) Labour unions in the public service on Monday said they had started mobilising workers against the delay by the Federal Government to implement the new minimum wage signed into law on April 18.
The unions, under the aegis of the Trade Union Side (TUS) of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC), said in Lagos after its meeting that they would commence mobilisation of workers for a showdown to press home their demand for the implementation of the new minimum wage.
A letter signed by Mr Anchaver Simon, Chairman and Mr Alade Lawal, Secretary accused the Federal Government of working to derail negotiation that would result in consequential adjustment of salaries in the public service.
The TUS had earlier warned that the eight unions in the public services of the federal and 36 state governments might embark on strike if by June 28, the government failed to make any headway with the negotiation to pay the minimum wage.
According to the TUS, since the committee set up early in June by the government to work out the consequential adjustment of the wage started meeting, “the government has been coming up with strange proposals with the intent to scuttle the implementation of the N30,000 new wage.
”All was going on well until the government side came up later with their usual magic aimed at scuttling the whole exercise,” the letter said.
It said that the TUS had initially proposed that since the minimum wage was increased by 66.66 percent (from N18,000 to N30,000), salaries for officers on grade levels 01 to 17 should be adjusted accordingly to maintain the relativity that existed in the salary structure in the public service.
“But when the government side argued that such increase across board would raise the total wage bill too high, the TUS reviewed its demand downward and eventually settled for 30 percent for officers on grade levels 07-14 and 25 percent for those on grade levels 15-17.
”The government side, on its part, insisted on 9.5 per cent salary raise for employees on grade levels 07 to 14 and five per cent for those on grade levels 15 to 17,” the unions said in the letter.
The letter said that the two sides, later agreed to capture the two positions in the technical committee’s report which would be presented for discussion at the plenary.
The TUS said in the letter that it came as a shock at the last meeting of the technical committee when the government side began to hold on to a non-existent position that the technical committee’s term of reference was to base its assignment in respect of salary adjustment on what was provided for in the 2019 budget.
”This is very incorrect and unfortunate.
“It is regrettable that the implication of government’s position is that the technical committee cannot go beyond what the government is pushing for which is 9.5 percent salary increase for officers on GL 07-14 and five per cent for those on GL 15-17,” it said.
The letter said that the implication of this was that government had a pre-determined position and only called labour in to rubberstamp its hidden agenda.
It said the turn of event showed that, ”some fifth columnists wants to push President Muhammadu Buhari to enter into a collision course with Nigerian workers in the public service”.
Edited by Tajudeen Atitebi
NEMA seeks synergy among disaster management stakeholders
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for synergy among disaster management stakeholders for easy coordination during emergencies.
Ugo urged disaster management agencies to be alert at all times, adding that members of the public should also adhere strictly to early warning on flooding and other disasters in order to reduce their effects on lives and property.
“The only way to manage disaster effectively is through collaboration among disaster agencies.
“Imo residents, who are in flood prone areas, should always monitor the sea level,” he said, adding that disaster management stakeholders were proposing the establishment of a trauma centre where disaster victims would be rehabilitated.
The NEMA coordinator urged the state government to ensure that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) was properly equipped for efficient and effective service delivery.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and ‘Wale Sadeeq
RTEAN wants Amaechi, Fashola to complete ongoing road, rail projects
The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) on Friday pleaded with the reappointed Ministers of Works and Housing and Transportation, Mr Babatunde Fashola and Mr Rotimi Amaechi respectively, to ensure speedy completion of ongoing projects by their ministries.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday reappointed Mr Rotimi Amaechi as the Minister of Transportation and Mr Babatunde Fashola as the Minister of Works and Housing.
NAN also reports that Amaechi and Fashola supervised those ministries as ministers during the first tenure of the Buhari-led administration.
Musa said: “ Mr Rotimi Amaechi as the Minister of Transportation started several jobs during his first term in the ministry. Now, the President of Nigeria wants him to come and complete them; that is why he was reappointed.
“He must not disappoint Nigerians and the Buhari-led government who have given him the opportunity. All rail and road projects the ministry had embarked upon should be completed.
“We also want Fashola to complete all the road projects the ministry started under his leadership as former minister to reduce carnage on the highways.”
The RTEAN boss said that both ministries remained cardinal to the economy of the nation, hence, the need to pay adequate attention to them.
According to him, all Nigerians, not only the commercial transport operators, are looking forward to them completing the ongoing road and rail projects across the country and start new ones.
“What we are expecting from all the 43 ministers is that they should work for the good of Nigerians.
“All of them should have the fear of God because they swore with the Bible and the Quran to serve Nigerians.
“Let them be serious with their jobs and not divert the funds allocated to their ministries for public good into their personal purses,” Musa added.
The union leader also advised the newly reappointed Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, to prioritise the welfare of Nigerian workers and work toward the creation of new jobs.
“That is the reason why they had been chosen to head the various ministries they had been assigned by President Buhari.’’
Truck crushes Army officer to death in Ogun
A truck loaded with granite on Friday crushed an Army officer identified as R. A. Nata’ala to death in Iyana Mortuary area of Abeokuta.
The accident was said to have occurred around 10:30 a.m.
According to an eyewitness, the victim was on his motorcycle with number plate: PKA 567 QD when a truck with registration number JJJ 833 XW had brake failure.
The eyewitness said that the truck swerved off from its lane and crushed the soldier who was riding his motorcycle to death.
The truck was said to be coming from Ajebo-Idi-Aba road, and heading toward Ijaye when the incident occurred.
The eyewitness explained that the traffic light had stopped some vehicles going toward Idi-Aba including the victim’s motorcycle when the truck rammed into his soldier’s motorcycle and killed him.
Also, the spokesperson of the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the incident to Nigeria News Agency in Abeokuta.
Akinbiyi said that the truck after losing control hit a Mazda car marked APP 272 DH before hitting the motorcycle marked PKA 567 QD.
He said that the corpse of the deceased had been deposited at the mortuary of the State Hospital, Ijaye.
Akinbiyi, however, said that the truck driver ran away.
Indiscipline, political interference bane of effective administration of legislature – Clerk
The Clerk of Ekiti House of Assembly, Mr Tola Esan, has identified indiscipline among staffers and political interference in staff management as part of the factors militating against effective administration of Houses of Assembly in the country.
Esan said this in a paper he presented at a one-day training programme for members of the Assembly on Friday in Ado-Ekiti.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the clerk spoke on the topic “Challenges of Managing Political Bosses: A Study of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria.”
He also identified high turnover rate of members in the legislature as another major challenge in the management of political bosses.
The clerk said that in such scenario, Assembly workers were expected to always apply maturity, experience and tactics in the discharge of their duties.
“Between 1999 and 2019, more than 90 per cent of sitting members of parliament failed to return at every new Assembly.
“The bureaucracy is that one is usually confronted with the task of preparing large numbers of new members on the rudiments of parliamentary practices and procedures,” he said
He said one way of addressing the trend was to strengthen the legislature as an arm of government to achieve good and effective governance in the country.
The clerk added that strict adherence to service rules and the rule of law could also help to tackle the anomalies in state Houses of Assembly.
In his opening address, the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, identified regular training and retraining as panacea for achieving workers’ efficiency and effectiveness.
Afuye, who was represented by his deputy, Alh. Hammed Jamiu, advised civil servants in the state to take advantage of the Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration’s vision and policy on human capital development.
He urged legislative members of staff to avail themselves of the opportunity offered by the present administration in training and retraining of the workforce to boost their skills.
NAN reports that the programme was attended by Chief Taiwo Olatubosun, Chairman, state House of Assembly Service Commission and other top government functionaries.
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa and ‘Wale Sadeeq
Court remands man, 20, over alleged rape, abduction of minor
A Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday, ordered the indefinite remand in Ikoyi prisons of a 20-year-old man, Abdul Hudu, for his alleged abduction and defilement of a 10-year-old girl.
The defendant, whose house address was not given, was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on defilement of a minor and abduction.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Oluyemisi Adelaja, refused to grant the defendant bail and ordered his indefinte remand in Ikoyi prisons.
She asked the prosecutor to duplicate the case file and forward a copy to the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice and adjourned the case until Sept. 19.
Earlier, Police Prosecutor, Anthonia Osayande, said that the defendant had committed the offences between June 30 and July 4, 2019
Osayande alleged that the defendant abducted the 10-year-old girl at a White Guest House, located at No 32, Awoniyi St., Idi-Araba, in Mushin.
She told the court that the defendant allegedly repeatedly had carnal knowledge of the minor at the guest house for six days.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 137, 141 and 144 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.