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Organized Labour in Kogi accuses FG of playing politics with N30.8B bailout balance

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Organized Labour in Kogi accuses FG of playing politics with N30.8B bailout balance

By John Akubo

The organised labour in Kogi State is challenging the Federal Government to urgently release the sum of N30.8 billion balance of N50.8 billion it approved as bailout for workers in the public service in 2015 in the State or be percieve to be playing politics with their lives.
The immediate past administration of Former Governor Idris Wada deligently computed the outstanding backlog of unpaid salaries of State and Local Government amounting to N50.8B which was the amount approved as bailout.
However due to political exigencies at the time with PDP Government at the State and APC at the Federal level workers demand for the bailout to be released was truncated on the excuse that the incumbent then would deploy the money for the November 21st, 2015 Governorship election.
Speaking at a press confrence recently the Kogi NLC chairman comrade Onu Edoka said history was playing itself back,
“Ysterday when they were in opposition and the money aught to be released to settle Kogi workers they took a stand against it, that it was going to be used for political exigency.
“History is going to play itself out now because it is still the same period we are making the demand but I am very convinced that if the money is released it will be utilised the way the Paris Club refund was utilised adding that it will not be pushed into politics.
“We are begging politicians to stop playing politics with the lives of Kogi workers because they are making it very difficult for us.”

He said the fund is meant for Kogi workers and it should be released to Kogi workers.
“Labour does not subscribe to that type of politics they are playing. Our pressure for the money to be released is between now and the 16th of February because we are sure that the life span of this government extends beyond 16th of February, 2019.”

He reckoned that the present government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello was only able to access N20 billion of the fund leaving the balance of N30.8 billion.
According to him, “The non-release of the fund has put the workers of Kogi State most especially local government workers and primary school teachers at a very perilous state where they cannot meet their basic needs as human beings.
“As at today, majority of state workers are down with five months salary arrears while those who got late clearance from the Screening exercise have various months of backlog of arrears.
“The worst case scenario is that of primary school teachers and local government workers who have continued to recieve ridiculous percentages of their salaries.
“As it stands today, primary school teachers and local government workers are being owed salary arrears of well over 30 months by the time you calculate the percentages of their salaries not paid over the years.
“Life has indeed become unbearable for these categories of workers as many could not afford the school fees of their children and other basic family needs.
“It is in the light of this that the organised labour in Kogi State passionately appeals to the Federal Government to release the sum of N30.8 billion being the balance of the approved N50.8 billion to enable the state government settle the backlog of arrears owed to the teachers and local government workers.
The organised labour also appealled to the state government to give necessary priority to salary payment because of the ripple effects it has on the economy of the state generally.

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Zamfara government debunks reports that abducted students have regained freedom

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Zamfara government debunks reports that abducted students have regained freedom

Zamfara State Government has indicated that the over 300 Students kidnapped by Bandits are still in the den of their abductors.

Press Secretary to the Governor, Jamilu Magaji, debunked some online media reports that claimed the female students of Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe have regained freedom.
He stated: “Governor Bello Matawalle and his aides have been been having sleepless nights since Friday when the girls were abducted by gunmen.

He said they have been working round the clock, making frantic efforts that will lead to the safe release of the victims.
He expressed dismay that that some persons, who do not know the details of the situation, will try to further hurt the victims’ parents, government and security by ridiculing the effort with falsehood.
“The state government will come immediately and happily inform the world as soon as the girls are released.”

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New fuel price regime in the offing

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New fuel price regime in the offing

A new fuel price regime between N170 and N175 may be approved by the federal government this week, Daily Trust has learnt.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the sole importer of refined petroleum products was selling at the old landing cost of N158.33 as of Saturday but government officials and some marketers have confirmed to Daily Trust that a new fuel price band is imminent this week.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva had two weeks ago said Nigerians should prepare for fuel price increase as oil price climbed above $60 per barrel.
The rise in crude oil price has taken the landing cost of petrol in Nigeria above N180 per litre.
“Even though the organised labour is still adamant on their stance against fuel price hike, we have told paying for the differential is not sustainable… This week a new price band will likely come into effect”, an oil agency official said yesterday.
The source said the Nigerian Petroleum Marketing Company (NPMC), a marketing arm of the NNPC, would notify depot owners and marketers of the new price by Monday.
However, NNPC said there would not be fuel price increase any time soon in an earlier statement. NNPC spokesman, Dr. Kennie had Obateru explained that the decision was to allow ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship, to be concluded.
The Coalition of Nigerian Civil Society Organisations for Petroleum and Energy Security (CONCSOPES) has said the organised labour’s refusal to allow fuel price hike and its agitation for the rollback of oil sector’s deregulation will lead to the product scarcity.
CONCSOPES’ convener Timothy Ademola told newsmen in Abuja on Saturday said market forces should be allowed to determine fuel prices.

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Marketers allay fears over fuel scarcity, ask Nigerians to stop panic buying

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Marketers allay fears over fuel scarcity, ask Nigerians to stop panic buying

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has allayed apprehension among Nigerians who may be planning to hoard the Premium Motor Spirit.

The Public Relations Officer, Suleiman Yakubu
on Sunday spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as long fuel queues were noticed at filling stations in many states and Abuja.

It was observed that some filling stations are reluctant dispense the PMS they have in stock to motorists while some have run out of supply.

Yakubu said the price of crude oil has gone up and affected the price of products.

The spokesman assured that PMS would soon be available in excess as loading had already commenced at depots.

“The government and marketers are doing everything possible to ensure that the products are available in every filling station within a few days starting from today,” he said

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