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Nation wide strike: FG jittery, calls Labour to emergency meeting on Sunday

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Nation wide strike: FG jittery, calls Labour to emergency meeting on Sunday



The Federal Government having weighed the implications of a showdown with the organised labour, may have beaten a retreat as it has softpeddaled on its earlier tough stance against the strike.

This is just as the organised Labour seemed to have been fully mobilised for a total showdown with Federal Government over increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Electricity Tariff in the country.
The meeting which Government scheduled to hold on Monday with Labour was shifted to 7.00 p.m on Sunday.
At the last negotiation meeting on Thursday, which was deadlocked, they agreed to re-convene on Monday.
Government has been adopting what seems like crude strategies having procured two court orders from the National Industrial Court by the same judge to stop the strike at all costs.
However, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, told journalists after a meeting with House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, that Labour has not recieved the court orders stopping it from going on strike.

“We have not received any court order restraining us from embarking on tomorrow’s strike and so we are giving the Federal Government till midnight to reverse pump price and electricity tarrif or face the scheduled strike.

He accused even government of disobeying court order: ”The Federal Government failed to obey a court injunction restraining them from increasing electricity tarrif”.

The court orders seem not to be working as it has fallen on deaf ears, with Labour mobilising abd calling out at least 16 core unions for a rally and a strike; while the Federal Government has been moving men and mobilising to stop the strike, even warning its own staff to report at their duty posts on Monday, the “mother of all strikes”.
The Governors seemed to be having something off their sleeve as they are trying to play to bring about a new negotiation.
In communique on Saturday, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum claims it is holding talks with the Nigeria Labour Congress and they are on the path to resolving the impasse occasioned by the threat by workers to embark on industrial action if the Federal Government does not rescind the recent decisions to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Electricity Tariff in the country.

This is the outcome of an early morning dialogue between representatives of the Forum and workers which took place at the residence of the Chairman of the NGF, in Abuja, early on Saturday.

The Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi spoke for the Forum while the NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba who was accompanied by the TUC President Quadri Olaleye and the NLC General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboajah, to the meeting. Also at the meeting was the Director General of the NGF Mr Asishana Okauru.

The Chairman explained that Governors decided to wade into the on-going negotiations with a view to broadening consultations and assisting to bring the impasse to an end, thus averting the impending strike action. He pleaded with the NLC that the timing of the action was inauspicious and could aggravate an already worsening situation if not averted.

Dr John Kayode Fayemi emphasised that the plight of workers in the country was already in dire straits and that any action embarked upon by the union at this time would further worsen their situation as contained in the communique issued by governors after their first emergency meeting on Thursday, 24th September, 2020, since the outbreak of the pandemic and eventual lockdown of the country, last March.

The NGF Chairman said, no one that is conversant with the prevailing situation in the country would disagree with labour and its demands, as it were, but pleaded
that Governors be given time to consult more broadly with the various stakeholders, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, the vice president and the president. This he said would be top priority for the NGF and promised to head straight to the presidency once the meeting was over.

The Governors Chairman expressed the hope that this gesture from the governors would also energise the leadership of labour to put a hold on their planned action.

On his part, the President of the NLC said the Federal Government violated the time-tested global process of dialogue and thanked the NGF Chairman for his efforts at ensuring that sanity returns to the negotiation table.

When the cost of PMS rises, the cost of everything in the country rises with it, the NLC President explained.

He agreed with the NGF Chairman and also praised him for agreeing to broaden the mechanism for consultation on the matter saying “I praise you for showing a good grasp of this matter and I believe that if they had widened the mechanism for consultation and involved people like you, we wouldn’t have come to this pass.”

In conclusion, Dr. Fayemi stated that Government and Labour are not that far apart in the negotiation and the differences are not irreconcilable. According to NGF Chairman, “our President who is always on the side of workers will not be averse to the issues being raised and I’m hopeful for an amicable settlement on the issues highlighted.”

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FG admonishes Nigerians on need for peaceful coexistence

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FG admonishes Nigerians on need for peaceful coexistence

Following the growing tension in Ondo and Oyo States, the Federal Government has called on citizens and good people of Nigeria to put unity and peace above all.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola who gave the advice Tuesday in his office in Abuja, implored all citizens in the country to exercise restraint and pursue active efforts on how to use the tools of constructive dialogue, good neighbourliness and the primacy of peace-building as ways of dousing anger and resentment that can only lead to anarchy.

In his speech, titled “A TIME TO PUT UNITY AND PEACE ABOVE ALL”, which he personally signed, Aregbesola observed that “The regrettable incidences of heightening ethnic and religious tension in our country are, in part, outcomes of political and economic strains that have persistently defined our land and continue to exacerbate security challenges, making the task of development more traumatic.”

According to him, “Government is keenly aware and genuinely concerned about these complications that, sadly, have been sharpened by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic through the growth of anxieties about issues, life and livelihood in our communities.”

The Minister stated further that, Government is taking a holistic look at the challenges and will stop at nothing to bring lasting peace, security and amity to all our communities.

He emphasized that government would not tolerate any act or behaviour capable of jeopardising law and order as well as security of lives and property in any part of the country.
  “There will be no tolerance for any act or behaviour capable of jeopardising law and order and security of lives and property in any part of Nigeria.” He said.

 “Therefore, as the government is fashioning long term answers to address these problems, it urges citizens to appreciate that self-help and lawlessness cannot offer a path to sustainable solution.
“It can only lead to greater pain as well as costly human and material losses and disruption of the already difficult task of devising responses that will produce tangible peace and development in the country.”

Aregbesola assured that the Federal Government is moving in quickly to bring state, community, security, traditional institutions, religious organizations and youth groups into a purposeful dialogue that will bring effective resolutions to the problem within constitutional and legal frameworks.

He therefore called on all the citizens in the country to continue to work together as brothers and sisters towards building a peaceful community that will be beneficial to all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and other differences.

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WIEN advocates for 35% affirmative action in governing board appointments

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WIEN advocates for 35% affirmative action in governing board appointments

Women In Energy Network (WIEN) is asking for 35% affirmative action to be applicable also in the appointment of Governing boards.
WIEN is an association established in 2020 to provide a platform for Women that work across the Energy Industry value chain; to network and build confidence and links to progress their careers or businesses.
The President of WIEN and Managing Director of Zigma Limited Mrs. Funmi Ogbue, spoke during her opening statement at the
Public Hearing on Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB) 2020, organised by Senate’s joint Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Upstream and Gas,
She indicated that from research Boards of Directors with at least three women demonstrate improved
communications, greater adherence to codes of conduct, and
better criteria for managing strategy and monitoring its
implementation.
“WIEN would like to see the deliberate inclusion of policies that will
ensure that at least 35% of each Governing Board is constituted by
women.
“WIEN suggest that the PIB mandates the inclusion of a minimum
indigenous women from the Host Community on the Board of Trustees.
She raised concern over the proposal in the Petroleum Industry Bill that says each settlor, where applicable through the operator should contribute an amount equal to 2.5 % of actual operating expenditure in respect of all petroleum operation.
She also said the 2.5% is too expensive.
“WIEN posits that a total of not more than 1 % (one percent) consistent with other Statutory provisions like the Nigerian Local Content Act 2010, replace the current figure captured in the PIB.
“This will improve investors’ perception about the industry being already over taxed which will attract even more Foreign Direct Investment to the sector and country at large.
She kicked against the use of Gender Neutral Pronouns/Terms such as the PIB’s use of masculine terms “him, his, he” to refer to the position of “Minister, Commissioner Chief Executive, Executive Commissioner, Non-Executive Commissioner, Authority Chief Executive, Executive Director, Directors and Officers of the Authority , Transaction Advisor, Licensee of the Petroleum Exploration Licence, Receiver, Liquidator”

According to her, such gender terms should be changed to gender neutral terms “they, their, its, a person.”
“This is to avoid legal issues and confusion as in some other positions gender neutral terms are used.”

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households 

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power Jedy-Agba has disclosed that the country is set for a ‘bounce back’ programme in its green recovery initiative that will provide solar home systems to 5 million households

He spoke at a UK hosted Climate Change Conference Roundtable on Clean Power Transition on 11 January during a virtual visit to the UK on 10–12 January by United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres which he attended. 

The Minister added that off-grid power sources have become more competitive since the removal of fuel subsidies.

He stressed that Nigeria was taking steps to merge its energy access and energy transition plan. 
He acknowledged that the largest population without electricity globally resides within its borders, and identified financing as a major constraint to Nigeria’s clean and renewable energy transition plans. 
According to him, 

“With the help of the international community, we can improve the decentralized renewable energy market to create jobs, provide energy more quickly to those without access, and ensure that we maintain and eventually reduce our emission levels to achieve our net-zero objectives.

“As the COP26 Presidency, the UK Government is committed to supporting the Nigerian government to develop ambitious evidence-based plans to deliver on Nigeria’s own commitments ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November 2021. 
“The UK supported the solar sector in Nigeria with a £66m programme between 2014 and 2020 which  helped provide energy access to   5.5 million Nigerians since 2015.
He said the UK is delivering ongoing programmes to develop quality standards, financing and manufacturing arrangements for solar home systems.
“Many UK companies are also active in the solar home system market in Nigeria.
“The UK considers the licensing of mobile money to facilitate Pay As You Go arrangements for solar home systems a positive development.”

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres at the event challenged developed nations to fulfil their pledges to provide $100 billion annually for developing countries’ clean energy transition.
During the roundtable, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK will pledge up to £38 million to the Climate Compatible Growth programme, supporting developing countries to accelerate their transition to clean energy while growing their economies.
“The UK is already moving to clean power faster than any major economy, and last year committed to protect at least 30 per cent of its land and ocean by 2030.
“Together these announcements address the two leading sources of global emissions – electricity generation and land use – and demonstrate the UK’s leadership in fighting climate change ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.”

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