Minimum Wage: N30,000 Can Barely Feed A Small Family, Says Dogara

Workers Day: NASS Will Speed Up Passage Of Minimum Wage Bill – Dogara

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that the N30,000 minimum wage was proposed by the tripartite committee of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) can barely feed a small family unit.

Read Full Statement Below: 

The 30, 000 naira minimum wage being canvassed can barely feed a small family unit, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara has disclosed, adding that it is only when workers are dignified with wages that can provide them minimum comfort that their productivity level will increase.

Speaking at the National Assembly during a public hearing on the New Minimum Wage organised by the House Ad-Hoc Committee on New Minimum Wage, 2019, the speaker noted that the two focal points that must be given priority by government are poverty and corruption because while the former, caused mainly by underemployment and unemployment, is a threat to democracy, the latter fundamentally undermines democratic institutions and values.

Hon Dogara, therefore, proposed for a more reasonable living wage that will not only provide for basic needs of the workers but also enable them to make provisions for themselves that will lift them out of poverty and lead to a reduction in corruption.

He explained that poverty as a threat to democracy is evident in vote buying and in the use of money to compromise electoral and security officials during elections, thereby subverting the will of the people on account of the sense of despondency and powerlessness that their lack breeds, and therefore, making them ever ready tools in the hands of tyrants and demagogues, who in the course of history, have always found it easy to mobilise for the purposes of subverting democratic Institutions.

The speaker stated, “While we are not oblivious of the current economic downturn and the dwindling revenue of Government, we cannot also be blind to the fact that all economic indices indicate that even the 30,000 Naira Minimum Wage that Labour is asking for is not enough to sustain a small family unit. The nation may not have enough to satisfy the minimum demands of the Nigerian worker, but as a nation, we need to set our economic priorities right and ensure that we dignify our workers by making allowance for their minimum comfort. I know of no alternative if we hope to up the productivity level of our workforce.

READ ALSONo Going Back On N30,000 Minimum Wage, NLC Insists

“It is said that the promise of democracy is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. According to Thomas Jefferson, these are God-given rights. Therefore, it is not enough to merely be alive and free, one must also be engaged in the pursuit of happiness in order to enjoy the promise of democracy. If that is the case, can we say that Nigerian workers are enjoying the promise of democracy? Can we say that millions of our youth who roam the streets daily in search of non-existing jobs are enjoying the promise of democracy? Absolutely, no. This is because, although they are alive and free, they lack the means with which to pursue happiness.

While the workers are underemployed, the latter are unemployed. So as a country, we are battling twin evils, namely: underemployment, which is as grave a problem, as unemployment. Dr King Jnr aptly summed it up when he said, while talking about underemployment in America, that ‘Most of the poverty-stricken people of America are persons who are working every day, and they end up getting part-time wages for full-time work.’ Of course, America has moved on since Dr King’s time. We must make Nigeria move on in our time.

“I have said before that poverty is the greatest threat to our democracy. Those who doubted me have seen that threat manifest itself in vote buying and in the use of money to compromise electoral and security officials during elections. On account of the sense of despondency and powerlessness that poverty breeds amongst the poor, the poor have and will always remain ever ready tools in the hands of tyrants and demagogues, who in the course of history, have always found it easy to mobilize for the purposes of subverting democratic Institutions. Since underemployment and unemployment are bedmates of poverty, eliminating them must be the focal point of the government’s policies.

“The next evil is corruption. It is not in doubt that corruption fundamentally undermines democratic institutions and values. Corruption affects the poor most because they depend more on the government for support. How then do we fight corruption from the roots rather than dealing with its symptoms as is currently the case? The answer is for us to begin to pay workers living wage, not minimum wage.

“When we do not pay a living wage, we cannot tame corruption. When workers take home is not enough to take them home, the temptation for them to cut corners in order to get home will always be there.

Workers keep and process our national wealth and the only way to insulate them from the temptation to want to help themselves to it, is to ensure they are well remunerated. It is not in contention that it is a meaningful job to muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain. Leaving workers to their temptations is dangerous unless we can show that they are greater than Oscar Wilde, who in his vintage wicked wit, proclaimed, “I can resist everything except temptation”.

That we cannot pay a living wage in a nation that represents a major promise for economic prosperity in the world speaks to the bane of our leadership. In order to reverse these tragic narratives, we must invest in proactive and innovative leadership, not the reactive leadership model that we practised all this while. Reality is, I am not a believer in minimum wage although it is a constitutional issue and the practice in many nations.

I believe in living wage and wish the framers of our Constitution had provided for a living wage instead. No wonder the UN Covenant on Economic, social and cultural rights speaks to rights to a living wage in Article 7(A)2 as incorporated in International Labour Organisation document.

“Therefore, I cannot wait for that Nigeria to emerge wherein workers are paid wages that would not only take them home but have a portion to spare in savings in order to pursue happiness and give their children the training that they could ever dream of.

That should be our national goal going forward if we hope to ever make it to the club of elite nations. If we do not ever make it to the point where we can have a conversation about Economic justice, it would not be because it’s impossible to achieve but because we lack the right leadership. We have talked about ending so many things in Nigeria, now is the time to talk about creating wealth and ending poverty, and those who bear the burden of the nation must be the first beneficiaries.”

He said the House of Representatives is giving accelerated consideration to the very crucial Bill to forestall the threat by the labour force to go on strike and because it is long overdue since the current National Minimum Wage, which was fixed in 2011, has become unrealistic due to supervening developments in the nation.

“As most of us here must be aware, the National Assembly will need to go on a short recess for the purpose of the General Elections, which is less than three weeks from now. We must, therefore, conclude this public hearing as quickly as possible today to enable the House to proceed with further legislative actions on it at its plenary tomorrow as already resolved in our last sitting,’ he said, adding, “more importantly, the consideration and passage of this Bill is equally exigent because our country is at the brink of a national industrial crisis that we can least afford at this time. Passions are extremely high within the entire organised labour on this issue.

Even before the consideration of the Bill by Parliament, the Labour leaders have rejected the 27,000 Naira recommended to us by the Executive Arm as National Minimum Wage.

At the slightest opportunity, the entire workforce in the country could be called out by Labour leaders to resume the strike action that was recently put on hold without any further notice.

The effect that such a scenario can have on the ongoing electioneering process is better imagined than experienced. There is no doubt, therefore, that the entire nation is waiting and looking up to the National Assembly to do the needful with the promptitude it deserves.”

Onnoghen’s Suspension: We Must Not Bow Our Knees To Dictatorship, Says Dogara

Workers Day: NASS Will Speed Up Passage Of Minimum Wage Bill – Dogara

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has reacted to the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen and also the swearing-in of a new one Mohammed Tanko.

Dogara in a statement warned Nigerians not to bow their knees to the dictatorship of anyone.

He noted that the constitution does not support a situation whereby the judiciary will have a suspended CJN and an acting CJN at the same time.

Read Full Statement Below: 

With the unconstitutional suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari, the world has been served with notice that Nigeria is now a full-blown dictatorship. This did not come as a rude shock except to those that have been blind to the gradual but progressive erosion of democratic values in the polity as President Buhari’s Government has never hidden its disdain for the rule of law.

We have watched in disbelief as the Government recklessly deploys institutional prerogatives; routinely flouts the rule of law; subverts and assaults democratic Institutions; refuses to accept opponents as legitimate; suppresses citizens civil liberties(especially those of opponents) and trample underfoot the media. In short, the Government’s tyrannical and authoritarian credentials are loathsomely legendary.

READ ALSOSenate To Reconvene Tuesday, Debate Onnoghen’s Suspension

No provision in Sections 157 and 292 of the 1999 Constitution as amended supports the President in purporting to suspend the CJN or swearing in an acting CJN.  The whole idea of a limited government is that the President’s powers are limited by law and it is ultra vires his powers to act in the absence of explicit legislative authorization. That is representative democracy at its best which our 1999 Constitution as amended guarantees.

It is instructive to note that our Constitution does not contemplate or presupposes a situation whereby the Judiciary will have a suspended CJN and an acting CJN at the same time. Therefore, it is right to posit, as some have done that the President now has his own Chief Judge to do his bidding while Nigeria has a sitting CJN until he is removed in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

The awfully crude annexation of the judiciary by the President in violation of his oath of office and the Constitution cannot be for any other reason except, as alleged by so many, to prepare the judiciary ahead of time for the purpose of conferring some aura of legitimacy to the contraption that the 2019 general elections may after all become.

I, therefore, call on the President to remember that he has no better legacy to bequeath other than a good name: which cannot be achieved without honour, character, and integrity. Honour and integrity demand that he upholds his oath of office by reversing this assault on our Constitution and following the manifestly clear and unambiguous constitutional procedure for the removal of the CJN if he must be removed. Anything short of this demeans all of us.

To our citizens, we must now head the warning of the Irish lawyer cum orator, John Philpot Curran who said, “the condition upon which God had given liberty to man is eternal vigilance: which condition if he breaks, servitude is at once the consequences of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt”. Despotism can only prosper in Nigeria if good men and women do nothing.

I also call on all lovers of freedom and democracy all over the world to rise to the occasion and demand of this Government and the President to halt the march to anarchy and bedlam: which dictatorship promotes. The world has experience in this and it must not allow this unmitigated disaster on Nigeria before it acts to restore sanity.

As of today, Nigeria is now Germany in the wake of the 1933 Reichstag fire. Our democracy is on fire; ignited by the very people who swore to protect and defend it. That this fire must not convert the Chancellor to Fuhrer as it happened in Germany in 1933 depends on our collective response and that of the international community. We must not bow our knees to dictatorship: not now, not ever again.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara

Speaker, House of Representatives

The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Dogara Cautions FG On Charges Against CJN

Workers Day: NASS Will Speed Up Passage Of Minimum Wage Bill – Dogara

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon Yakubu Dogara, has cautioned the Federal Government on the charges filed against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Hon Justice Walter Onnoghen.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Hon Dogara said that while the House awaits further briefing from relevant agencies, nevertheless, it is important that due process is followed because Nigeria is a country governed by laws and not dictates of men.

He noted that the House is not less zealous in the fight against corruption but said to commence a matter of that grave magnitude with a media trial is pregnant with innuendos least needed by the polity at this sensitive time.

READ ALSO: Withdraw Charges Against CJN And Apologise, Ekweremadu Advises FG

The Speaker added that Nigeria is a country governed by laws with clearly spelt out procedures and processes for their activation and not the dictates of men.

“It is important that people in authority should exercise power with decorum and not plunge the nation to needless crises as Nigeria is not a banana republic.

“This is a matter that affects another arm of government and its head which should be treated with caution so as not to send the wrong signal that there is a political undertone or other ulterior motives to the issue”.

“As we raised our voice when the National Assembly was invaded by hooded security men last year, it is incumbent on us as the legislature to voice our concerns because we operate under a system where three arms of government are co – equal branches and enjoy a measure of independence guaranteed by the Constitution.”

“As we approach the general elections, it is incumbent on the prosecutorial authorities to exercise caution and treat matters of this nature with utmost circumspection.”

Saraki, Dogara Mourn Shagari, Say Nigeria Has Lost A Father

 

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have mourned the death of Nigeria’s first executive President, Shehu Shagari, saying Nigeria has lost a father.

Bukola Saraki has expressed sadness over the death of the first elected President of Nigeria, Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari who he described as the last of the First and Second Republic titans.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Ilorin, described the late Shagari as a man of peace who dedicated the greater part of his life to the service of the fatherland.

He noted that Shagari would be remembered for his immense contributions to the political and socio-economic development of the country as well as his peaceful disposition.

He also commiserated with the immediate and larger family of the deceased, the government and people of Sokoto State, and the entire country over the loss of the former President as he stated that: “let’s be consoled by the fact that Shagari lived his life in the service of God and country.”

“My family and I join the entire nation to mourn the passing of former President, Shehu Shagari, who led our nation during the Second Republic. He was a quintessential public servant; having served in seven cabinet positions and as a legislator. He was the first elected President who was Chief Executive of the country. He dedicated his best years in the service of our nation and its people and will be dearly missed”.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, in his statement, said, the former President was a true democrat and an icon of transparency.

“We have lost a father, man of peace, a true democrat, patriot and a nationalist.

“He led an exemplary life of service to God and country worthy of emulation, he was a president for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion or region.

“President Shagari led Nigeria with dignity and honour and respected the independence of the legislature and judiciary in the second republic under the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

He was a bridge builder and one of the major highlights of his presidency was the alliance he formed between the NPN and the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) in accordance with his politics of give and take.

“His demise is a big loss to Nigeria and all lovers of democracy on the African continent.

“When anti-democratic forces truncated his government, President Shagari took it in good faith and continued to play the role of an elder statesman and father without grudge or bitterness.

“He was a man who worked for the unity of Nigeria and stabilized the country during the 50 months of the Second Republic despite the challenges of the then new presidential system of government operated by the country. Since his exit from power, he has remained a silent beacon of strength for the country”, the Senate President stated.

The both leaders prayed Allah to grant the soul of the late former President a place among the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus and his family, loved ones and the entire country the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Saraki, Dogara, Others React To Murder Of Alex Badeh

Ex-Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh was shot dead by unknown gunmen.

 

Reactions are beginning to trail the death of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

Badeh was shot dead by some unknown gunmen along the Abuja-Keffi Road.

The ex-service chief was on his way back from his farm when his car was attacked.

Many Nigerians have taken to social media to air their views regarding the rather unfortunate event.

One of those who have decried the murder of Badeh Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Taking to his twitter page, Senator Saraki said the death of Badeh is a great loss to the nation.

He prayed that the family and the army be granted the fortitude to bear the loss.

Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara in addressing the death of Badeh said the news is both saddening and alarming.

He also extended his thoughts and prayers to the family, hoping that the perpetrators of the killing will be apprehended soon.

Below are some other reactions regarding the killing of Alex Badeh.

Atiku, Dogara Extol Saraki As Senate President Turns 56

 

Former Vice President of Nigeria and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has saluted the selflessness, courage, and statesmanship of Senate President, Sen. (Dr) Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who clocks 56 years tomorrow (19th December 2018).

The Waziri of Adamawa said in a congratulatory message, signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, that the Senate President who also doubles as Director General of his Presidential Campaign Council, has carved a niche for himself in the annals of Nigeria’s politics and good governance.

According to him, Saraki is an embodiment of finesse, a fusion of intellectual fecundity and leadership competence; a brave defender of democracy and symbol of courage; and an adherent to the rule of law and selfless stewardship.

READ ALSO: Amnesty Report: Atiku Says FG Lacks Capacity To Tackle Insecurity

“I rejoice with a compatriot and political ally as he walks the stage of his golden age. Bukola is a man of great past, commendable present and promising future. I pray that Almighty Allah will continue to grant him greater vision, robust vitality and a wealth of good health, in the service of our nation and humanity at large”, Atiku said.

Similarly, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, congratulated Dr. Bukola Saraki, President on the occasion of his 56th birthday anniversary.

Dogara felicitated with Saraki in a statement made available to newsmen by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, in Abuja.

He commended the Senate president for his constant promotion of the independence of the legislature and his outstanding contributions to the nation building, describing him as a courageous and patriotic leader.

Dogara Emerges PDP House Of Rep Candidate In Bauchi

2017 Will Bring Succour To Nigerians- Dogara

 

Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Candidate of Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency in Bauchi State.

325 delegates through a voice vote unanimously affirmed the Speaker as the 2019 candidate during the party’s primary in Zwall town of Tafawa Balewa Local Government of the state.

Returning officer, Mrs Esther Ahmed-Kadala, who conducted the exercise, declared Dogara as the winner after confirmation by the delegates.

Dogara was a sole candidate at the primary.

Dogara Submits PDP Expression Of Interest, Nomination Forms

image @PDP Twitter handle..Dogara submitting his nomination forms

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has summited his Expression of Interest and Nomination Form to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) office in Abuja.

The PDP made the announcement on Thursday through their Twitter handle.

Dogara who is seeking a re-election is running under the platform of the opposition party.

He was accompanied by his supporters to the party’s National Secretariat.

Dogara accompanied by his supporters

Eid-El-Kabir: Promote Peace, Tolerance Dogara Tells Religious Leaders

Workers Day: NASS Will Speed Up Passage Of Minimum Wage Bill – Dogara
File photo: Yakubu Dogara

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has asked religious leaders to promote peace and tolerance, as the nation celebrates Eid-el-Kabir.

He urged  Muslims and Nigerians in general to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice, love and tolerance for the peace, unity, and progress of the country.

“While rejoicing with our Muslim brothers on this auspicious occasion of Eid-el-Kabir Sallah celebration, which symbolises sacrifice and obedience, I wish to enjoin all people of goodwill to be steadfast in love for one another,” Dogara said in a statement.

He also urged Nigerians to demonstrate a renewed commitment to the Nigerian project “in order to make our society ideal for all and towards the fulfilment of the country’s great potentials”.

He added, “I also urge our religious leaders to take advantage of the season and preach peace, unity and tolerance among the diverse people, especially now that the country is at critical political crossroads, with the electioneering process gaining momentum as the 2019 general elections draw nearer.

“On our part as lawmakers, we will continue to pursue people-oriented legislation and initiate reforms and legislative interventions that will guarantee peace and stability in the polity and the nation as a whole as well as improve the living conditions of the citizens.”

New PDP Pulls Out Of Talks With Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo

 

The New PDP has withdrawn from its scheduled talks with the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, today.

Leaders of the group attributions the decision to, among other things, the treatment of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by security agencies.

The group is also accusing the presidency of lack of interest in the talks, claiming negotiations may have been done in bad faith.

According to a statement signed by the spokesperson of the New PDP, Mr Abubakar Baraje, there have been ongoing talks between the New PDP, the APC and the Presidency in recent days.

He, however, accused the Presidency of misrepresenting what transpired at last week’s meeting by trying to blackmail some of the principal actors in a national daily.

“The persecution of our members using state security apparatus has continued unabated,” the statement read in part.

“We recognise the powers of the Police to conduct criminal investigations, but by rushing to the public with the issue even when they have unfettered access to the leadership of the National Assembly suggests an attempt to undermine, caricature and humiliate the institution of the legislature.”

According to the New PDP, the alleged attempt by the police to rope the Senate President into the Offa bank robbery and the Department of State Security’s withdrawal of half of speaker Yakubu Dogara’s security detail are enough incentive to pull out of the talks.

The nPDP leadership says it will brief its members and get a fresh mandate if good faith returns to the discussions.

Court Nullifies Jibrin’s Suspension, Orders Payment Of His Salaries

Abdulmumin Jibrin

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the suspension of a former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

The House of Representatives had suspended Mr Jibrin for 180 legislative days on September 28, 2016. Mr Jibrin, who has served the suspension and rejoined his colleagues, had challenged the decision after his suspension.

But it wasn’t until Thursday that the court delivered judgement.

Delivering judgment in the suit, Justice John Tsoho, ruled that the suspension of the lawmaker is unconstitutional and ordered the House of Representatives to pay him all the salary due to him for the period he was unjustly suspended.

“The suspension was an interruption of his earning which will be automatically restored especially when it has been decided that the action was a nullity by virtue of granting prayers 1 and 3 of the originating summons,” he said.

“When an action is declared nullity it is deemed that it never happened.”
Jibrin had been suspended after he repeatedly accused the Speaker, Yakubu

Dogara, and other principal officers of the House of padding the 2016 budget with billions of naira, a claim they all denied.

Starting from July 2016, Jibrin had called for the removal of the principal officers and sent petitions against them to law enforcement agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Justice Tsoho, however, saw things differently and agreed with Mr Jibrin’s lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) that his suspension was an attempt to gag him.

The judge said, “There is no better conclusion that the plaintiff was carrying out the mandate imposed on members by Chapter 7 (7.5) of the Code of Conduct for Honourable Members adopted on November 4, 2004.”

NASS Leaders Meet Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has met with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara over the arrest of the Senator representing Kogi West Constituency, Dino Melaye.

Today’s meeting comes after Senator Melaye was arrested by immigration officials at the airport on his way for an official assignment, he was later released but was arrested the next day by the police.

Senator Melaye while in police custody on his way to Lokoja jumped out of the police vehicle thereby injuring himself.

He was rushed to the National Hospital in Abuja.

The meeting between the Presidency and the legislature was held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The Senate President described the meeting as fruitful.

Other issues focused on were the President’s visit to the United States and the non-appearance of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

However, there may be an end in sight to the strained relationship between the Executive and the Legislature, if the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the leaders of both legislative chambers pulls through.