Govt Set To Review Allowances Of Political Office Holders – Ngige

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige

 

As part of efforts to reduce the cost of governance, the Federal Government has directed the revenue mobilisation commission to review the allowances of political office holders including governors and lawmakers.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, disclosed this on Wednesday, during a meeting with members of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: Labour, FG Fail To Reach Agreement

Ngige also decried the huge sum of recurrent expenditure in the proposed 2020 budget, insisting that there is no option other than to cut down the cost of running the government.

“We cannot allow the government to shut down the economy because they want to pay salaries and wages. The 2020 budget of N10.3trillion has N3.88trillion as personal cost without an overhead. A budget that is 76% recurrent and 24% capital, for me, this is nothing to cheer about.

“Revenue mobilisation commission will also beam a searchlight and review what they are giving for political officeholders. Some of the allowances in their prescriptions are not allowances that should be gotten.

“What is a governor doing with hazard allowance? What is the hazard about, when the state is feeding him and his family? What is a governor doing with constituency allowance? The whole state is his constituency.

“These are things that will be holistically reviewed,” Ngige said.

The Minister concluded that both workers and politicians must be ready to make sacrifices so that more money will be available for infrastructure.

FG To Renegotiate Full Implementation Of N30,000 Minimum Wage

A file photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.

 

 

The Federal Government is set to reconstitute a new committee to begin fresh negotiations for the full implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

“The President has put in place a new committee or council called ‘Presidential Committee On Salaries and Allowances,” he said.

READ ALSO: Lagos Task Force Busts Brothel, Arrests 14 Suspects With Drugs

Senator Ngige made the revelation when the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) paid him a courtesy visit at his office in the nation’s capital.

He, however, warned that the delay in agreement for the full implementation of the new minimum wage may put the Federal and State governments in a difficult position to pay because of the backlog that would arise.

The minister explained that it was important for workers earning above N30,000 and on grade level seven to 17 to be patient.

He gave assurance that the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage implementation was being sorted out.

Senator Ngige added, “It is important that we advise them (the stakeholders), because we are not yet back on that negotiation, that if they keep on piling debts, the Federal Government might run into problem of payment.

“The state governments that have not been regular with payments will have problems.”

He, therefore, promised to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the stalemated negotiation on the new wage.

The minister informed the labour leaders that the Federal Government was committed to the full implementation of the minimum wage.

Also present at the meeting were the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, and the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, among others.

VIDEO: Peter Obi, Chris Ngige Hug At Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal

President Muhammadu Buhari’s former Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Friday met with the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Peter Obi at the Tribunal.

Both from different political parties shared a quick embrace and laughed loudly when they met inside the courtroom.

They also exchanged pleasantries and jested after which Obi shook hands with members of the PDP legal team.

Ngige and Obi had past history of political rivalry when Ngige took over from Obi as Anambra State Governor in 2017, when both trade words about

The PDP at the Petitions Tribunal is challenging President Buhari’s victory at February 23, 2019 election.

Watch the video below…

NSITF Board: NLC President Is Being Economical With The Truth – Ngige

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, says the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba is being economical with the truth.

He stated this on Tuesday while appearing on a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“The NLC President is being economical with the truth. I told them that this name you people have inserted there is an invalid nomination.

“It was on that basis that I asked Mr Kokori to give me his Curriculum Vita (CV). As a matter of fact, this NLC President came to my office and lied to me that the Vice President asked them to bring a nomination.

“And I told him, it cannot stand. You know what the Act says. Based on that, I wrote to the Vice President pointing out that I should nominate. As at two weeks ago, the Vice President said he didn’t see them,” he said.

READ ALSO: Ngige, Labour Trade Blames Over NSITF Board Inauguration

But reacting, the NLC President faulted the Minister for the delay in the constitution of the board, blaming the action on an alleged lack of communication between the Federal Government and the labour.

While maintaining that Kokori was not recommended by the labour, he insisted that his appointment was based on a recommendation from the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) being a member.

He said: “The issue of Kokori’s appointment was not the issue mainly, it was inaugurating the board. So clearly speaking, there is a breakdown in communication. That communication which was made public to Nigerians only came at the eve of the inauguration two days ago.

“We are social partners in this particular issue. It’s a labour market institution. We shouldn’t wait until the 11th hour. Labour should have been informed. Even him Kokori should have been informed.

“Even now, there is no formal communication to him. After the Minister invited him to his house and had dinner to say you have been appointed, there is no formal communication to labour.

When asked when the implementation of the new national minimum wage would commence, the Minister said he doesn’t know.

He, however, explained that the Federal Government would constitute an Implementation Committee comprising of seven ministers and the Salaries and Wages Commission.

“An implementation committee on the government sides would be inaugurated today in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

“There are about seven ministers who are there. The head of the Civil Service of the Federation will chair the committee, the Chairman, Salaries Income and Wages Commission will be the secretary and we will have the secretariat,” he said.

Ngige’s comment follows the faceoff between himself and the NLC over the constitution and inauguration of the board for the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

Members of the Labour Union have been aggrieved following the replacing of Frank Kokori as the Chair of NSITF Board with Enejamo-Isire and his subsequent reappointment as the chair the board of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies.

Ngige, Labour Trade Blames Over NSITF Board Inauguration

The faceoff between the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Federal Government continued on Tuesday with a blame game over the inauguration of a new board for the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

While the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, spoke on behalf of the Federal Government, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba represented the labour union.

Both appeared as guests on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, a day after Ngige swore in a new board for the Fund following a two-year delay.

Prior to the inauguration, NLC members last week protested against the Minister for his alleged failure to inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund with Frank Kokori as the chairman.

Wabba criticised the Minister for the delay in the constitution of the board, blaming the action on an alleged lack of communication between the Federal Government and the labour.

READ ALSO: Ngige Inaugurates New NSITF Board After Two-Year Delay

He, however, insisted that Kokori was not recommended by the labour, insisting that his appointment was based on a recommendation from the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) being a member.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba                                               Labour Minister, Chris Ngige

“We are social partners in this particular issue. It’s a labour market institution. We shouldn’t wait until the 11th hour. Labour should have been informed. Even him Kokori should have been informed.

“Even up to now, there is no formal communication to him. After the Minister invited him to his house and had dinner to say you have been appointed, there is no formal communication to labour.

“The issue of Kokori’s appointment was not the issue mainly, it was inaugurating the board. So clearly speaking, there is a breakdown in communication. That communication which was made public to Nigerians only came at the eve of the inauguration two days ago,” he stated.

But reacting to the allegation, the Minister accused the NLC President of being economical with the truth.

According to Ngige, Wabba came to his office claiming that the Vice President had instructed the NLC to bring a nomination.

“I did not recommend Mr Kokori for an appointment. The NLC President is being economical with the truth. I told them that this name you people have inserted is an invalid nomination.

“It was on that basis that I asked Mr Kokori to give me his Curriculum Vita (CV). As a matter of fact, this NLC President came to my office and lied to me that the Vice President asked them to bring a nomination.

“And I told him, it cannot stand. You know what the Act says. Based on that, I wrote to the Vice President pointing out that I should nominate. As at two weeks ago, the Vice President said he didn’t see them,” he said.

‘My Family Members Are Traumatised,’ Ngige Laments Picketing Of His House By NLC

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has narrated his experience and how picketing of his residence by members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) affected his family.

The Minister revealed this in an interview with journalists at the presidential villa in Abuja, on Thursday.

Ngige said the ‘blockage’ of the entrance of his Asokoro residence by the protesting labour members is an unlawful action because all occupants of his compound including his neighbours were hindered from going about their daily normal activities.

READ ALSO: Service Chiefs Brief Buhari On Kidnappings, Other Crimes

“In my own home, my wife, some of my children, the children of my staff members, my cooks and my stewards were all trapped. My neighbour also couldn’t go to work. That is obstruction. It is against the law of the land.

“Putting a tanker with petrol… that is arson. The entire street could have been engulfed with fire.

“I was speechless. I am very distraught, my family is traumatised. All of the people in my compound are traumatised. Some of the cooks and policemen who have families, aides who have families in that compound are traumatised.

“Even my neighbour couldn’t go about their business. It is quite unfortunate,” he lamented.

Narrating his experience further, the Minister claimed that the protesters were at the entrance of his house as early as 4:30 am with petrol tankers.

He said further that the protesters were led by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba.

“I was woken up at 5:00 am by my wife who reported to me that my security men were having problems with some strange fellows at the gate of the house and that some people were also on the walls of my house and that the people arrived there by 4:30 am.

“When the security accosted them, they discovered that it was the NLC President himself that came physically.

“They came with two tankers. One laden with petrol and the other one was half empty. They put one at the gate of my house and the second one at the gate of the other house which happens to be that of my neighbour.

“It was very strange. I looked from upstairs and saw that the tankers were actually blocking the entrance to my house.

“They (his security men) even had a scuffle with the President of NLC when they were struggling for the key of the tanker.”

Ngige, however, condemned the action of the protesters, saying, “Picketing does not mean you go to people’s private residence because you don’t know who the occupants are.

“That is not Trade Unionism, it is hooligalism. In Trade Unionism, you dialogue.”

The Minister said his neighbours have vowed to take legal actions and added that ‘the obstruction’ is an illegal action punishable by the law.

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday protested at the Asokoro residence of Ngige over his failure to inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund with Frank Kokori as the chairman.

Ngige, Faduyile Disagree On Brain Drain, Migration Of Nigerian Doctors

 

Doctor Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment and the President of the Nigerian Medical Association are not on the same wavelength regarding the critical issue of brain drain and migration of Nigerian doctors. 

Ngige in an interview on Wednesday said contrary to the impression that the country is losing, the movement of the doctors abroad is actually attracting investment into the country.

Doctor Ngige who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast program, Sunrise Daily, said the mass exodus of doctors from Nigeria is not a thing so much a thing to lose sleep about, in that the nation has medical practitioners in excess.

READ ALSO: We Need More Doctors, We Don’t Have Enough – Nigerians Reply Chris Ngige

“I’m Not Worried, We Have Surplus (Doctors), if we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.

“They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me,” Ngige said.

However, the President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Doctor Francis Faduyile disagrees with the position of the labour minister.

Doctor Faduyile notes emphatically that the country’s doctor to patient ratio is grossly poor, citing poor welfare and infrastructure deficit as some of the reasons for medical brain drain.

We Need More Doctors, We Don’t Have Enough – Nigerians Reply Chris Ngige

 

 

Reaction have trailed comments by The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige,  suggesting that the mass exodus of doctors from Nigeria is not a thing to lose sleep about. 

Chris Ngige had on Wednesday, said that he is not bothered about the decision of medical doctors who choose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.

While featuring as a guest Channels TV Sunrise Daily, Ngige said the practice is not alien to Nigeria, because he was taught by Indians in secondary school.

“I’m Not Worried, We Have Surplus (Doctors), if we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.

“They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me.”

Nigerians in reaction to the minister’s comments have taken to social media to air their views on the subject matter, with many holding views at variance with Ngige’s claim that the nation has a surplus of medical doctors.

Below are what Nigerians are saying with respect to Ngige’s claim.

READ ALSO: FG Vows To Improve Primary Health Care Delivery In Nigeria

VIDEO: Doctors Are Free To Leave Nigeria Because We Have Surplus, I’m Not Worried – Ngige

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige has said that he is not bothered about the decision of medical doctors who choose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.

Ngige who was a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily said the practice is not alien to Nigeria, because he was taught by Indians in secondary school.

“I’m Not Worried, We Have Surplus (Doctors), if we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.

“They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me.”

Ngige, when asked if nothing was wrong, owing to his position as a qualified medical doctor, said there was nothing wrong in their choice to practise overseas, at the detriment of Nigeria’s health sector.

“There is nothing wrong, they go out to sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them, not from oil.”

READ ALSO: Dogara Slams Tinubu, Lists 8th National Assembly’s Achievements

The minister said the move does not amount to brain drain when asked.

“Those guys go there, they are better trained because of the facilities they have there. Eventually, I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government hospitals cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.

“Brain drain will only be inimical when for instance neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.”

ASUU: FG Commences Meeting With Striking Lecturers

 

 

The Federal Government has commenced the meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the lingering strike.

Chris Ngige, the minister of Labour and Employment,  is in attendance along with the striking lecturers.

The Minister says he is worried over the delay in suspending the strike after the last meeting where some funds were released by the Federal Government to pay salaries shortfalls.

But the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi said that they want the Federal government to get it right this time around, especially issues revolving around University revitalization in order to ensure that graduates from Nigeria Universities can be proud of their certificates.

READ ALSO: ASUU Strike Continues As Union Leaders Walk Out Of Meeting With FG

ASUU began the nationwide strike in November after a meeting of its national leadership at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The industrial action was to protest the poor funding of Nigerian Universities and the alleged plot to increase students’ fees in some institutions.

Among other issues raised by the union include the introduction of an education bank and the non-implementation of previous agreements.

The meeting is now in a technical session.

Minimum Wage Is Work In Progress, Says Ngige

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, discussions are still ongoing for a new minimum wage for the country.

“The issue of the minimum wage is a work in progress”, he told journalists at the State House in Abuja on Thursday, after the National Executive Council meeting.

He explained that it is after the ongoing deliberations on the minimum wage  that a bill will be sent to the National Executive Council and subsequently referred to the National Council of State.

He said, “We are taking our deliberations to the National Executive Council and then we will close up on the 22nd of January at the National Council of State after which we will be able to say where we are going concerning the figures and frequency those that have exemptions.

“By then we will be ready to transmit to the National Assembly on or before 23rd of January.”

READ ALSO:  FG Fixes Jan 23 For Transmission Of Minimum Wage Bill To NASS

The Federal Government through the Labour Minister had in a meeting with the leadership of the NLC last week Tuesday resolved that the executive bill on minimum wage should be forwarded by January 23 to the National Assembly to prevent the planned strike.

The NLC had threatened to shut down the economy on January 28, and also vote against any candidate in the forthcoming elections that refuses to implement the proposed minimum wage of N30,000.

FG Fixes Jan 23 For Transmission Of Minimum Wage Bill To NASS

File Photo: Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige

 

The Federal Government has fixed January 23, 2019, to transmit the new Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly with a view to fast-tracking the implementation of a new wage structure for Nigerian workers.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, confirmed this to journalists on Tuesday after a meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and its allies in Abuja.

He assured the labour leaders that the government will be presenting the recommendations of the tripartite committee to the States Security Council in the coming weeks.

According to him, the whole process that precedes the transmission of the bill to the National Assembly will be completed before January 23.

On his part, the President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, stressed the importance of keeping to the timeline to avoid further disagreements between labour and the government.