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Organized Labour issues threats of industrial action to KGSG if new demands are not met

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Labour in action

Labour in action

Organized Labour issues threats of industrial action to KGSG if new demands are not met

The organized labour in Kogi State has issued threats to embark on industrial action if it’s new demands forwarded to the Kogi State Government are not met.
The organized Labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), made their position known in a statement jointly issued yesterday in Lokoja.
The statement that was jointly signed by State Chairman of NLC , Onuh Edoka, TUC Chairman, Ojo Ranti and JNC Chairman, Aaron Akeji, and was made available to Confluence Update, the organized Labour demanded the immediate reversal to statusquo of paying workers salary through their existing Bank accounts that they have been using to draw their salaries.
The statement described the new policy of government as an infringement on the fundamental human rights of workers to own personal accounts with any bank of their choice.
It therefore kicked against the decision of the state government to open ‘unsolicited salaries’ accounts’ with Access Bank and Zenith Bank on behalf of civil servants without their consent.
Confluence Update findings indicated that government had opened accounts for genuine workers who were cleared after the screening exercise before commencing payment of salaries.
They noted that Labour was not convinced with the reasons given by governor Yahaya Bello over government’s decision on the issue, adding that the development would further compound the hardships already facing workers in the state.
“Besides, most workers already have business commitments with their current banks predating this administration, implying that the policy will definitely set them against their banks with unpleasant consequences that they may suffer”, the statement added
“Workers are advised  to be careful in rushing to perfect the un-solicited Accounts opened for them with the Access and Zenith Banks Plc, as withdrawals within the state will take a longer time than necessary and subject them to untold hardship, while withdrawals outside the state will make the state government declare them as workers in diaspora as being captured in the current screening exercise”, the statement said.
It’s second demand had to do with correction to the anomalies in the current appointments made at the Local Government levels
The statement frowned at the utter disregard for established Civil service rules regarding the appointments
“Labour also took an exception to the indefinite suspension of top Government civil servants in the State without recourse to established rules.
“Whereas Labour is not out to protect any officer that is found wanting in his mandate, we take exception to a blanket suspension imposed on the affected officers without finding them guilty of any known offense.”
It demanded the immediate recall and reinstatement of all the suspended officers especially as one of them had been reinstated as acting permanent secretary in Government House.
On its third demand it condemned the transfer of primary school teachers salary and Local Government pension to local Government councils contrary to the extant law that empowered the fore-mentioned statutory boards to handle the responsibility.
“We therefore demand the return to statusquo in the interest of industrial peace and harmony. Since the so called autonomy is a pronouncement without an action in reality.
The statement also demanded the implementation of the collective agreement of honour between organized labour and Government on 1st February, 2016 that made labour to suspend it’s six weeks strike in solidarity with the new Government then.
Labour expressed sadness with the disdain of Government towards that collective bargaining agreement.
“In the light of the four demands the Sec-In-Session resolved that the State Government should as a matter of urgency intervene positively or else it would declare an industrial action.
“These demands that are devoid of sentiments and bias are aimed at correcting the ills in the civil service and enhancing the welfare of workers in the State.”

But governor Yahaya Bello had earlier clarified on reasons why the government chose Access and Zenith Bank to workers’ salaries on the issue of its first dand.

He indicated that, “Due to the prevailing economic situation, cash reserves of commercial banks domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria are currently competing for so many pressing needs simultaneously, making it increasingly difficult for the commercial banks to finance loan facilities, especially long-term ones.

“Access and Zenith Banks were however able to step up to the plate when Kogi State approached them. They made the first tranche of the state’s bailout funds available, but on one small condition. That the funds remain domiciled in their banks. If you ask me, and without giving it too much thought, it does make perfect business sense.

“These banks offer essentially homogeneous services, especially in this case where we are talking about salary accounts. It would have been odd were Access and Zenith to be so liberal as to allow other banks benefit from an exclusive market they have basically created. So, rather than make these funds available to the state government to pay workers through other banks, why not internalise the entire process and start reaping accruable benefits from the get go?

“This explanation is very necessary as I have come across many wild allegations and insinuations that accounts being opened are for unethical purposes. Given the foregoing, any insinuations and speculations about shady, under hand dealings with regards to the disbursement of these bailout funds are completely unfounded.

“I admit that this situation where erroneous notions are already making the rounds should have been prempted. However, I believe it is not too late to correct the wrong impression some of us have held on this issue”, he said.

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Labour disowns FG over petrol price hike, as it asks for reversal to N160

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Labour disowns FG over petrol price hike, as it asks for reversal to N160

**decries FG insincerity

The organised Labour has expressed disappointment with the Federal Government over its high level of insincerity with the union.
The general secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Emma Ugboajah indicated that labour movement’s agreement with Government was for local refineries to be be rehabilitated to boost local refining.
He said almost eight weeks after the negotiations, the Federal Government has not shown any commitment to all the items that were agreed upon.
He stressed that out of 161 buses that are powered gas, none of them has been supplied to the movement.
“We never supported deregulation that is anchored on price increment. Our minimum request is that the Federal Government must reverse back to N160,” Ugboajah said. “We agreed that the refineries should be out to work. We have not seen any work in that regard.
Also, we have seen the NNPC maintaining a stranglehold on importation.”
He said the are demanding for a reversal of recent hike in the petrol price adding that they did not endorse deregulation that is anchored on price.

He said the strikers option is still opened for them to explore

The President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye, said things are going out of hand if urgent steps are not taken.
His words: “We cannot pretend that things are not going right. It seems government wants to create crisis when none exists. We have been coming here to ensure the hardship on the people is reduced.
He accused the Government of sponsoring miscreants who torment them with insults through text messages on daily bases making almost impossible for them to move freely

“Academic staffers have been on strike. We set up a committee for more than two months and nothing has happened. A month to the end of the year, nothing has been done. If today’s meeting does not solve the problem, we will mobilise outselve and stage a walk out of the meeting. I hope today’s meeting will be productive. ”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the meeting was supposed to have been held in October but for #EndSars protests that rocked the nation last month.
Ngige said the Federal Government is ready to begin rolling out the palliatives as from today, Monday.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha said government is already working on some of the agreed area such as reduction of tariff on the importation of cars from 35% to 10% and other steps that the Federal Government has taken.









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Lekki shooting: Army debunks use of live ammunition allegation

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Lekki shooting: Army debunks use of live ammunition allegation

The Nigerian Army has debunked allegations that it used live ammunition on unarmed #EndSARS protesters, during the alleged Oct. 20 shooting at the Lekki Tollgate.
The Army made its position known when it appeared before the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters.
Commander of the 81 Division, Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, who testified on behalf of the Nigerian Army said that the military had fired blank ammunition into the air to disperse protesters on the night of the alleged shooting.
Taiwo, who gave a presentation to the panel with the use of a projector, played a footage which showed soldiers standing in front of singing protesters and firing their weapons into the air.
He said there would have been a lot of fatalities if the 600m live ammunition normally used by the military were used to disperse the #EndSARS protesters.
“I have been in the army since 1986 and you cannot be under fire and be singing.
“The entry hole for the 600m is thin while the exit is wide, if it hits you in the chest or the bowels, the intestines come down.
“I am an expert in ammunition having spent so long in the army. Blank ammunition is slower and can do no damage to the flesh and you have nothing to fear except you take a rifle, put it against your eye and fire.
“Even if you put it against your skin and fire you will only have burn marks,” he said.
Taiwo said that troops had managed to disperse most of the #EndSARS protesters, and had even shared drinks from protesters who had remained at the Lekki Tollgate.
He said he was monitoring the situation on the internet, and that it was after the departure of the soldiers that hoodlums set the tollgate on fire.
He said that non-kinetic (non violent) means was used in the Army’s rules of engagement during the protests.
Following his revelation, Taiwo through the counsel of the Nigerian Army, Mr Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), presented four spent blank ammunition to the panel as evidence.
Taiwo said there was a lapse in communication between the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Army regarding the imposing and lifting of the curfew.
“Due to the urgency of the security situation in the state, the governor declared a 24-hour curfew which was supposed to start at 4pm.
“They wanted everyone off the streets to deal with the hoodlums, but after some observations the timing was shifted to 21:00 hours, but this timing was not communicated to the Nigerian Army.
“Be that as it may, we the Nigerian Army had already immediately deployed the 65 Battalion under the 81 Division Garrison to forestal all further violence and loss of lives.
“It is important to note that this deployment of troops contrary to reports, was done throughout Lagos to activate Phase 4 of the Internal Security Operations,” Taiwo said.
The officer told the panel that the Army had entered the Stabilisation Phase of the Internal Security Operations, and had started recovering looted items when the Lagos State Government lifted the curfew without informing them.
“We were still recovering a lot of looted items which were given back to the owners on production of receipt or proof of ownership.
“If the curfew was not lifted we would have recovered a 100 times more than the items we recovered,” Taiwo said.

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2021: Tougher year ahead for Boko Haram as Air Force deploys Super Tucano Fighter jets

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2021: Tougher year ahead for Boko Haram as Air Force deploys Super Tucano Fighter jets

2021 promises to be tough for the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group, as the Nigeria Air Force is cock sure of taking delivery of the six Super Tucano aircraft procured by the Federal Government.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar has disclosed that the fighter jets would be delivered to Nigeria from the U.S. before the second quarter of 2021.

He made the disclosure when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Air Force to defend the force’s N142.4 billion 2021 budgetary allocation,

The Super Tucano is touted to be capable of supporting basic and advanced flight and combat training, close air support operations, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), armed over-watch, counterinsurgency, and irregular warfare scenarios, among others.
Abubakar explained that the force has concluded arrangement to fix the Kainji runway ahead of the arrival of the fighter jets.
In his words, “The Super Tucano aircraft is coming to Kainji. The runway in Kainji is not really in good shape for now. We will not want to contract the job out due to paucity of funds. But we have our civil engineers and outworks personnel that can be mobilised through direct labour to achieve repairs of that runway before the arrival of the Super Tucano in the second quarter of next year.”
The NAF chief disclosed that the force was also expecting additional 17 aircraft, in addition to the 22 aircraft already procured that are at the disposal of the force.
He also said there were three other special mission aircraft at the disposal of the force under the deep blue project of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.

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