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Kogi poly Asup embarks on indefinite strike as Labour gives one week ultimatum

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Kogi poly Asup embarks on indefinite strike as Labour gives one week ultimatum

The Academic staff Union of polytechnics (ASUP) Kogi state polytechnic Lokoja chapter has ordered its members to proceed on an indefinite strike beginning from today (Monday) over non payment of salaries.

The chairman of ASUP Gboloromi Samuel Sunday gave the directives yesterday in Lokoja as the only option left to compel the government to heed to their demand for arrears of salaries.

The organized Labour in Kogi State has issued a one week ultimatum to the State Government within which to effect the full payment of salary for the month of July to its members or be faced with industrial action.
This was contained in a bulletin dated September 5th, 2017 which was signed by all chairmen of the Union chairmen and issued to newsmen in Lokoja yesterday.
The organised labor is made up of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and Public Sector Joint Negotiation Council (PSJNC).
This is happening as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Kogi State University chapter had been at loggerhead with the Government leading to the proscription of the union in the State varsity by Governor Yahaya Bello.
New lecturers have been employed to replace those that refused to resume at the State varsity even as academic programs have a caricature of what it used to be.
It would be recalled that in February this year, six kogi state owned tertiary institutions had embarked on an indefinite strike which paralyzed the academic programmes across the instructions in the state for five months however, the polytechnics had in July suspended their strike but the recent development of government’s failure to pay their july salaries is once again taking them to the trenches.
Sunday stated that although, the 21 days ultimatum earlier given to government to meet with the negotiated demands before suspending the strike was not over, the need for his members to collect their salaries cannot be swept under the carpet, stressing that the impending strike can be averted if the government pays their salaries before Monday.

“Early in the year, Six state owned tertiary institutions embarked on indefinite strike, Kogi state Polytechnic acceded Government plea to suspended the strike and resumed academic programmes which they complied while others refused to bulge.

“Even when reminded that they had not kept their promise on the agreement we had with them before suspending the strike, we still continue with our work, until when things got to a head that we recently issued 21 days ultimatum to resume the strike or they should hasten the process to meet the agreement.

“We were surprised , when July salaries were being paid to our colleagues in other tertiary institutions across the state ,our members were being left out. When we enquire, we were told that the state has no money to pay us, even when all the civil servants in the state have collected theirs.

” As I speak, my members have exhausted all sources from where they used to borrow money. Right now, our members are starving, we dont have transport money to come to work, no tools to work with even primary things like stencils are not provided.
“We urged the governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to immediately commence the payment of July salaries to our members, as what is good for the goose is good for the gander” to abort the impending strike that will once again paralyzed the academic progression of our students. “He warned .
The Chairman , however called on the governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello and all well meaning Nigerians to press on the administration to immediately commence the payment of july salaries to the members to avert further disruptions to the academic programmes of the school.
Kogi State government last week paid 50% salary to workers against the demand of Labour for full salaries to its members.
Labour has also demand that the State government account for the money collected from the federation account, bailout and the Paris Club refund.
According to Labour Majority of its workers are still being owed salaries ranging from ten to twenty months, which it said has led to the death of some of them and mass withdrawal of their children from school.
They called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently call Governor Bello to order to avoid mass death of his workers.
But the state government had said that its inability to pay salaries was due to dwindling revenue from the federation account, saying that the arrears will be paid as soon as funds are available.
Governor Yahaya Bello had embarked on workers verification which lasted for over fifteen months to sanitize the Civil service, an exercise described by Labour as largely a huge failure.
A Civil servant who in confidence, noted that if what the government claimed to have saved through the exercise was anything to go by, the state should be in position to pay salaries with ease.
“They claimed to have saved over one billion Naira from the screening exercise. Where is the money. If actually the saved that much, they should be able to pay salaries.
Continuing the organized labour accused the State Government of shady dealings and double standards in its presentation where it admitted having inherited a wage bill of N2.7 billion before the screening exercise and yet arrived at N3.1B as its current wage bill even when many workers are not being paid.
The bulletin indicated that it amounted to double speak and gross irregularity on the part of Government to later changed its earlier figure of N3.1B as wage bill to the N2.6B as presented by labour.
“We wish to bring to your notice that Government in response to our correspondence on this matter has now brought down monthly wage bill of the State from their earlier N3.1B to N2.6B.”
“Comrades, if the N2.6B being quoted now by Government as July wage bill is sacrosanct, and if the monthly allocation that accrued to the State from Federation account without Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) shared in the month of August 2017 stands at N2.6B as presented to the organised labour, we then wish to ask, why the percentage payment.
It explained that government could further access some funds from its IGR for other government expenditure(s)?.
According to the bulletin, “Comrades, it is no longer news that government has made good her threat of reducing our salaries to 50% and 40% for state workers and local government workers/teachers respectively.
The union also challenge the government to come out and tell the public what happened to the allocation Kogi State received in the month of June 2017 without mentioning the previous months.
The union however maintained its stance of not settling for percentage/half salary payment adding that the 50% salary payment to State workers and 40% to Local Government workers and teachers is considered as Sallah gift as earlier stated.
It urged Government to pay July salary in full on or before 12th September, 2017 to sustain the industrial peace and harmony in the State currently enjoyed.

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NUJ Zamfara chair debunks change of baton news, says he remains in charge

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NUJ Zamfara chair debunks change of baton news, says he remains in charge

The Nigerian Union of Journalists, Zanfara State  Chapter, has drawn the attention of the general public to a fake letter allegedly being circulated on social media that the NUJ Chairman Abdulrazak Bello Kaura from Pride FM Gusau has been transfered to Royal FM Sokoto.

The purported statement which was signed by the chapter’s Assistant secretary Nasiru Shehu Aula Dabbakal and was made available to the NationalUpdate in Abuja, earlier, had announced a change of Baton in the leadership of the State council of the union.
The statement had indicated that by the announcement the vice chairman Comrade Bello Muhammad Boko would serve as acting chairman pending a by-election that will bring in a new and substantive chairman.

The NIJ chairman Abdulrazak Bello Kaura
in his rebuttal of the statement  that was also made available to the NationalUpdate on Sunday in Abuja indicated that, “In the first instance the transfer is fake or a failed attempt by saboteurs and enemies of the profession and not political Union.
“During an illegal and deceptive meeting called by Assistant Secretary of the Union, members of the Union were threatened that the state government has directed them to address them and informed them about the purported transfer and decision to pick my vice, who I have had a good working relationship with to act as chairman.

“The arranged transfer by some elements who feel my position as the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Zamfara State Council was blocking their chances to use the Union for their selfish interests to achieve their agenda has failed.

He said the fake letter being circulated by his secretary attracted the attention of concerned personalities and his humble self.

He therefore decided to set the record straight saying,
“I’m a staff of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Radio Nigeria Kaduna National Station, posted to Radio Nigeria Pride FM Gusau, a dedicated staff and peace-loving with appetite and curiosity to improving the journalism profession.

“It should be noted that the management of the FRCN has realized that it was orchestrated.

“It also should be noted that nobody served me with any transfer letter, not even verbally till this moment.

“It was a senior colleague on the 3rd of February, 2021 that drew my attention to a letter being circulated on New Media platforms, addressed to me but not served, that I have been transferred to Royal FM Sokoto.
“I quickly called my General Manager to confirm and he said he was unaware of such a transfer. 
“The Council Secretary, Malam Abubakar Ahmed, also called him for confirmation but the answer from my GM was also a ‘No.’
“I later realized that it was a contract by a former DG Press Affairs, who was seen lobbying NUJ members to support his move to unseat me.
“He was seen sharing money and pleading with them to do the “needful.” This was reported to me by some good Samaritans.

“Let me make it clear that I’m still a staff of FRCN Pride FM, Gusau and the substantive Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Zamfara State Council who was elected in March, 2019 for a tenure of 3 years or 2 tenures of six years if reelected in the next election coming up in the next 13 months.
“Even if the transfer is true, the NUJ Constitution is clear about it in Article 6 (8)(9) and I quote: “If any officer retires or becomes unemployed, he shall be allowed to continue in office for six months after which if he is still unemployed and his case is not of such that the Union is fighting for his re-instatement, he shall cease to hold office and the post shall be filled through a bye-election.” However, he indicated that the rule does not apply in cases of acts of misconduct and criminal offences.’l
“An elected officer of the union who may have to be away for a period of two years, shall resign his office.
“The vacant office shall be filled in accordance with Article 6(8) of this Constitution.
10. No member of the union shall hold any particular office.”

With all the aforementioned provisions of the NUJ Constitution, he said the desperation blinds those behind the charade from seeing the truth and justice.

“I have never been faulted either by the SWC, SEC nor the Congress for any irregularity which made them to lose focus on where to start the contract they signed with politicians to unseat me as the elected Chairman of the NUJ Zamfara state Council.

For more clarifications, our Zonal Office sent a letter to the General Manager, Pride FM Gusau suspending the earlier transfer letter circulated on Social Media platforms by some unscrupulous elements (copy attached)

Another unfortunate disgrace to the NUJ and indeed its members he said was an unethical shameful announcement of the purported transfer on Zamfara Radio for two Days despite the notice debunking the transfer that was made availlable to the Chairman and the Manager News of the Radio Station.
“Their frequent live announcements misinforming the public that I have been transferred to Sokoto and my Vice was nominated in acting capacity was unethical.
He called on the National Broadcasting Commission; Nigeria Press Council; Civil Society Organisations and other relevant stakeholders as well as all well wishers of the NUJ and Journalism profession to intervene.

The National Leadership of our professional Union is at present working on the issue and I believe they will do justice to the matter as guided by the constitution and subsequently will met iutdeal sanctions on those working to mar the unity and integrity of the Union.

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Zamfara NUJ State Council announces change of baton in its leadership

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Zamfara NUJ State Council announces change of baton in its leadership

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Zamfara State chaper has announced a change of Baton in the leadership of the State council of the union.
By the announcement the vice chairman Comrade Bello Muhammad Boko will serve as acting chairman pending a by-election that will bring in a new and substantive chairman.
The announcement was contained in a statement that was signed by the chapter’s Assistant secretary Nasiru Shehu Aula Dabbakal which was made available to the NationalUpdate in Abuja on Monday.
The statement indicated that
following the recent transfer of the council chairman, Comrade Abdulrazak Bello Kaura from Pride FM, Gusau, Zamfara state to Royal FM, Sokoto in Sokoto state, it became necessary to effect constitutional adjustments to avoid any vacuum.

The union assured the good people of Zamfara of a cordial working relationship .

The union also expressed its appreciation to the Governor of the State, Bello Matawallen, the Maradun Shatiman Sokoto for his support to members of the union.
The statement stressed that the union will continue to support the Matawalle-led administration especially in the fight against armed banditry through his peace accord and dialogue initiative.

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Commissioner advocates media practitioners’ involvement in farming

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Commissioner advocates media practitioners’ involvement in farming

By Friday Idachaba

Akwa-Ibom State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Glory Edet, has appealed to Solidaridad West Africa, an international solution-oriented Civil Society Organisation (CSO), to train Media practitioners in the art of farming and investment in agriculture.

Edet made the call at a wrap-up workshop for CSOs and Media practitioners from Akwa-Ibom, Cross-Rivers, Enugu and Kogi States working on Oil Palm production interventions of Solidaridad West Africa on Thursday in Uyo.

The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Mary Bassey, implored Solidaridad to involve media practitioners not only as participants but stakeholders in the Agriculture sector.

“Please, take the media people as stakeholders and also train them to become farmers. Make them go into agriculture and make millionaires out of them. Agriculture is the fastest way to become millionaires.

“Farming, aside producing the food we eat and guaranteeing food security, is now a highly lucrative business which everyone must embrace to break the shackles of poverty,’’ she said.

Edet explained that Akwa-Ibom had taken Agriculture production very seriously and was producing pepper, tomatoes and onions from its greenhouse adding, that “very soon, we would begin to export our onions”.

Speaking earlier, Dr Sam Ogallah, Senior Climate Specialist, Africa and County Technical Lead, Solidaridad Network, West Africa said the media were drawn in as participants as part and parcel of the Solidaridad interventions.

“They are stakeholders in our work and if we want to transform the Agriculture sector in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck and the media have a very crucial role to play in transforming the Agriculture sector.

“We have seen the enormous task ahead and Solidaridad alone cannot do it.

“So,we need every person on board from the CSOs, the government, the media, the Private Sector and the likes for us to bring the change that really matters in the agricultural sector in Nigeria,” Ogallah stated. (NAN)

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