We Created 195,534 Jobs in 2012 – FG

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku on Wednesday said a total of 195,534 jobs were generated in 2012 by the Federal Government via several contracts awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Minister disclosed this at the end of the weekly FEC meeting.

He said, “In 2012, the Federal Government generated 195,534 new jobs from the various contracts awarded by the FEC. It is the practice that ministers must say how many jobs they will create through contracts before they are approved by the council.”

He said 212 cases of industrial disputes were referred to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity under its arbitration role. 25 of these cases are going for arbitration while efforts aimed at resolving 114 cases were still ongoing.

According to Mr Maku, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu proactively engaged with labour unions thereby averting many trade disputes that could have cost the government heavy economic losses.

Similarly, the ministry also embarked on skills acquisition in favour of workers and labour leaders to create skills needed for amicable resolution of conflicts, indicating, however, that inadequate funding militated against many of its efforts.

This is also the lot of the FCT which is indebted to contractors to the tune of N420 billion over an unspecified period of time.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Muhammed said lack of adequate funding continued to slow down the administration, necessitating its partnering the Ministry of Finance to work out ways of floating bonds after establishing a sound framework so that the debts could be paid.

He said, “We have challenges of finance but we have developed robust business plan. We are heavily indebted to the tune of N420 billion. That is why we are leveraging on Public Private Partnership (PPP). Eight districts will be developed through land swap.

“I have craved the indulgence of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and she has agreed, and the council has noted our recommendation to float an FCT development fund that we can float bond after we have established a sound legal framework with the establishment of FCT revenue board that we can task to float that bond so that we can pay our debt and do new projects and programmes.

“We are also planning to concession the airport and Kubwa roads. Our major goals is to provide efficient framework for the FCT and ensuring framework for waste management is our priority for this year.

“We are also maintaining a robust relationship with security agencies and neighbouring state governments on security.”

NUPENG suspends strike over Shell’s anti-labour practices

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended the picketing of Shell Petroleum Development Company formations nationwide following the intervention by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu.

Shell's office in Port-Harcourt
People walk past Dutch oil giant Shell's sign board in Nigeria

In a statement signed by the officials of the union and the management of Shell, the minister of labour directed the management of Shell to recall all sacked officers and members on or before December 4, 2012.

NUPENG had last week paralyzed business activities of Shell offices over alleged anti-labour practices by management of the oil company.

The union accused Shell of being the major vendor of enslaving Nigerians through exploitative contract and agency labour employment otherwise known as outsourcing.

It explained that the contract workers in Shell have no conditions of service, adding that when their contracts are terminated, they are not paid severance benefits other than one month’s salary irrespective of the number of years in service.

In a bid to forestall any industrial crisis, the labour minister waded into the dispute shortly after the union leaders threatened to embark on a nationwide strike.

At the meeting the minister directed management of Shell to immediately recall the sacked union members in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.

The meeting also resolved that NUPENG shall seek the leave of the court to withdraw all cases pending against SHELL.

The meeting is expected to be reconvened on January 31st to look at areas of progress made so far.