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Increase in minimum wage will address inequalities – Perm Sec

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Mr William Alo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment says  increasing minimum wage constituted the most important priorities to fight inequalities in West Africa.

Alo made this known at a meeting of labour experts and general assembly of the ECOWAS with the theme: “Strengthening social dialogue for the promotion of decent work in the ECOWAS region” on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, addressing the issue of minimum wage for the working poor in West Africa remains the most potent ways to address inequalities.

He said erosion of workers’ bargaining rights over the last decades explained to a large extent the current divergence between productivity growth and wage increase for a majority of workers,” he said.

He said the increased divergence over the years was at the heart of inequalities and could only be addressed through social dialogue.

Alo commended the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) commission for deepening integration in the sub region.

He lauded the commission in the area of labour administration in the sub region and for consolidating on the gains of the forum since it was established in 2011.

He said that the role of the general assembly in the development of ECOWAS labour and employment policy and its youth employment action plan were worthy of emulation.

He said that the theme of the meeting came at a time when the prerequisite for social dialogue were being undermined.

The Permanent Secretary listed the prerequisites that were being undermined to include freedom of association and collective bargaining by some employers in the sub region.

”It is on this premise that I passionately appeal to the tripartite partners and other stakeholders to always opt for dialogue and consultation in all situations.

”So together, solutions may be found for problems faced by workers and employers alike,” he said.

Alo said that social dialogue as one of the core pillars of the decent work agenda could play an important in linking employment with trade and economic policies.

According to him, it interacts with all parts of the economic and social development of a country and is a central element in a policy strategy.

He said that social dialogue and collective bargaining were  veritable tools in addressing inequality, minimising the incidence of working poor and ensuring fair wage distribution.

He said that it would also help to tackle informality in the ECOWAS sub region.

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London Trip: Buhari returns to Abuja 2 days ahead of schedule

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London Trip: Buhari returns to Abuja 2 days ahead of schedule

Arrival

Abuja, Nov. 15, 2019 President Muhammadu Buhari has cut short his two-week private visit to London by two days as he arrived the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Friday evening.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the president, who was on official visit to Saudi Arabia before the commencement of the private visit to London on Nov. 2, was initially scheduled to return to Nigeria on Nov. 17.

The president attended the third Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he later performed the Lesser Hajj alongside Governors Atiku Bagudu, Aminu Masari and Babagana Zulum of Kebbi, Katsina and Borno States.

NAN observed that the Nigerian leader was far away in Saudi Arabia when the Supreme Court on Oct. 30, dismissed the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging his victory at the Feb. 23 presidential poll.

NAN also reports that President Buhari returned to Abuja on the day the apex court ruled that he was “eminently qualified” to contest the Feb. 23 presidential election.

The full judgment delivered on Friday provided explanations for the apex court’s summary decision of Oct. 30, which dismissed the PDP’s appeal.

In the full judgment, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which held that Buhari possessed the requisite educational qualification to contest the poll.

NAN further reports that the presidential aircraft conveying the Nigerian leader and few of his aides landed at the airport at about 9.40p.m, with the temperature out at 26 degrees centigrade.

President Buhari was received on arrival by his Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello, some heads of security agencies and presidential aides.

The President had on Nov. 10 met with his long time friend, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, at the Lambeth Palace, London.

The two last met in Oct. 2018, when Welby was in Abuja as a keynote speaker at a conference on religious harmony, shortly before the conduct of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria.

The Nigerian leader also on Wednesday in London, met with the management of Pearson Educational Group.

The president’s media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, posted pictures of the meeting on his Facebook page, which he said was attended by Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed and Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Justice Adesola Oguntade.

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Maharazu Ahmed

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Kogi: INEC distributes electoral materials to RAC’s ahead of Saturday’s poll

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday dispatched both sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the Registration Area Centres (RACs) in Kogi for Saturday’s election in the state.

The centres at the ward levels are located in Mopamuro, Kabba/Bunu and Yagba East Local Government Areas of the state.

Nigeria News Agency correspondent, who monitored the distribution, reports that vehicles conveying both sensitive and non-sensitive materials left INEC state headquarters at Mopa to the RACs at about 4 p.m.

NAN also monitored the safe arrival of the materials at some RACs in Amuro, comprising Amuro Community Secondary School (ACSS) Amuro with three wards, namely Ward 06, Ward 09 and Ward 10 of Orokere, Aiyeteju, Aiyede communities.

Mr Folorunsho Aje, the RAC Manager of Aiyeteju Ward 09 and Mrs Dorcas Aiyegbajeje, the RAC Manager of Wards 06 and 10, confirmed to NAN that all the materials were successfully delivered at the RACs.

Both Aje and Aiyegbajeje commended INEC for the timely distribution of the materials, accompanied by security personnel.

NAN observed that the atmosphere at some RACs visited was peaceful, while two armed police personnel were seen on ground at each RAC visited.

NAN reports that governorship election would be held across the 21 LGAs of Kogi, while National Assembly re-run election would also hold in Kogi West senatorial district, simultaneously on Saturday.

(Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/Sam Oditah)

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Osun lawmaker distributes clothing materials to 300 widows, aged

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Mr Tunde Olatunji, the Chief Whip of Osun House of Assembly, on Friday, distributed clothing materials worth millions of naira to 300 widows and the aged in his constituency.

Olatunji (APC-Ife North), while distributing the materials under his ‘Social Support Programme’ in Edun-Abon, said that the gesture was aimed at putting smiles on the faces of the less-privileged in the society.

According to the lawmaker, since Yuletide is approaching, it is a period that such gesture becomes appropriate.

“As an individual, I am practically unable to reach out to everyone, but giving such items to a total of 300 people is to spread happiness to a large number of our people.

“This little gesture will further connect us with our people, reminding them that they are perpetually in our mind and that we treasure their mandate, because the essence of government is for their welfare and wellbeing”, Olatunji said.

The lawmaker also said that plans were on the way to train 100 youths under his skill acquisition programme, tagged “Tunde Olatunji Skill Acquisition Project.”

He said that the programme, whose enrolment would commence on Dec. 15, was aimed at raising young entrepreneurs in various skills.

Olatunji said that trainees under the programme, upon successful completion, would be given working tools.

He also promised free SME development training, financial training for successful business management and fully-funded graduation for trainees after completion of their programmes.

“The skill acquisition project, which targets the youth, is based on my conviction that their empowerment is a potent force in fighting poverty and building a functional society.

Some of the widows and the aged, who spoke at the programme, commended the lawmaker for the gesture, saying that it would indelible in their mind.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Group cautions health students against unethical conducts, social vices

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The Community Health Practitioners Registration Board of Nigeria, on Friday, cautioned health students against engaging in unethical conducts and acts that could mar their professional reputation in the future.

The board’s Chairman, Mr Sule Galadima, stated this at the end of a two- day workshop, organised by the Association of Community Health Students of Nigeria (ACHSN), in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the workshop, with the theme, “Community Health: Our Concern”, is being attended by health students from various colleges of health technology in Northern states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

According to Galadima, it is imperative for the students to always adhere strictly to the ethics of their profession and be conscious of their importance in the society.

“The importance of this association to the development of human health, especially in rural communities, cannot be overemphasised.

“I want to call on you to be serious in your studies, in order to excel in your academic pursuit.

“You must also shun unethical conducts and other sharp practices in the course of your study, in the interest of the health of our people,” he said.

Galadima described the workshop as timely, considering the challenges being faced in rural communities in accessing healthcare delivery.

He also enjoined the students to always confine themselves to the specified guidelines, adding that it would assist them in making reference and referrals in the course of their assignments.

Also speaking, the board’s Registrar, Mr Mohammed Adebayo, said that the workshop was meant to further equip the students with additional knowledge in community health’s best practices.

He called on the organisers to sustain the workshop in the years ahead, since it was being organised for the first time in the history of the association.

Earlier, Mr Yunusa Kutigi, the National President of ACHSN, said that the workshop was being attended by delegates from all the 65 accredited colleges of health technology in the 19 Northern states.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Buhari felicitates with Nigerian Tribune at 70

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with the board, management and staff of the Nigerian Tribune Newspapers on its 70th anniversary.

In a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina in Abuja on Friday, the President extolled the founder, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whose legacies in almost all sectors had continued to speak of his patriotism, intellect and unusual wisdom.

Buhari believed that the Nigerian Tribune, founded at the height of nationalist movement in 1949, had played a crucial and historical role in Nigeria’s struggle for Independence.

According to him, the Nigerian Tribune has sustained the same activism in the post-colonial era by holding leaders to account and consistently providing information that empowers citizens to demand accountability in all spheres of national life.

The President recalled the pungent and articulate editorials as well as columns of the oldest Nigerian private newspaper, which served as resource materials for individuals, businesses and academic institutions.

He further noted that the newspaper editorial had shaped policy direction of successive governments in the country.

Buhari affirmed that the conceptualisation of the media house with a ‘people-first’ philosophy had continued to inspire its reach and influence.

He, therefore, urged the board and management to consistently keep faith with the vision of the founding fathers.

The President joined the Nigerian media generally in celebrating the milestone attained by the Nigerian Tribune.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Supreme Court decision on PDP appeal, affirmation of popular will of Nigerians – Presidency

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Affirmation

Abuja, Nov. 15, 2019 The Presidency has welcomed the elucidation of the Supreme Court ruling in the PDP petition, saying the final verdict is an affirmation of popular will of Nigerians.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, made this position known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

He stated that the final verdict had reiterated that “the onus of proof must necessarily fall on those that challenge the vote.

“Allegations must be substantiated if they are to hold, and this requires producing credible witnesses that verify key claims. As the Supreme Court has stated, the case failed this test.’’

On the issue of qualifications, the presidential aide maintained that President Buhari had a long history of service to the nation, saying “the questioning of this fact seems to fly in the face of all evidence’’.

According to him, now it is time for the PDP to take up the service mandated by this election.

He said: “The legislative agenda of the ninth assembly is ambitious in both size and scope.

“It is critical the opposition is there to scrutinise bills and policies, rather than preoccupy themselves with unsustainable court cases.

He commended the leadership of the opposition for taking the legal option in the pursuance of their grievances over the outcome of the 2019 general elections.

Shehu also lauded the courage of the courts to arrive at “the right conclusion given manifest and subtle pressures to do otherwise’’.

He added: “We appreciate the PDP and their candidate for taking these claims to courts rather than expressing them in other ways, but now Nigeria needs a robust and rigorous opposition. The nation needs to move on.

“While it is correct to give credit to the courts for affirming this electoral victory-and we commend the courage of the bench to arrive at the right conclusion given manifest and subtle pressures to do otherwise.

“The reality is that courts were convinced by arguments from the lawyers representing the APC and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari that results reflected the true wishes of a majority of our citizens.

President Buhari won four million more votes than his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the February poll.

“No serious electoral observers have challenged this result. And now the Supreme Court has explained why the PDP appeal is unsubstantiated. We hope this finally puts the matter behind us.

“We should now grasp this moment to move forward – together.’’

NAN reports that the apex court on Friday ruled that President Buhari was “eminently qualified” to contest the Feb. 23 presidential election.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, prepared the full judgment of the apex court which is being read by Justice John Okoro.

The full judgment delivered on Friday was to provide explanations for the apex court’s summary decision of Oct. 30 which dismissed the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging the victory of Buhari at the Feb. 23 presidential poll.

In the full judgment of the apex court affirmed the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which held that Buhari possessed the requisite educational qualification to contest the poll.

NAN also reports that it held that the Nigerian Constitution only required a candidate contesting the presidential election to be educated up to secondary education even when the candidate does not possess the certificate.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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