulk purchase of foodstuffs from the cooperative society as he used to do on a monthly basis.

“Though the government has added N10,000 to our monthly salary, it cannot take us anywhere. Our salary is no longer enough to feed our family. I am also involved in farming where I go on days I don’t go to work.”

Public workers in Sokoto State explained that many of them do not come to the office every day in order to save money on transportation.

Some of the civil servants in the state who spoke with our correspondent confirmed that the arrangement in most cases was among the junior staff without the knowledge of their boss.

A state worker said, “We have some arrangements among ourselves to deal with the situation even though it’s without the knowledge of the management but we cover for ourselves.

“Most of us use the spare time for farming as part of our own little way to tackle the current hardship.”

The Sokoto State NLC Chairman, Abdullahi Aliyu, and his secretary, Hamisu Yanduna, were unavailable for comment

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Remo Progressives Leaders Celebrate Senator YAYI At 55

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Remo Progressives Leaders Celebrate Senator YAYI At 55

Remo Progressives Leaders Celebrate Senator YAYI At 55

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Remo Progressives Leaders have joined friends, family, and political associates to celebrate the Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola FCA (YAYI), as he celebrates his birthday anniversary.

 

 

 

Remo Progressives Leaders Celebrate Senator YAYI At 55

 

 

 

 

A statement made available for publication by the Group Acting Secretary, Otunba Adekunle Zaccheaus Owosina. on Thursday, July, 25 2024, read: “Happy 55th birthday anniversary to distinguished Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, YAYI.

 

 

 

“A very distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ogun West Liberator, Senate House Chairman Committee on Appropriation, the Unifier, and Leader of High Repute that is worthy of emulation, we are celebrating you based on your impact in Lagos West before ascension to Ogun West which we believe you will make Ogun state great as our Governor come 2027.”

 

 

 

“High ranking legislator, you’re indeed an exemplary to many upcoming actors in public spaces. You made politics look practical, and you simplified it as it’s not rocket science.

 

 

 

“We join leaders and families, political associates and admirers to wish you a happy birthday, long life and more prosperous years.

 

 

 

“We are indeed proud of you for a better representation of where you ascended because you have demonstrated it while with us.

 

 

 

“Once again, congratulations, sir.”

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Supplementary Budget: Centre Lauds Reps Appropriations Chair Bichi Over Thorough Scrutiny, Public Engagement

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Supplementary Budget: Centre Lauds Reps Appropriations Chair Bichi Over Thorough Scrutiny, Public Engagement

Supplementary Budget: Centre Lauds Reps Appropriations Chair Bichi Over Thorough Scrutiny, Public Engagement

 

 

The Centre for Accountability and Probity (CAP) has commended the Chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Bichi, for his commitment to transparency and accountability.

 

Supplementary Budget: Centre Lauds Reps Appropriations Chair Bichi Over Thorough Scrutiny, Public Engagement

 

In a statement signed by Princess Ajibola Naomi, its Coordinating President, the Centre said the recent transmission of the supplementary budget has been met with thorough scrutiny and public engagement by Bichi.

Naomi said that in his characteristic manner, Bichi is engaging stakeholders, conducting public hearings, and scrutinizing the executive bill to ensure that the supplementary budget serves the best interests of Nigerians.

“Bichi’s innovative approach to the budgetary process has introduced a new level of transparency and accountability, setting a benchmark for future budgetary processes,” she said.

“His commitment to ensuring that every detail is scrutinized, and the executive accounts for every penny, is a testament to his dedication to the Nigerian people.

“Bichi has introduced public engagement and scrutiny of the budget estimates, ensuring that stakeholders’ inputs are considered.

“He has also conducted public hearings to ensure transparency and accountability and analysed every detail of the executive bill to prevent misappropriation of funds.

“Furthermore, he has ensured that the supplementary budget aligns with the priorities of Nigerians.”

In addition, Naomi said Bichi has also improved the budget process by ensuring timely submission of budget estimates by MDAs, conducting regular oversight visits to monitor project implementation, and engaging with civil society organizations to ensure inclusivity and transparency.

She noted that the Appropriations Committee has also utilised technology to enhance budget tracking and monitoring, and provided clear and concise budget reports for easy understanding.

“Bichi’s leadership has changed the narrative in the budgetary process, promoting transparency and accountability,” she added. “His commitment to ensuring that the executive accounts for every penny has given Nigerians confidence in the budgetary process”.

The Centre for Accountability and Probity, therefore, urged Nigerians not to worry about the budget, as Bichi’s commitment ensures that it will be utilized effectively for the benefit of all Nigerians.

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ECOWAS PARLIAMENT REITERATE CALL FOR IMPROVED WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN GOVERNANCE

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ECOWAS PARLIAMENT REITERATE CALL FOR IMPROVED WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN GOVERNANCE

ECOWAS PARLIAMENT REITERATE CALL FOR IMPROVED WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN GOVERNANCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That The First Lady Oluremi Tinubu says women have to learn how to obtain power the e ECOWAS Female Parliamentarian Association has held its Spotlight Initiative with the theme; Re-thinking Women’s Proportional Representation in Governance.

 

 

 

 

ECOWAS PARLIAMENT REITERATE CALL FOR IMPROVED WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN GOVERNANCE

 

 

 

 

The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu noted that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration has made significant progress in this regard but barriers still exist especially culturally and socially.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“These barriers include deeply entrenched societal norms, systemic discriminatory practices, structural issues within our political systems, and financial incapability”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“To achieve this across board, we must be seen to walk the talk. For instance, our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has taken significant steps to remove financial barriers by making nomination forms for elective positions free at grassroots level, ensuring that capable and qualified women can participate in the political process without the burden of prohibitive costs”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Oluremi Tinubu commended the Federal House of Representatives for its recent passage of the Bill seeking 74 seats for women in the National Assembly in a bid to encourage more female participation in politics and governance.

 

 

 

 

 

ECOWAS PARLIAMENT REITERATE CALL FOR IMPROVED WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN GOVERNANCE

 

 

 

 

“I believe that the leadership in the Senate is gender-friendly”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Power is not served A’lar carte, just as my husband, President Bola Tinubu said. You have to learn how to obtain power. You need older women to mentor you”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Education is the cornerstone of empowerment. By improving access to education for girls and women, we can equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate effectively in political processes. Additionally, raising awareness about the importance of women’s representation in governance is crucial. Public campaigns, media engagement, and community programs can help shift societal attitudes and dismantle stereotypes that hinder women’s political participation”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament who is also the first female to occupy the position, Rt Hon Hadija Memounatou Ibrahimah in her remarks urged the First Lady of Nigeria to serve as the champion of the course of better representation for women in governance in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This she noted is especially so with the commendable contributions to the issues of women and girls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Your Excellency, you transmit a kind of light that illuminates the leadership of Nigeria. It touches the lives of even the ordinary man”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Women account for half of the population of ECOWAS member States. Only 17% are Parliamentarians and 24% are Ministers in the region. It is high time to reduce the under representation of women in democracy”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Senate President, Senator Godwill Akpabio who was represented by the Deputy Senate President Jibrin Barau stated that for the Senate, women participation in governance is a priority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We will redefine the power of women in governance”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Session, the First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu in a nostalgic move, visited the newly renovated hallowed Red Chamber. She commended the leadership of the senate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Lady was a 3 term Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District till 2023.

 

 

SIGNED

Busola Kukoyi

SSA Media to the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

22nd July,2024

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