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Organised labour accuses Bello of breaking agreements

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Organised labour accuses Bello of breaking agreements

Organised labour in Kogi State has taken a swipe at the state government for reneging on all the agreements entered into with the government before the suspension of the industrial action in November 2017.
The state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Onuh Edoka and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Ranti Ojo gave the indication in a joint statement issued in Lokoja.
The Governor in a national television interview at the Villa had stated that he had cleared salarybarrears owed to civil servants up to December, 2017 even though in another breath his spokesperson Kingsley Fanwo explained the reasons for percentage payments promising that the difference would be paid in due course.
However Labour insisted that the available record shows that government unilaterally paid 60% and 40% salaries to the state and local government workers from August to December, 2017.
The unions said that the arrears due to some staff owed between 6 to 22 months before August 2017 are still hanging and wondered why the state government would engage in such a misleading statement that all workers have been paid up to date.
The organised labour also expressed dismay at the disclosure of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello that the government borrowed a whooping sum of 10 billion Naira to pay salary arrears when it is evident that the state government collected over 6 billion Naira Paris Club refund in addition to the monthly allocations of October and November 2017, the three sums, ordinarily could have been enough to pay full salary to all categories of staff going by the wage bill of 2.6 billion Naira presented by the state government. The organised labour therefore described the Governor’s pronouncement that workers have been paid up to December 2017 as a mere political statement that cannot be justified.
The unions said the state government has been taking workers and their views for the ride when it comes to consulting the leadership of the unions on the matters that affect the welfare of the workers.
The organised labour said that the Governor’s standpoint on the clock-in-clock-out device would be used as a means of computing January salary is another affront on the patience of Kogi workers since the issue of the device was part of the November 2017 agreement reached with the government.
According to them, the unions agreed with the government that a committee be set to monitor the effectiveness of the device in the first three months after which a report of it would be studied by both government and labour before the next line of action.
As at today, the labour leaders said no such committee has been instituted to monitor the effectiveness of the machine and government has gone to town saying it would be the basis for computing workers’ salaries which is a clear violation of the Minimum Wage Act of the National Assembly and attempt to casualise Kogi workers.
The leaders appealed to the state government to give Kogi workers respite after the excruciating pains they went through in the hands of the government in the course of the screening exercise by paying the outstanding arrears owed to certain categories of workers and also paying the 40% and 60% balance of August to December 2017 salaries to the state and local government employees.
The organised labour would also want to put on record that labour in Kogi State is not on any ego trip with government or an arm of any political party in the state but just a body in the forefront of ensuring a better treatment for members of the state workforce.
They therefore urged government to urgently look into the November 2017 agreements with a view to implementing them so that industrial harmony can prevail in Kogi State.

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

By Aminci Audu

The minister of communications and Digital Economy Isah Ali Pantami has declared that Nigeria is ready for 5th Generation Network (5G) as long as the major challenges are taken care of.

Pantami spoke yesterday, at a one day investigative hearing on the present status of 5G network organised by the joint Senate committee on communication, sScience and Technology, ICT and Cybercrime and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.

The minister in his presentation allayed the fear among Nigerians over the planned deployment of the network saying the Federal Government has taken all necessary precautions by investigating through research and trial on all issues raised.

He said “The position is that we are almost at the final stage. So now, Nigeria is ready for 5G as long as we address the major challenges.”

“We have not gotten there, wether we will deploy 5G but we are on track conducting research, investigations, engaging stakeholders and definitely if all issues are addressed, the executive will support the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.”

He noted that so far no negative impacts has been established from the research and trial carried both locally and at the international level. 

On the speculation that the 5G network escalated the COVID-19 he said there is no link between 5G and COVID-19.
“And there is no relationship between 5G and any desease. The only issue being raised usually is about radiation.  But people don’t realise that the radiation of 4G is more harmful than that of 5G. 
“The radiation of microwave oven at home is more harmful than that of the 5G. The radiation of even the smart phone itself is even more harmful that that of 5G

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

The South-south Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has faulted allegations of wrong doing leveled against the Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva over the choice of Saipem, an Italian firm to handle the Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract.

SELF in a statement argued that the deal also endorsed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Board Engr. Simbi Wabote was in the best interest of the country.

SELF position was in response to an online publication which accused the duo of bribe taking running into millions of naira in the deal.

SELF warned the publisher of the medium , Mr Jackson Ude, to desist from blackmailing leaders of the South-south extraction in a bid to score political goals.

Urging the Publisher of the online medium to show proof his allegation, SELF noted: “We strongly condemn the allegation leveled by Pointblanknews.com and its sponsors, this is highly condemnable and viewed as a sponsored plot to instigate hate against the Minister and derail his concentrations.

“This is ridiculous and belittling of Jackson Ude, the face behind this blackmail for being petty to the ground level for publishing tissues of lies about the persons of Timipre Sylva and Simbi Wabote.

“Nigerians should not believe this and throw it into the dust bin. It’s incumbent on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the positive drive of Minister and collaborate with him, towards the actualization of the onerous task at stake.

“Although Jackson Ude and his medium Pointblanknews.com are criminally known for thriving in the business of blackmail, especially against the officeholders from the Niger Delta region. But this forum will henceforth resist this criminality by deploying all known instrumental of law to fight the faces behind these tissues of lies.

“This Forum is using this medium to warn the likes of Jackson Ude to stay away from Nigeria and the South-south most especially if they are not ready to turn a new leaf because the business of blackmail has long become outdated and unpopular.”

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Great relief as Kidnapped Punch reporter, Nnodim regains freedom

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Great relief as Kidnapped Punch reporter, Nnodim regains freedom


It was a great relief for journalists, family members, friends and well wishers when the news filtered in that the Punch Newspapers reporter, Victor Okechukwu Nnodim who was kidnapped from his residence in Kubwa, Bwari Area Council on Thursday has regained freedom.

He was released almost 48hours hours after his abduction alongside two other neighbours who were also abducted.
It was gathered early hours of Sunday that he has been released and in high spirits.

The media world was jolted by the news of his abduction, as many turned prayer warriors supplicating for his freedom without any harm

His abductors, NationaUpdate learnt later communicated with his elder sister who resides in Lagos demanding for N10 million.

At the time of this report it could not be ascertained if ransom was paid before he regained freedom, but colleagues made efforts to contributed money towards his release, when it became obvious that the kidnappers were bent on collecting ransom.

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