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Organized Labour withholds planned industrial action

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Organized Labour withholds planned industrial action
From our reporter
The Organized Labor in Kogi State has applauded Governor Yahaya Bello for acceding to their tripartite demands in lieu of the current screening and verification of civil servants in the State.
Hence the Labour leaders decided to put on hold their earlier plan to embark on strike if the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello fails to accede to the demands regarding some anomalies in the workers Verification exercise embarked on by his administration.
Speaking to newsmen after the State executive council meeting of the organized Labour, the NLC chairman Comrade Onuh Edoka asked the workers in the State to resume work as the union has withdrawn it’s 7 days ultimatum.
He said Governor Yahaya Bello was magnanimous to have acceded to all their three demands.
According to him the Governor complied with all their demands hence there was no need to go ahead with the planned strike action.
Labour had called for immediate dismissal of the chairman of the screening committee, Gen. Paul Olushola Okuntimo, for his perchance to taking unilateral decision without consultations and his lack of the capacity to handle such sensitive assignment.
It also advised the Government to setup a committee for the implementation and disbursement of the bail out funds.
After meeting with labor last Friday in Government House Lokoja Governor Bello did not only sack the embattled Chairman of the screening committee but he also granted their other two demands.
The Governor appointed Dr. Jerry Agbaje the permanent Secretary in the ministry of culture and tourism as the new chairman of the committee.
Edoka commended the Governor for yielding to the three point demands especially for the removal of the chairman of the screening committee.
According to him, it would have shocked everybody if Okuntimo was allowed to release the list of State workers as more than 40% of the State workforce would have been screened out for no reason.
“With God on our side we saw the end of the retired Brigadier-General as the chairman of the screening exercise.
“The Governor also declared as null and void the purported “cleared and arbitrary “lists sent to local Government by Okuntimo.”
He said the Governor also ordered the committee to submit its report in two weeks to enable him commenced the payment of the bail out funds.
The NLC chairman said consequent upon the new development the SEC in session ordered that the strike action and mass protest scheduled to commence on Tuesday 31st May, 2016 should be put on hold to allow the committee finish it’s work and submit the reports.
“In addition the SEC-In-Session also resolved that Labor and Civil society members earlier withdrawn from the State screening and staff verification committee should return to continue their assignment with the new chairman.”

The Labour leaders who were speaking on the heels of the sacking of the chairman of the committee Brigadier-General Paul Okuntimo applauded the appointment of Jerry Agbaje as the new chairman.
They said his appointment was also in tandem with the Labors position adding that they will give him all the necessary support for him to succeed .
However Edoka raised alarm over three months allocation for the month of February, March and April that has been obtained by the State Government and kept in its coffers but failed to release to the Local Government and not released to the Local Governments.
“The organized Labor frowns at it and is calling on the State Government to release the said fund to the Local Government workers to enable them pay the teachers and other workers like Local Government pensioners who are dying at that level.
“For three months allocation has come and the State Government has not made their payments so we are calling on the State Governments to release the allocation.”
Continuing he said, “This allocation is completely different from bail out funds. They are two different issues, bail out is different and allocation is different and the continuous hold on that allocation at the level is killing the workers.
He indicated that the workers have no money to take care of the health needs of their loved ones, no money to pay their children school fees adding that it is becoming tougher for them to bear and at the end the untold hardship is becoming wearisome.
On the alleged Access Bank compulsory account for teachers, Edoka explained that after a critical study organized Labour directed the NUT to go and investigate and report back to the larger House.
He said, “It is unknown to us, we have no idea of it and we have never seen where the entire workers in a section of an organization like teachers would be compelled to go and open account in one Bank.
“Hence we have directed NUT to investigate and report back to the larger house where we would take a decision as soon as possible.”
He said they cried out from the beginning for Governor to guarantee the workers of the secrecy of their BVN numbers and their names but now they don’t know how Access Bank got teachers names and started opening account for them.
He said the accounts were being opened one after the other without the teachers approaching the Banks to open account for them.
‘I think it is a way of forcing them to leave their proffered bank to their Banks.’
‎ 
State Chairman of TUC, Comrade Ojo Ranti, who corroborated the NLC chairman the SEC session met being the only statutory body that has the mandate to direct organized labour, X-Ray everything that happened ‎and concluded that the three point agenda that made them to threaten to go on strike had been met.
“The removal of the chairman of the screening and staff verification committe,, the withdrawal of the purported list sent to the Local Government that was causing chaos and disaffection at the Local Government levels and also the setting up of the implementation committee for the bail out.
“These are the three cardinal things that we agitated for ‎that made the organized Labor to threaten to go on strike. Magnanimously the Governor met with the labor leaders and the issues were resolved amicably on the side of labor.”‎
Consequent upon that he pointed out that the SEC met and also reviewed all the issues ‎and decided to withdraw the ultimatum directing the members to resume work effectively tomorrow.‎
“The actions of the Governor are applauded and the appointment of Jerry Agbaje as the new chairman is also in tandem with the Labors position and we will give him all the necessary support for him to succeed .”

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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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