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The Nigeria Labor Congress has been called upon to confirm the inclusion of the new national minimum wage in the 2020 national budget.
This call was made by the Chairman of the United Labor Congress(ULC) in Abia state, Comrade Christopher Uchenna Ezekiel.
“The NLC should concentrate more on knowing if the increased minimum wage was captured in the 2020 federal government budget or not, before taking the decision to embark on national strike and then declare the proposed strike in those States that are still owing their workers arrears of salaries rather than calling for blanket national strike action against the Federal government, Comrade Ezekiel state.
He lamented that a number of state governments were owing workers salary arrears under the present N18,000 minimum wage regime saying, ''if some of these Governors cannot pay the present N18, 000, is it now that we have an increase that they would pay ?''
Makueni County Government in Kenya in partnership with Shina Foundation and Story Moja Publishers are set to establish libraries in 37 Primary schools in the county.This disclosure was made by the the First Lady of the county, Mrs. Nazi Kivutha.
''37 primary schools in Makueni will each acquire one thousand books courtesy of Shina Foundation, county government of Makueni and Story Moja publishers in phase 2 of “start a library initiative. In 2016, the county government in partnership with Shina Foundation started 30 libraries in primary schools, one in every ward.
''The “start a library initiative’’ is a reading promotion program that enhances access to story books for children and seeks to root a deep reading culture in schools.
School libraries have proved useful in enhancing learner’s literacy, improving interest in reading for pleasure as well as for examinations.
I grew passion for the books initiative out of my soft spot for children. Consequently, I decided to spearhead the library program, as one of my programs through the foundation
Reading improves the language and exposes the children. Therefore, it’s prudent for every one of us here to go back to the primary school that they attended and donate a book or begin a library.
As we flag off the over 40,000 books to schools, I urge teachers to encourage pupils to develop a reading culture by using them. Books that are not read remain to be just papers'', the First lady stated.
Mrs Kivutha maintained that the program was an avenue to alleviate illiteracy in the county, adding “We have already trained our gatekeepers for two days and we hope for the best when the real job starts''.
The Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners(AWDROP) has warned that any attempt to increase the Value Added Tax(VAT) by 7.2 per cent will have adverse effect on millions of Nigerians.
AWDROP made this position known through its National Public Relations Officer, Mr. Richard Adeyinka
‘’All Nigerians know that the Federal Government needs money, but it must thread with caution, considering the state of the economy. Any increase in VAT will affect all aspects of life negatively, the masses will suffer for it. At the present 5 per cent VAT the masses know what they are going through, what happens if it is now increased by 7.2 per cent ?.’’
‘’Democracy means government of the people, for the people and by the people. Government cannot stand alone without the masses, who voted those in government into power. It is advisable for government to look elsewhere’’, Mr. Adeyinka stated.
The Federal Government of Nigeria and the managements of universities have been called upon to render assistance to patent owners in the country’s higher institutions.
This call was made recently by Prof. V.O Adetimirin of the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan at a program organized by the College of Medicine of the University.
‘’We have peculiar challenges, I think we are not doing enough. Patent owners should be assisted in the process of commercialization. Once this is done people will start running after the university’’, Prof. Adetimirin asserted.
The university don lamented that it was very difficult to obtain funding, for the purpose of commercializing patents, form the university and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund), just as he stated that this was discouraging and saddening.
Government at all levels and educational institutions have for so long shied away from investing in patents for inexplicable reasons, even though millions of Nigerians are of the views that government ought to encourage its manpower through funding of innovations and inventions.
Prof. Adetimirin is the inventor of the super sweet corn.
Rape, Defilement and Homosexuality : The Police and Judiciary must be disciplined to ensure Justice for Victims-Prof. Olagoke
Parents, guardians and serious minded Nigerians are helpless and worried, even as law enforcement agencies have adopted a non-nonchalant approach in enforcing the law.
Indeed, most of the reported cases involve those at the bottom of the ladder in the society, while high profile cases have for long been shielded from the public domain.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in Islam Wordlwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the Police and the Judiciary must first imbibe the tenets of discipline before victims of sexual crimes can have hope of getting justice. Excerpts :
Sexual crimes, including defilement, rape and homosexuality among others are on the increase in Nigeria, law enforcement agencies have failed to do the needful, Nigerians are worried, what are your views ?
Nigeria’s transition from a state of discipline, up to the 70’s, to that of institutional indiscipline, impunity and corruption have created an unsafe environment for the weak in the nation.
The most vulnerable people to the let out of attack are the marginalized women and the girl child in particular.
Our pace, as Nigerians, has nose dived into that of prey and predators, or to be specific a beastly level of existence.
A nation that focuses on material wealth alone, without a commensurate provision for work will ever throw its people into all forms of misdemeanor just to be able to survive and live, most especially to the regime of affluence, is not only in a state of emergency, but highly unsafe for habitation and highly unsecured for investment that may attract foreign interest.
With this kind of gory picture of the state of affairs in Nigeria, the people believe in enthroning a government that would be constitutionally empowered to correct all aberrations in the land.
Unfortunately the elected representatives deviate from the course of Democracy that is based on justice and equity for real development and peace to elude us, hence the present state of insecurity at all strata of human endeavor in Nigeria.
For example, cases like rape, defilement and pedophilia are expected to attract not less 14 years of imprisonment, to the worst, based on the level of damage a life term jail.
However, since all cases are whistle blowing, and offenders identified, prosecution in this direction is yet to be published, perhaps, because there is none.
In a situation of no deterrence, perpetrators of evil will continue will to multiply.
The structure in Nigeria not only encourage corruption, but also encourage people to go into various criminal acts.
This is because since the aftermath of Nigeria's civil war in 1970, we’ve been experiencing deterioration in the core values, that used to hold us intact into a state of discipline.
This becomes cancerous into an endemic state, polarizing every segment of our agencies of socialization, breaking them down into a state of lawless and weak fabric of our human existence, destroy sacredness to promote profanity.
Let us look into the following arrays of our stakeholders known as agents of socialization for correct transformation of the animal called man and the upbringing of our children.
Parents, neighbors, government, schools, houses of God or system of religion, traditional institutions of the Obas, Emirs and the Obis, peer groups and voluntary organizations, what of the agencies for the regulation and control of the system for the overall security of the community and the nation ?
A critical analysis of the present roles of these stakeholders is in a sorry state of destruction rather than construction, to the extent that Nigeria cannot claim to have a bequeath able legacy for our youth !
Suffice it now to say that for our prison yards to transform into a corrective fluid, government must avoid the foot dragging in delivering judgments by the Judiciary, to effectively depopulate our havens of criminality by upholding the ethics of all professions, in this case, the Police and the Judges, on these matters relating to child abuse, pedophilia and cases of rape.
The above mentioned must be disciplined themselves before they can discipline people into rejecting criminal tendencies.
Parents on the other hand must be sensitive, responsive and responsible, in bringing up their children, within safe custody, monitoring and on the need for nature nurturing for the children not to allow anybody to abuse them or whistle blow the possible occurrence of abuse in any form and by anybody from outside.
Government on the other hand must never show favor to offenders, researchers must support the cause of investigation to be able to uproot, the possible cases of aiding and abetting, even when it involves an intention of ritual killing to get rich quickly by perpetrators.
The society must be sensitized on the evil of child abuse, drug abuse and out-of-school children syndrome which is now back to more than 13 million in Nigeria and more than 400,000 in Oyo state.
Rape and pedophilia is very bestial and must be discouraged by all to have a sane and civilized society.
The acts are sinful and could attract divine sanction and it is imaginatively affecting the safety and security of the society.
We are all stakeholders in saving the future of our children, who we all regard as our future leaders, presently Nigeria’s image has been battered, both locally and internationally.
If we fail to do the correct things today on this matters the embarrassment to the country occasioned by those involved in fraudulent activities in the United States of America and the issue of xenophobic attacks in South Africa shall be a child’s play for our children in future, if these issues are are not decisively addressed.
Nigeria must learn how to adopt and adapt the culture of discipline and civility to be good ambassadors in and around the globe or wherever we may find ourselves.
Stop the acts of pedophilia, rape, homosexuality and other acts of human dehumanization.
Residents of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state have expressed reservations over the increasing rate of petrol stations and gas plants cited in residentail areas.
The residents insist that these stations and plants pose great dangers to those who reside in and around these establishments.
''These petrol stations and gas plants are threats to people who reside near them. What if there is a negative occurence, what happens to the people ? The Oyo state government must do somwething about this'', one of the residents, Monsuru Akinleye stated.
Insinuations are that fraudulent officials of the Urban Development and Physical Planning Agency in the state connive with the powers that be to approve the construction of these stations and plants to promote political patronage, in addition to the indiscriminate construction of hotels in residential areas.
There is also the suggestion that it would be extremely difficult for the state Government to muster the political will to reverse the ugly trend.
In his views, the Deputy Director of the state Fire Service, Mr. Moshood Adewuyi opined that since gas is for domestic consumption, the plants have to be located near the consumers.
''The public need to be informed that gas is for domesitc consumption and needs to be very near the consumers. People should not have nay fears for having it in theri domains, since necessary safety mesures have been put in place during constrcution. I want to advise the public not to panic over the way the gas plants are springing up in residential areas'', Mr. Adewuyi stated.
According to the National Coordinator of the AWC, Comrade Andrew Emelieze, ‘’ it is very embarrassing and ridiculous for labor leaders in Nigeria to beg Mr. President to intervene in the new minimum wage negotiation, President Muhammadu Buhari has severally made his stand known to Nigerian workers, that he is not ready to make workers happy, if not he ought to have influenced a reasonable new national minimum wage’’.
‘’ Labor leaders have exposed their weaknesses and stupidity by begging Mr. President, who from events is nonchalant to workers welfare. Painfully, Nigerian workers have lost out and the present crop of labor leaders are killing unionism in Nigeria, in their approach to the new national minimum wage by begging the question.’’
‘’Labor leaders have proven themselves to be a monumental disaster to the interest of Nigerian workers. And so, at the level of the AWC, we call on labor leaders to resign, if they cannot use legal industrial means to achieve the new national minimum wage’’, Comrade Emelieze stated.
This admonition was given by the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam f Shafaudeen-in-Islam Wrldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke in his sermon during prayers to commemorate this year's Ed el Kabir celebration at the Shafaudeen Mosque, Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria.
''Nigeria suffers from poverty and kleptocracy. We must not allow the environment to corrupt us. Those people in government should allow sanity to reign, they must role model good virtues. For Nigeria to have peace, justice and equity must prevail, while there must be transparency and accountability'', Prof. Olagoke asserted.
Prof. Olagoke also called on parents and guardians to place more emphasis on good parenting saying, ''good child rearing must be the preoccupation of Fathers and Mothers.''
Sadly, the contrary is the case in Ibadan, and other major cities in Nigeria, as the choice of words, mode of dressing and behavior of several youth leaves much to be desired.
Of worry, however, is the recent arrests effected by the Ibadan zone of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the Elebu area of Ibadan, capital of Oyo state.
This suggest that the ancient city is now a fortress for the ''yahoo'' adherents while the Oyo state Government must take urgent steps to reverse this.
The AWC made this disclosure in a chat with People through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.
''The protest was meant to be an indefinite strike action and shut down of the Federal Secretariat Complex, Ibadan, which was successfully done on Monday, 29, July, 2019, at the end of the day the workers converged and it was unanimously agreed that having created the needed awareness there was the need for a review.''
'' Moreso, the protest was not meant to deny people of their rights, we therefore decided to observe reactions surrounding the protest and based on the reactions we received, we decided the next line of action. Most importantly, the message has been sent to the right quarters and workers have been freely able to express their displeasure, anger and unhappiness over the non-implementation of the new national minimum wage, the continued kidnappings, killings and other violent crimes of innocent Nigerians at home and abroad.
Tech and Vocational Education : I Believe Govt has Solved most of the Problems in Nigeria-National President IEIs
Dr. Jegede made this position known recently, at the sidelines of a National Advocacy forum for the popularization of IEIs in the South West Geo-Political zone.
‘’ I want to believe that the Federal Government has most of the problems confronting IEIs in the country. There are about 150 institutions presently in the next five years, they could be between 200 and 300'’, the National President stated.
The Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olgoke has warned that unless the Nigerian Youth does what is right the coming generation will suffer.
Porf. Olagoke gave this warning on Wednesday, when the Southern Youth Forum(SYF) presented an award to him at the his office in Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria.
‘’If care is not taken, the coming generation will suffer. The youths have to take their destinies in their hands. In Nigeria, there is no sense of patriotism and nationhood. Government in Nigeria is just wasting money on trivialities and creating problems. The youths must take their destinies in their hands with sincerity. Anything given to anybody has been made for the person to cherish it. Unfortunately, Nigeria is surrounded with cottons of ignorance.’’
‘’The solution is for Nigerian youths to look inwards and make use of the opportunity of the little education they have to move forward. Politicians will continue to dictate to professionals, rather than allow professionals to come up. Inherent problems must be identified and expunged before one can say he wants to excel where others have failed’’, Prof. Olagoke noted.
Earlier the National Secretary of the SYF, Comrade Luke Ogemba who said he was representing the forum’s National President, Hon. Olarinde Thomas, stated that the forum decided to present an award to Prof, Olagoke because he was a source of inspiration to Nigerian youths, while stressing ‘’ we will like to tap from your wealth of experience.
Among those who accompanied Comrade Ogemba on the visit were, Comrade Tobiloba Amodu(Ondo state), Comrade Fynface Allo(Rivers state) and Comrade Stanley Omoregie(Edo state)
Senator Muhammed made this dislcosure while receiving the report from the Economic Advisory Committee he put in place.
“I will bring in technocrats to implement this economic blueprint, in collaboration with the private sector, because there is need for partnership to open new frontiers, guided by global best practices.
“We have consulted some of the best technocrats in the country to show us the way; we will continue to do so, even though, sometimes, we will consider political expediency,’’ the governor said.
Meanwhile the Economic Advisory Committee has advised the state government to focus more on Agriculture.
The Committe headed by Prof. Usman Bugaje made this recommendation in its report it submitted to the state Governor.
Agriculture is an area where Bauchi has a comparative advantage to grow faster than others, so we implore you as governor to focus more in this area.
“In the next two years, we are looking at a Bauchi State that will export products to different parts of the world, and that will serve as reference point to other states,’’ Prof. Bugaje stated.
The Three tiers of Government and the Organized Private Sector(OPS) in Nigeria have been called upon to not to make the retrenchment of workers as a condition for the implementation of the N30, 000 new national minimum wage.
This call was made by the All Workers Convergence(AWC) through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.
''Government at all levels are called upon to come out with a policy statement, more of a commitment that no employer of labour, whether in the public sector or private sector must retrench before they can pay the new minimum wage. Workers are not begging any employer of labour and if at all they go ahead with their evil machinations, labour must pose a counter reaction, which of course must be uncompromising and that is the only way we can stop them from exploiting Nigerian workers. Any attempt by government to downsize would be vehemently resisted by workers''.
''To check any sector, government or private, from not implementing the new national minimum wage, the labour movements are called upon to also issue a policy statement that the country risks a national strike, if any employer of labour refuses to pay the new national minimum wage or goes ahead to downsize'', Comrade Emelieze stated.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Liberia, Authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) have organized a two day Price monitoring training programme for technicians.
The training which was held at Gbarnga, Bong County for 30 technicians was aimed at enhancing price monitoring mainly for basic food commodities in Liberia.
The training was also aimed at capturing and facilitating experience-sharing and equipping MoA, and LISGIS field-level staff engaged in collection, analysis and reporting of market data to better communicate, while also ensuring that there is an improvement in the contents of the monthly market monitoring bulletins, and strengthen partnerships and networks.
WFP Liberia's Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Anderson commended the Liberian government for its enduring partnership with the WFP on price monitoring activities.
''WFP has a global mandate to support some of the most vulnerable members of society, with different social protection interventions," Mr. Anderson stated.
He also said that Liberia was increasingly vulnerable to high food price shocks as has been witnessed since 2008, whilke stressing that the government has been concerned about the rise in food prices, and as such, it has been undertaking regular joint government-WFP market monitoring exercises for which an MoU was signed between the Liberian government (MoA, LISGIS) and WFP.
The Zimbabwe Government has for the past four months withheld the salaries of three leaders of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), who led protests against the Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube's austerity policies in January.
The union leaders and others who were arrested in Macheke and charged with criminal nuisance, appeared in court in Marondera before their case was referred to Harare.
Before they could appear in court they were again arrested in Ruwa just 40km outside the capital, however the court ordered their release.
President of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), secretary general Robson Chere and Mashonaland West chairperson Munyaradzi Ndawana, have however, called on workers not to be deterred by the latest action of government.
"This so-called new dispensation is using every trick in the book to curtail trade unionism in Zimbabwe, the freezing of salaries is a desperate attempt to silence our membership. We will not be cowed into submission by such cowardly acts on an anti-worker establishment, we demand salaries in US dollars or market equivalent. Austerity measures are killing the working class and benefiting the ruling elite, we call upon the working class to rise and crush austerity.
"We are surviving on handouts from well-wishers. It's a difficult situation and cannot even afford paying school fees for our children'' they said.
While other unions seem to have adopted a different tact choosing to negotiate with government, Masaraure and his group have taken the authorities head on.
The Oyo State Fire Service has insisted that even though it has all the requirements to perform its primary functions, it is looking up to the incoming administration for more assistance.
The position of the the Service was made know by its Deputy Director, Mr. Moshood Adewuyi in a chat with People.
''We are always ready in terms of safety. Everyone grows old, so does equipment, we are looking forward to the new administration to take care of our needs. We carry out routine inspection annually. My people are at First Bank premises. The objective is to assess, recommend and implement. We also visit industrial premises, petrol stations, Media houses and several others because their compliance might be 60 per cent. We have been experiencing a reduction in fire incidents, Mr. Adewuyi noted.
He advised members of the public to always be safety conscious saying, ''Keep matches out of reach of children. Making use of handsets in petrol stations should be discourage. We are friends with the public, we are here to save lives and property. We expect maximum cooperation whenever there are incidents, not fighting''.
The All Workers Convergence(AWC) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a qualified person with vast experience in labour matters as Minister of Labor.
The AWC gave this advice through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.
‘’What is expected from authentic leadership is to put the right persons in the right positions. People who are professionals in their particular fields, who possess not just academic qualifications but also practical experiences.’’
‘’Our expectation is that President Muhammadu Buhari will search for someone who is knowledgeable in the field of industrial relations and other related courses. President Buhari should not resort to political patronage as far as the Ministry of Labor is concerned. The Ministry of Labor should not be an all comers affair as we have seen in the outgoing dispensation, where a Medical Doctor is saddled with the responsibility of industrial relations.’’
‘’Though while giving this advice we know that the President might have his own personal views and approach to such issues, which of course had led to the delay in the appointment of Ministers in this dispensation and we have seen the results. Therefore if the President does not take to popular advice, one might not expect anything extraordinary in terms of performance from his new Ministers. After all, despite all the noticeable shortcomings and non performance of the Ministers, President Buhari was unable to change his cabinet for four years’’, Comrade Emelieze concluded
According to the Minister for Industry and Trade Joseph Kakunda, who made this known recently, the government would also take over 33 others this May, if they failed to submit their investment reports.
The Minister expressed worry over the distress situation of 68 enterprises, amone which some have already closed shop.
Some time in March, the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Constantine Kanyasu , warned that the government would take over some privatized hotels and lodges over alleged mismanagement and poor handling of tourists and visitors.
"The ownership of the hotels will be shifted to other investors who are ready to manage them in the interest of promoting tourism," Kanyasu stated.
20 years ago, the government privatized 176 public firms under the World Bank-funded Presidential Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC).
The Judiciary in Ethiopia is set to assert its independence as it moves to negotiate its annual budget with the Legislature.
According to the country's first female Chief Justice, Justice Meaza Ashenafi, the Judiciary has submitted its budget request to the Parliament.
''For the first time last week, we submitted our budget request directly to parliament. In the constitution, there is a provision that says the judiciary will directly request and negotiate its budget from parliament, but this never happened. It would go through the executive. So we're changing that trend and this year for the first time we will negotiate with parliament and that, I feel, will give us some independence. We will negotiate for better resources'', Justice Ashenafi stated.
On the issue of corruption in the Judiciary, the Chief Justice said ''part of the problem is lack of communication and understanding of how the judiciary functions. I'm not saying we don't have problems of integrity - we do have them - but most of the time it is perception. Everyone who walks into my office with some sort of complaint says the judge has some sort of relationship with the opponent. This is not always true. Maybe it is true 5% or 10% of the time, I don't know, but there is that perception. We need to build trust, help people understand that the law functions in a very technical way. But we do also need to work on addressing questions of integrity in our judicial system''.
A 300 level law undergraduate has become the first female chairperson of the University of Nairobi Students Association.
Ms Ann Mwangi emerged after polling 24 votes to beat her challengers, Samuel Ayoma whoe scored eight votes Ertiman Oile scored 4 votes .
The process was facilitated through the electoral college and was presided over by Prof. Mohamed Jamaa.
Ms Mwangi will take over from Mr Antony Manyara who has been the chairman of the association since 2018.The election is the second after the signing into law of the Universities Amendment Act in 2016 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Act states that the students association is to be governed by a student council comprising a chairperson and a vice chairperson who must be of the opposite gender, a treasurer, a secretary-general, and three other members to represent special interests of students.
Those elected in leadership positions must reflect national diversity and the council cannot have more than two-thirds of its members being of the same gender.