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Kogi Labour calls off 5weeks strike action

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Kogi Labour calls off 5weeks strike action

Following a collective agreement reached between its leaders and the State Government the organized Labour in Kogi State has announced the suspension of its over five weeks old industrial action
The suspension was announced by the NLC chairman Comrade Onu Edoka on behalf of the organized labour negotiation team at the deputy Governor’s office yesterday.
Edoka however indicated that they agreed on the need to adopt the Dr. Jerry Agbaji’s committee’s report which captured all MDAs, LGAs, LDEAs, tertiary institutions and pensioners.
He added that the report should be subject to continuous scrutiny with the participation of labor leaders as well as Government representatives in order to achieve an authentic payroll for the State.
This was coming against the backdrop that Governor Yahaya Bello had ordered the screening and verification of the actual workforce in the state to identify and eliminate ghost workers and overcome the over bloated salary wage bill.
But the outcome of the screening had pitched the Government and labour on war parts especially due to irregular disbursements of salaries and the use of only two banks that had caused untold hardship to workers hence the strike action.
Continuing, Edoka indicated that part of their agreement requires that the screening report should be made available to all MDAs, LGAs, LDEAs, tertiary institutions and pensioners.
In his words, “We all took note of the painful decision to use two banks for the purpose of paying salaries from tge bail out funds. We have agreed that subsequent payments relating to bail out or other monies should not be domiciled in two banks only.
“In order words, we resolved that salaries should be paid to individuals account of their choice directly.
Continuing he said they agreed that disparity in payment of salary should be jettison for uniformity throughout the State.
Edoka indicated that part of the agreement catered on the necessity for a review of the recent appointments at the Local Government levels which did nor reflect the principle of seniority as contained in all relevant extent civil service rule.
“We agreed on the payment of PAYE be returned to statusquo ante, while a committee of labour and Government be constituted to resolve all grey areas in line with existing laws.
“We agreed that tax refund or tax holiday be implemented by Kogi State University and College of Education Ankpa in respect of all cases of over taxation as approved in 2015 Kogi State Government.”
He pointed out that the negotiation team agreed for Government and labour keepers to always hold to deliberate on labour issues as the need arises even as it admonished both parties to de-emphasize the use of media in settling issues.
“We agreed that all the Governing councils of tertiary institutions in Kogi State be constituted for better administration and learning.
“On the 2015 employment, we agreed that those who enjoyed salary should be considered. Government may, at its convenience look in to the entirety of 2015 employment, particularly those who may not have enjoyed any salary till date.”
On the outstanding promotion letters he said they agreed that they should be released to deserving civil servants adding that the letter for CONTISS 15 migration for lower care approved by the Governing council of Kogi State polytechnic be released.
The NLC chairman expressed reservation over Government explanation concerning the prolonged compulsory leave imposed on some principal officers of the State and Local Government service on allegations of their complicity in the ghost workers saga.
According to him the agreement was that those who were not indicted in anyway be recalled.
Edoka explained that the release of N50M monthly for the settlement of gratuity be restored when the economy improves
On the role of workers during the strike he said the joint negotiation team agreed that no worker would be victimized.
The Deputy Governor who mediate the negotiation thanked the labor leaders for their understanding and sacrifices and the painstaking efforts in two weeks that resulted in the suspension of the strike.
“Coming to agreements means forfeiting certain things so that the State can move forward. In respect of the ongoing screening we want to assure you that there would be no manipulation whatsoever.
“If you say somebody is a ghost worker you must truly prove that he is a Ghost worker. This exercise is intended to ensure that Ghost workers are fished out not to cut down the workforce.”
He explained further that the screening exercise was meant to fish out those who enter the civil service wrongly as well as who are earning salary without working, ‘We are detecting and by the grace of God all shall be revealed.’
“That is why all reports of screening would be made opened, the list of cleared workers would be pasted and the uncleared would be pasted with the reasons why they were uncleared would be attached.”
He said the recent flaunting of salary payment by Government as achievement is because the downturn of the economy of the country.
“It is the right of a worker to earn his wages at the end of the month but because of the difficulty in revenue allocation of late salary payment has become a thing to attribute to as achievement.”
He prayed for that downturn to soon become a thing of the past so that in the near future government can address issues of development as achievement rather than salary.
He expressed optimism that the agreement would bring lasting peace to the State.

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#ENDSARS protests: Senators become soft targets for hoodlums

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#ENDSARS protests: Senators become soft targets for hoodlums

Senators Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo Central), Senator Gershom Bassey, representing Cross Rivers South Senatorial District and Former Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, got their dose of the #ENDSARS protests that has been taken over by hoodlums on Saturday.

The hoodlums in Ibadan invaded Sen. Folarin’s residence, where they carted away items worth N200million
The rampaging youths made away with empowerment materials worth N200 million.
The ugly incident was confirmed by Folarin during a radio programme, monitored on Saturday in Ibadan.
The stolen items were meant for constituency empowerment programme of the lawmaker, scheduled to take place in December.

Among the items carted away are about 300 motorcycles, deep freezers and food items.
Folarin, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content and former Senate Leader, said he was relieved that no life was lost.

In Calabar the hoodlums also invaded the mansion of Senator Ndoma-Egba, where they broke into his premises and that of senator Bassey and carted away properties that include set of chairs, Television sets, matrasses, toilet seats and car batteries before setting the country home of Ndoma-Egba ablaze.

It was gathered that the hoodlums easily overpowered the security personnel protecting the houses and even wanted to collect their guns before the security personnel took to their heels after which the hoodlums carted away valuables.
It was also gathered that a lounge (Bulavard) allegedly belonging to an APC stalwarts Hillard Etta were also vandalised just as a petrol filling allegedly belonging to Governor Ben Ayade was destroyed.

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‘Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding’

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‘Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding’

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerian youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions.
The president in a recorded national broadcast told the youths that their voice has been heard loud and clear and his administration is responding.
He therefore called for calm amidst the arsons and clashes that have ended the peaceful street protests of young Nigerians protesting against police brutality.
“I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy,”
The President however, downplayed the attack on protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos as he failed to mention the episode in his speech.
The government security forces, including the army, alledgelly fired live ammunition on protesters in Lekki toll-gate on Tuesday with fatalities.

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Group clears Bauchi Governor of Corruption allegation

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Group clears Bauchi Governor of
Corruption allegation

From Ali Sara, Bauchi

Corruption allegations against the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir are false, blatant lies being orchestrated by his political enemies, the Bauchi State Coalition Against Financial Crimes and Injustice (BACAFCI) has said.

The National Chairman of BACAFCI Mallam Bibi Dogo stated this on Sunday while fielding questions from newsmen in Bauchi in reaction to the recent petition  filed by alleged stakeholders from Bauchi State.
The group had accused the Governor of corruptly enriching himself and mal administration in the State as reported in some media.
Dogo indicated that the coalition received a copy of the petition which it has studied but found no tangible evidence but blatant lies with the sole aim of bringing the government to disrepute out of envy of his track records and successes.

Dogo who brought dozens of documents in defense of Governor Bala said the anti graft group BACAFCI cleared Bala on all the allegations after they studied the petitions filed by the socalled stakeholders before the Economic Financial Crime Commission EFCC.
Dogo explained further that the allegations of loans for the Purchase of 3.5bn official vehicles for the Political office holders are unfounded as all due processes were followed in the award of the contract.
He said the contract for their purchase was approved by the State House of Assembly through House resolution via a letter sent by the government and duly signed by the clerk of the House Umar Yusuf Gital with reference number BASHA/POL/S/13/VOL.XIX/203 dated 17/July/2019.
He said  the contract was awarded to an indigene of the State after it followed the normal scrutiny where certificate of no objection was issued to the company before it was awarded the contract.
Dogo observed that from their findings, all cars were supplied and put to use by the beneficiaries in the best interest of the State.

He said the allegations that Governor Bala is a director in one of the companies which Bauchi Government patronized is not true as the Governor had resigned his position in the company on 1st May 2019 adding that he was not a Governor at that time because he had not taken the oath of office.
He said their findings were confirmed through Corporate Affairs Commission CAC form no 51180 on the particulars of Directors.

The Chairman also indicated that allegations of awarding road contracts, Building of Palaces, Workshops, assistance to pilgrims, supply of School Uniforms to out of School children, children meals by the government, are all genuine projects that everyone with sincere mind can see.
“Where anyone is in doubt he can go to the relevant government agencies to confirm and verify.
On the issue of School Uniforms and meals for out of school children he said the contract for the supply of uniforms was awarded to the indigenes of the State after due process and the uniforms was supplied.
Dogo indicated that the project was aimed at reducing the number of out of School children, while the Workshop was carried out in the best interest of the state at minimal cost. 

Even the issue of ghost workers, he pointed out that it was Governor Bala who held a public hearing with all stake holders on the issue he is working hard to bring sanity to the system to free some resources and employ more people in to the state Civil Service. 

He said the petitioners were either ignorant of how government operates or it was born outof malice.
“They just decided to paint the governor black due to the large number of physical projects he has execute that has developed the state.

Bibi Dogo said many of the allegations are not directly linked to the Governor but some Civil Servants whom the petitioners didn’t care to accused but the Governor that is making effort to rebuild the State through the provision of genuine infrastructures.

He advised them to always cross check their facts and offer only constructive criticisms not blatant lies.

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