Minimum wage: We’re losing patience with Fed Govt – NLC warns

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Sunday described the Federal Government’s silence on the N30,000 minimum wage proposal as provocative, stressing that it expected President Muhammadu Buhari to have sent a draft bill to the National Assembly weeks after report on the minimum wage was submitted to him.
Organised labour said it would not wait till eternity for the government on the issue.
In an interview, the General Secretary of the NLC, Mr Peter Ozo-Eson, said members of the union were becoming restless with the way the government had handled the issue, adding that unless government acted fast, the union might meet again to review government’s position and take necessary action to press home its demand.
But he did not say when the leadership of the union would likely meet.
Ozo-Eson said, “The latest about the issue of the minimum wage is clear. We expect that since the Presidency had already received our report, the President should have drafted an executive bill to the National Assembly on it so that they can begin to legislate on it.
“That has not been done even though we expect that it should have been done already. We cannot continue to wait forever.
“The next step as I said is for the President to transmit a draft bill to the National Assembly. The FG’s delay on the issue is provocative, our members are becoming restless and the FG must act fast on our report.
“If the delay continues, our next step will be made public after we meet again to review the steps taken so far.” – Punch.

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Youths set 2023 retirement deadline for old politicians

The National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, has given old politicians up to 2023 to retire from politics and give room for younger ones.
The Council urged the old politicians to rather give room to their children and grandchildren to participate in elections.
The Deputy President of NYCN, Amb. Innocent Nduanya, gave the advice in an interview which held at the ongoing National Youth and Merit award summit in Abuja.
Nduanya noted that money politics was the major challenge facing the nation and the menace had prevented the youths who make up to 80 per cent of the population from active politics.
He added that the high cost of nomination forms, campaigns and most recently, the problem of vote buying have further compound the problems of the youths.
Nduanya said that NYCN under the leadership of their President Bello Shagari has set up machineries capable of changing the current trend and narratives in the country.
“NYCN has embark on a campaign to sensitise and encouraging the youths to consider themselves as critical stakeholders in governance of the country and they should therefore contest all elective positions.
“The council would provide the necessary support and logistics to the electorate in favour of any youth aspirant; we cannot afford to be left out from the global trend where youths are taking over leadership positions in their respective countries.
“If the major political parties continue to gang up and deny qualified youths from contesting on their platforms by way of imposing exorbitant nomination fee, then NYCN may register a political party to provide an alternative platform for the teeming youths to achieve their ambition,’’ Nduanya said.

Nigeria records 6,562 deaths in 11 months

Four weeks to the end of 2018, many Nigerians would be eager to bid the year goodbye and welcome 2019 with open arms.
Nigerian troops rallied to flush out Boko Haram rag tag forces in Guzamala
Reason: 2018 has been a harbinger of death, tears of blood and gnashing of the teeth for a host of people and families in all parts of the country.
Literally, Nigeria could be described as a killing field in 2018 as no fewer than 6,562 Nigerians, according to Sunday Vanguard’s checks, were slaughtered through the Boko Haram insurgency, herdsmen and farmers’ clashes, cult clashes, sectarian and communal clashes, kidnapping, ritual killings, and armed robbery, among others.
The Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen and farmers’ clashes accounted for the bulk of the deaths.
The North-Central, North-East and North-West zones were the apex theatres of the killings with states like Borno, Benue, Plateau, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Taraba being the epicentre of the killings.
The death figure is conservative because it is based on but not even limited to reported incidents and deaths. Many killings were not reported or the casualty figures were not disclosed. If those who died in the custody of kidnappers were added, the tally would be much higher. The 6,562 deaths recorded since the beginning of 2018 exclude those who died from illnesses, accidents, flooding, infant mortality, Lassa fever, malaria, HIV/AIDS, etc.
Those killed include civilians and security agents as well as the insurgents.
In the first 10 weeks of the year as tallied by Sunday Vanguard in March 2018, no fewer than 1,351 people were mowed down.
In January, 676 Nigerians were killed, and in February, no fewer than 517 people died violently, across the country. For the remaining months the death tolls are as follows: March, 485; April, 670; May, 508; June, 639; July, 357; August, 363; September, 926; October, 1,033; and November, 388.
The deaths have made Nigeria one of the countries affected most by terrorism. According to the Global Terrorism Index, GTI, Nigeria is the fourth country with the highest number of deaths resulting from terrorism. In 2016, the GTI said 2,164 persons died through terrorist acts in Nigeria.
The Committee on Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, set up by the Plateau Government, said penultimate week that 1,801 persons were killed and 50,212 people displaced by the recent attacks in the state.
AVM Bala Danbaba (retd), Chairman of the committee, while presenting the committee report to Governor Simon Lalong, in Jos, said the committee identified 115 communities cutting across Jos North, Jos South, Bassa, Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Bokkos Local Government Areas, that were affected by the crisis. He said the committee, whose one month mandate was later increased to two months, received 55 memoranda and visited 27 camps where the IDPs were quartered, noting “The only IDPs camp we did not visit was the one at Lere, in the Dorowa area of Barkin Ladi Local Government. We could not go there because of security reasons. ‘’
Last July, the Amnesty International (AI) said the killings in Zamfara were under reported, saying of then 371 people had been killed in the state.
Amnesty International recalled that on Friday 27 July, 18 villages in the Mashema, Kwashabawa and Birane districts of Zurmi local government area of Zamfara state were attacked, leaving at least 42 people dead.
“At least 18,000 residents of the affected villages who were displaced over the weekend are now taking refuge at various locations in the local government headquarters. The following day a further 15 people were kidnapped in Maradun local government area.
“On Saturday 28 July, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the deployment of 1,000 troops to Zamfara. This is the third time since November 2017 that the authorities have deployed the military in response to attacks, but villagers told Amnesty International that this has not translated into protection for remote, vulnerable communities.
“Previous military interventions have failed to end the killings, especially in rural areas of Zamfara. At least 371 people have been killed in Zamfara in 2018 alone, and at least 238 of these killings took place after the deployment of the Nigerian air force. The government is still neglecting the most vulnerable communities in this region,” said Osai Ojigho.
“Villagers described feeling helpless and on edge, constantly bracing themselves for attacks. Men said they are sleeping outside their homes and in trees as a way of keeping vigilant, while women and children are sleeping together in groups for protection. Villagers described a pattern where they receive warnings ahead of attacks, including by phone, ordering them to pay huge sums of money or be killed or abducted,” AI further disclosed. – Vanguard.

Fuel scarcity looms as marketers give govt 7-day ultimatum to settle subsidy debts

Oil marketers on Sunday in Lagos gave the Federal Government seven-day ultimatum to settle outstanding debts totalling N800 billion, failing which depots would cease operation across the country.
The marketers, comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), said failure to meet the deadline would force its members to disengage workers from depots.
Confirming the seven-day notice, Mr Patrick Etim, Legal Adviser to IPPI told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that banks have taken over investments and assets of oil marketers over unpaid debts.
According to Etim, marketers have no choice that to ask their workers to stay at home over unpaid salary arrears due to huge subsidy debts owed by the government.
“The only way to salvage the situation is for government to pay the oil marketers the outstanding debts through cash option instead of promissory note being proposed.
“As I speak, nothing has been done several months after assurances received by government saying it would pay off the outstanding debts.
“The oil marketers have requested that Forex differential and interest component of government’s indebtedness to marketers be calculated up to December 2018 and be paid within next seven days from the date of the letter sent to the government,’’ he said.
Etim said that several thousand jobs were on the line in the industry, as oil marketers began cut-down of their workforce due to inability to pay salaries
“At the inception of the current administration, marketers engaged the government with the view to secure approval for all outstanding subsidy-induced debts handed over to the current administration,’’ he said.
The counsel said that the current administration paid part of the debts with a substantial portion of the subsidy interest and foreign exchange differential still pending.
The Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Mr Olufemi Adewole, also confirmed the seven-day ultimatum notice.
Adewole disclosed that the oil marketers on Nov. 28 served the ultimatum letter on the Debt Management Office (DMO), Minister of Finance, Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Department of State Services and Minister of State, Petroleum Resources.
“We urge the DMO to process and pay marketers in cash for their outstanding forex differentials and interest component claims, together with the amount already approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Assembly.
“Marketers are not in a position to discount payment on the subsidy-induced debt owed as proposed by DMO.
“The expected payment is made up of bank loans, outstanding admin charges due to PPPRA, outstanding bridging fund due Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board and in a few cases AMCON judgment debts.
“We urge that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved payment instrument, (the promissory note) be substituted with cash and paid through our bankers to stop the avoidable waste of public funds through these debts accruing interest,’’ he said.
DAPPMA also urged government institutions involved in resolving the lingering problem to appreciate the situation marketers faced and expedite payment of the debts in full without further delay.

Lagos guber: Why I chose Hamzat as running mate — Sanwo-Olu

The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday said he chose Dr Obafemi Hamzat as his running mate because he would make a capable deputy.
Sanwo-Olu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Hamzat is a man with high level of knowledge and skills that would help make the difference in the state.
”Femi and I have been friends for well over 15 years. I know his strength and I know he is a capable man, and I know he is a competent individual.
”I know his pedigree, the value, the level of integrity, knowledge and skills that he has. I’m not in any doubt that he would not only be a strong supporter of my campaign and programme, but he will also be a capable deputy that will help make a difference in Lagos.
”It is two good hands in the narrative of Lagos State, ” he said.

Kebbi businessman, 5,000 APC members defect to PDP

Alhaji Mustapha Asaija and five thousand other members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend left the party to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP gubernatorial candidate, Senator Isa Galaudu, his running mate, Alhaji Abubakar Malan, PDP state executives and hundreds of PDP members received the businessman with his supporters at Ambursa in Birnin Kebbi local government area of the state.
Asaija said he left the ruling APC with his supporters to join the PDP because the party has failed in making the lives of Nigerians better in spite of its numerous promises.
He said “I did not decamp with my supporters to get money I swear, I left the APC simply because things are not just right”.
He said he would mobilise more people in the area for the success of PDP gubernatorial candidate Isa Galaudu in the 2019 election.
In his remark the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Galaudu said he was happy to receive the ‘decampees’ while calling for peaceful electioneering campaign devoid of hate speech and violence.
He said “If elected, I promise to address issues of youth unemployment, improve civil service, maintain regular payment of pension and gratuity and come up with genuine agricultural program in Kebbi with adequate loan subsidy to farmers”.
At another development, the PDP has inaugurated its Campaign Committee and Alhaji Isah Mungadi was appointed Director General of the party campaign in Kebbi State.
Also, the deputy speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abdulmumini Bala Fanti and some other state lawmakers have dumped the All Progressives Congress ( APC) and joined the opposition Peoples Redemption Party ( PRP).
Two APC senatorial aspirants have also left and joined the PRP.
The other state lawmakers that defected to the PRP are; Ibrahim Bello Katagum, Auwal Hassan Shira and Yusuf C. Nuhu.
Nuhu is the member representing Toro in the state House of Assembly who recently won the by-election for Toro federal constituency on the platform of the APC.
Two ex-lawmakers, Abdulmumini Ningi and Dayyabu Chiroma have also defected.
Their defection follows the fallout of the party’s primaries which saw over 20 members losing their tickets to re-contest.
Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, the member representing Bauchi constituency in the state House of Assembly who lost his bid in the APC to contest also left the party and joined the PRP to contest for Bauchi federal constituency seat.
Two senatorial aspirants who contested for Bauchi South and Bauchi Central senate tickets under the APC, Barrister Lawan Ibrahim and Bappah Aliyu Misau respectively have also joined the PRP to contest for the ticket.
Bauchi State PRP chairman, Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi confirmed that the APC defectors have joined the party after they were denied tickets in their former party.

STATEMENT BY H.E OLUSEGUN OBASANJO ON THE OCCASION OF HIS REGISTRATION FOR COALITION FOR NIGERIAN MOVEMENT

Ladies and Gentlemen and members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, I welcome you to this simple but important ceremony of my registering as a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement and I thank you for being here.

Last week, I issued a statement which I did not do lightly or frivolously but out of deep concern for the situation of our country. I gave an expose on some aspects of our situations as I have observed them. I also took liberty to offer advice politely knowing fully well that my advice could be heeded or may be ignored.

However, heeded or not, I strongly believe that Nigeria cannot continue with business as usual. So, I proffered a way out or a way forward.

If the instruments we have used so far in our nation-building and governance since independence have not served us well, it is imperative that we should rethink and retool. It was Einstein who stated that it would amount to height of folly for anybody or any group to continue to do things in the same way and expect different results.

Coalition for Nigeria Movement is proposed as the new direction to mobilise our population for unity, cooperation, development, rule of law, employment, law and order, justice, integration, peace, security, stability, welfare and well-being. In these regards, special attention and space must be given to youths and women, who in most cases, have been victims and underlings.

I am particularly happy that yesterday, men and women (of all ages) of like minds joined hands to launch Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM). Among many other things that CNM will do is to raise standards generally but particularly standards of political leadership and governance.

Like all countries, Nigeria has many challenges. That, by itself, is not what we should worry about. What should matter is how, when and with what instruments we address or fail to address these challenges or create more problems.

Let me emphasise important areas, programme, priorities, or processes for improved attention. To start with, we seem to have taken nation-building for granted. Nation-building must be given continued attention to give every citizen a feeling of belonging and a stake in his or her country. For instance, the federal character principle, as espoused in our constitution, was to guide the leadership to search for competent holders of major offices to be distributed within the entire nation and avoid the concentration in a few ethnic hands or geographical places as we currently have in the leadership of our security apparatus. To avoid such non-integrative situation, we have the National Assembly and the Federal Character Commission, both institutions which must raise alarm or call for correction of actions by the executive that violates the spirit of our constitution. In like manner, the spate of violence, criminality, organised crime, insurgency and terrorism have not received sufficient proactive ameliorative responses through transformational leadership – a determined leadership that brings cohesion and wholesomeness to the polity. Nobody and no group should feel excluded in his or her own country. Inclusion and popular participation must be visibly pursued in terms of politics, the economy and our overall social life.

am happy to be a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement. The movement is a pressure point towards good governance. This is the commencement for our popular and grassroots association. Of course, the membership will be free to collectively decide on whether CNM becomes a political party. If the Movement decides to transform itself and go into partisan politics, I will cease to be a member. And as a member for now, I accept all the conditions attached to membership of the Coalition.

We must promote the CNM and mobilise membership all over the country including membership from the Diaspora.

This is an opportunity for women and men, especially youths who have hitherto been feeling marginalised and helpless to go all out and bring friends and families into the CNM fold.

The CNM will remain a popular socio-economic Movement open to all Nigerians who believe in the greatness of Nigeria and are ready to contribute to it.

Some people have started worrying about the problem of personalities, in which some, in other efforts allocate positions to themselves. This Movement is not about personality or personalities; but about platform and system. Our system so far has not given us what we must have. For the first time we are building a platform from bottom-up. The Movement’s base is the grassroots and the people – all the people. When the platform is formed and the new system is put in place, the Movement may decide to sponsor/support candidates or transform itself into a political machine for that purpose.

A socio-economic popular Movement needs to be the new vehicle to give hope to the youths, dignity and encouragement to women and security, confidence, and a promising future to all Nigerians. It must work to bring about a new democratic and efficient Nigeria. The Movement must speak up boldly and bluntly about the truth but politely in accordance with African culture. The Movement will also act collectively with political awareness, social responsibility, sustained and sustainable economic development and progress. Timidity and cowardice must not be part of its make-up or culture and neither must there be indifference. He who keeps quiet, inactive and indifferent in the face of bad act is an accomplice to that act. Self-interest, self-centredness and selfishness must be put aside. National interest must be paramount. The Movement will teach what it believes and practice what it teaches.

It is necessary to make it clear that this movement does not regard itself as a third force. It sees itself as a popular movement that can accommodate all Nigerians irrespective of their political interest or affiliations and will propel Nigeria forward. Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians to be made right and the Coalition with others of the same view and like minds will leave no stone unturned to actualise God-given potentials of our country. The Movement will spearhead process, programme, policies and priorities to make Nigeria a great country playing its expected roles within West Africa, Africa and the world.

Nigerian youth will be emboldened, empowered, have employment, and play meaningful and responsible roles in the leadership and governance of the country in all ramifications. Nigerian women will have dignity, responsibility and equal consideration with men in the affairs of Nigeria.

The Movement is a means to an end. The end is Nigeria, unshackled, united, dynamic, strong, secure, cohesive, stable, and prosperous at home and respected outside, and as result, able to play decisive roles assertively within the comity of nations. A Nigeria of hope, aspiration and assurances which belongs to all with no sacred cow nor sacrificial lamb is what we want. My Nigeria, your Nigeria and our Nigeria with enchanting present and secure and glorious future.

Join the Movement to build a new Nigeria that will be in the hands of God.