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Kogi Strike: Organized Labour gets solidarity from Banks

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Fidelity Bank

Fidelity Bank


Kogi Strike: Organized Labour gets solidarity from Banks

By our reporter

As the indefinite strike embarked upon by organized labour in Kogi State enters it’s fourth day the level of compliance and it’s success could not be determined as about 15 conventional banks in the State high jacked it.
Ordinarily the foray of the banks into the industrial action would have been a surprise to any stranger since they are private entities that should not be antagonizing the host state Government.
Confluence Update findings however indicated that there were only reacting to a policy that was set to throw them out of business.
Hence the banks closed their gates since Monday afternoon to customers who have been having a herculean task trying to cope.
Confluence Update findings revealed that the Banks closed their gates to customers to express their grievances against decision of the State Government to open salary accounts for civil servants in Zenith and Access Banks.
The action it was gathered has put the affected banks in the State at the receiving end as they are finding it difficult to recover their facilities from the civil servants who hitherto banked with them.
Many customers were stranded when they came to do business at their various banks since the past two days as they were turned back.
Only Access and Zenith Banks were busy attending to civil servants.
The organised labour in the State had earlier embarked on strike since Monday for grievances among which include alleged ‘imposition of strange and unsolicited salary bank account on workers by the government in utter disregard to established civil service rules.
Others include imposition of new PAYE regime on workers, non payment of salaries to local government workers, pensioners, core civil servants and non implementation of 100% minimum wage to primary school teachers’.
Confluence Update’s findings revealed that GuarantyTrust , UBA, Sterling, Fidelity, First Bank, EcoBank, Union, WEMA, Skye Banks, Diamond ,FCMB, Unity and Stambic IBTC all suspended operations.
Customers with their ATM cards were seen queuing to try the alternative means of withdrawing from the machines that were suffering from network issues.
The combined strike of labour and the commercial banks practically grounded both Government and commercial activities in the State.
A customer to one of the banks Barrister Joel Usman indicated that the strike embarked upon by commercial banks in Kogi State was justifiable on the grounds that a lot of civil servants whose salary account were in those banks had collected facilities using their salary accounts as security or collaterals with the knowledge and consent of their  employer. 
“Suddenly the Kogi State Government withdrew the workers salary accounts from their various banks without negotiations as to how the said facility would be paid. The banks are now in dilemma as to how to recover their facility.”
He said secondly it would be counter productive for the State Government to deny the other banks the benefit of having some of the civil servants as part of their customer base because depriving them would be like sending them out of business.
“Thirdly I think the banks are also concerned about the implication of the policy as the two Banks; Zenith and Access Banks have a total of 7 branches in Kogi State and the number of civil servants at State and Local Government is well over 25, 000 which would cause grave hardship for workers.”

EcoBank

EcoBank


Governor Yahaya Bello had explained that the bailout fund received by state governments was actually the end product of the federal government standing surety for state governments, that enable them to approach deposit money banks for facilities.
In other words, as against the generally held impression that the federal government has always doled out these funds from its coffers, he indicated that the federal government essentially provided a guarantee for the loan facility to would-be lenders, in favour of the state government.
According to him, “Due to the prevailing economic situation, cash reserves of commercial banks domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria were currently competing for so many pressing needs simultaneously, making it increasingly difficult for the commercial banks to finance loan facilities, especially long-term ones.

“Access and Zenith Banks were however able to step up to the plate when Kogi State approached them. They made the first tranche of the state’s bailout funds available, but on one small condition. That the funds remain domiciled in their banks.”
He said for him without giving it too much thought, it made perfect business sense.
A visit to the state secretariat at zone 8 revealed that most workers actually turned up because of the directive by Government for workers to sign attendance registrar.
However when labour task force for enforcement of the strike came to picket the ministries most of the workers were seen in group discussing their plight outside the building.
Some of the workers who spoke to the Confluence Update on condition of anonymity said they were hungry adding they have not taken salary yet they are fasting and Salla is only 8 days away, they asked Government to be sincere and listen to labour.
They said it is true that some workers have been paid but many more are yet to be paid.
They complained of the use of two banks; Zenith and Access that are not having the spread across the State where unsolicited accounts were opened for workers making it cumbersome as they don’t have enough manpower to meet with the population of workers.
“The Banks are very selfish they want to monopolize the opportunity and grab all workers as their customers because they are providing the loans for the bailout.
“If they have the feelings for civil servants some of whom have not been paid for five months they should have paid the money into their various accounts in other banks thereby discentralizing the payments.
The Commissioner of Information Honorable Muhammed Away Imam who spoke at the secretariat explained that the workers came to work but many of them were suffering from divided loyalty.
He said when labour came to picket the ministries some of the workers left their offices.
Imam indicated that the workers salary have hit their accounts however the major problem was with the banks that are not having capacity in terms of manpower to deal with the workers.

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Sahad Stores moves to invest in Bauchi, as Gov Muhammed welcomes initiative

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Sahad Stores moves to invest in Bauchi, as Gov Muhammed welcomes initiative

By Princess Rose Yusuf, Bauchi

The chief Executive Officer of Sahad Stores Alhaji Ibrahim Mijinyawa has promise to make Bauchi State a business destination with his plan to establish a department store in the State.
Mijinyawa spok when he was received in audience by the executive Governor of Bauchi State Alhaji Bala Muhammed.

The business mogul indicated that he is in Bauchi to bring business opportunities to the people of the State through construction of Sahad super market.

He said with his good relationship with Governor Bala, his company will support him to succeed in the sector of business development.

Receiving the business mogul at Council Chamber, Government House Bauchi. Governor Muhammed expressed gratitude to him for planning to construct a modern market in Bauchi.

Governor Bala with the development, promised to allocate a land for the immediate commencement of the construction exercise of the super market.

He said the super market when established in the state, will go along way in improving business and trade activities in the state for economic development.

Governor Muhammed thanked the CEO of the super market for his support to Nigerians through providing affordable goods and services.

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Gov Sule seeks support from FG to boost agric sector

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Gov Sule seeks support from FG to boost agric sector

From Daniel Abel, Lafia

Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, has sought further collaboration and support from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to boost agricultural activities and rural roads development.

Sule made the call when he paid a thank-you visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, in Abuja, yesterday.

The Governor pointed out that Nasarawa State being an agricultural state, requires the support of the ministry to attain its potential of adding value to the agricultural sector of the country’s economy.

In his appeal, Sule called on the ministry to include Nasarawa State in the Rural Agricultural and Marketing project (RAAM), given its proximity to the Federal Capital Territory and the high number of agricultural activities the minister has indicated interest during his two-day working visit to the state.

The Governor equally solicited the support of the ministry in the area of critical infrastructure like rural roads and water supply.

He specifically reminded the minister of his earlier promise to consider the Doma/Rukubi, Azara/Gindin Asha, as well as the rehabilitation of the Awe/Tunga rural road.

Sule also identified the Lafia/Kilema/Rice Mill internal road, the borehole facilities at the rice mill and cassava processing plant.

“You have seen that Nasarawa State is truly an agricultural state and if properly giving the support, Nasarawa will add value to the agricultural sector of Nigeria,” the Governor said.

He showed appreciation to the minister for taking time out of his tight schedule to pay a two-day working visit to the state, during which he made some promises, with the Governor returning the visit as a follow-up.

Responding, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, said Nasarawa State is key to agricultural development in the country and that with its enormous potentials, the state holds a future for a strong agricultural relationship in the industrial sector.

Alhaji Nanono gave the Dangote Sugar plantation as a testimony of the great potential Nasarawa State holds in especially large scale allied industries.

According to the minister, when fully operational, the Dangote Sugar refinery has capacity to employ 30, 000 people.

“I see that Nasarawa State will be lifted from a rural to a major industrial state. The business acumen that you put into your governance will attract people to the state to invest,” the Minister said.

Alhaji Nanono assured that his ministry will give Nasarawa State support in some rural roads, as well as influence major agricultural undertakings to the state.

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Nationaldaddi Committed To Helping Nigerians Get Affordable Lands, Houses

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Nationaldaddi Committed To Helping Nigerians Get Affordable Lands, Houses

**Floats Estate

A Nigerian young businesses mogul, Ike Bishop Okoronkwo has said that he is committed to helping Nigerians to get lands and houses of their own.

Okoronkwo, who is popularly known as NationalDaddi, has floated his own estate to achieve this commitment.

The estate known as Bishop Court Estate is situated in the city of Abuja and Lagos.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Okoronkwo said, “I am committed to helping many Nigerians to get lands and houses of their own.”

He also restated his commitment to help other young Nigerians to grow in entrepreneurship and creativity, adding that his aim of going into different businesses, is to help build Nigeria and its people.

According to his profile, “Nationaldaddi as his popularly known on social media is a man of different parts. He was one of the young Nigerians who won President Jonathan youwin program in 2012 and since then have ventured into so many businesses including IT, entertainment, hospitality, content creation, degital trading and recently real estate.

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