NANPF, LMC To Tackle Players Welfare Issue

NANPF, LMC To Tackle Players Welfare IssueThe National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers (NANPF) has vowed to keep up pressure on clubs to pay their players their wages and salaries.

The renewed commitment came after the association reached an agreement with the League Management Company to work together in ensuring backlogs are settled.

The 2016/2017 Premier League season begins on Saturday with many clubs yet to pay their players and coaches their salaries and bonuses from previous seasons.

NANPF General Secretary, Austin Popo, who expressed his disappointment with the refusal of the majority of the clubs to pay their players, said the body had decided to work with the LMC.

It was learnt that the players’ union and other groups had allegedly pressured the LMC to suspend the league until the players were paid their entitlements.

It was also learnt that the groups decided to make a U-turn after allegedly coming under pressure from some of the clubs and the LMC.

However, Popo said the players’ body would put defaulting clubs under pressure through the LMC for the players to be paid their entitlements.

The former Flying Eagles forward said that Warri Wolves, Taraba United and Heartland were among the clubs still owing their players.

According to Popo, “The painful thing about the debts owed these players by the clubs is that the managers and owners of these clubs are frustrating our efforts at retrieving the debts, hence we have decided to work directly with the LMC, who have assured us that the debts would be paid before the new season begins, to avoid a repeat of the past situations.

“These club owners have some recovered monies paid to them but they have refused to pay their players.

“Many club owners have these monies but divert them and conveniently owe these players knowing full well that the players would not want to go on strike when we call on them to do so.

“The players only speak out after leaving the clubs owing them for another one, hence they don’t help the cause.”

He added: “In the new season, players’ welfare is going to be our major focus as we have always done.

“We have met with the LMC and the list of players who are owed by their clubs and their account numbers have been forwarded to them (LMC). The LMC will pay them from the entitlements due to the indebted clubs.

“Some clubs have been responding. For instance, Bayelsa United and Gombe United have paid their players as of last week.

“Although the LMC have been doing a lot since they came on board, we have met with them and let them understand that the wages issue could cause disruptions in the league if not properly handled.”

FG Will Not Lay Off Workers Due To Airports Concession – Sirika

planeNigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Federal Government would not sit and allow people lose their jobs or kill businesses in the aviation industry all in the name of concessioning the airports.

This is just as he appealed to the unions not to use the concession agreement between Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) and the Federal Government to judge the planned concession of four major airports.

The Federal Government plans to concession airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano for effective service delivery, good turnover and management.

Sirika’s declaration is coming on the heels of the fears by the workers through the aviation unions that their members in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that they could lose their jobs if the Federal Government goes ahead to concession the four major airports.

He spoke in Lagos at the weekend when he met with two aviation unions – Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(FAAN) represented by its National President, Comrade Benjamin Okewu and the National Union Air Transport Employees(NUATE) represented by its former General Secretary, Comrade Abdulkareem Motajo.

Discussions at that meeting focused on the concession of airports which the unions had opposed.

“Contrary to beliefs that workers would be laid off when these airports are concessioned, there would be more activities.

“The Federal Government will not sit down and watch people who voted for change to lose their jobs or kill businesses instead of creating,” he stated, stressing that the aim of the concession is not to sell its assets.

Senator Sirika reiterated that he had brought out 26 things which he hoped to achieve during his tenure as the minister, highlighting that some of them are concession of airports, establishing a leasing company and setting up private sector driven MRO and national carrier.

He said that the position of the government in the planned concession was that the airports would be better than those in Singapore and Britain.

“In concessioning these airports, the government would carry aviation unions along and make the process transparent.”

According to Sirika, “concession will be done transparently and will never be in camera and everybody will be carried along”.

To further prove that the proposed concession will be transparent, the minister disclosed that a Project Delivery Team had been constituted, urging the unions to send representative to be in the team.

FAAN, he pointed out, would continue to own the airport, stressing that the concession is just for a period of time.

“I will always tell you the truth. Except I don’t understand the truth. That is why I have the unions here to tell me the truth,” he added.

NLC Criticises Upsurge In Casualisation Of Workers

NLC, WorkersThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has decried the increasing exploitation of Nigerian workers by multinational companies who prefer to engage workers on a casual basis.

The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, raised the concern on Monday while addressing participants at a conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Wabba expressed worry that the action of these companies is daily leaving scars on Nigerian workers.

He lamented the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, saying it portends danger for the nation if the situation is not urgently addressed.

The General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, Sharon Burrow, condemned the policy of most employers to the plight of the workers who she said were being impoverished.

In their remarks, a representative of the Head of Service, Emmanuel Audu and that of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Phyllis Nwokedi, assured the workers of better working conditions.

Sanusi Promises To Improve National Teams’ Preparations For Tournament

sanusiThe newly appointed General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, has promised to improve Nigeria’s national teams’ preparations for international competitions.

Dr. Sanusi stressed that adequate preparations would help the team perform better in major tournaments.

The NFF General Secretary also pledged to do his best to attract meaningful sponsorship that would help the development of grassroots football.

Dr. Sanusi took over from Barrister Musa Amadu, after he resigned from his position on Thursday.

The Executive Committee of the NFF announced the appointment of Dr. Sanusi, as the new General Secretary of  the NFF, after Barrister Musa Amadu submitted his resignation.

Research Institutes Urge Government To Implement Agreement

Members of the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAL) have appealed to the Nigerian government through the office of the secretary to the government of the federation to urgently implement agreement reached with its members.

The President of the union, Benjamin Akintola and the General-Secretary, Moshood Akinade, made the appeal at the opening ceremony of a workshop organized for senior members of the union in Ilorin.

The two union officials listed their demands to include non-payment of 12 months arrears for research workers, payment of peculiar allowance and increase of funding of research institutes.

Mr Akintola chided some of the past union leaders for not fighting for the interest of the members but engaged in what could destroy the unity of members.

Chairmen, secretary and treasurers of branches across Nigeria, expected to be part of the three days’ workshop, will take a final stand on the issues with the Federal Government.

NFF Debunks Alleged N48m Debt

Nigeria’s football administrative body; the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) condemned reports alleging that the body owing Super Eagles coaches to the tune N48 million as the newspapers were berated for such reports.

Shehu Adamu who is the Chairman of the finance committee of the football body reacting by saying the report is not true, that such report puts the body in a bad position and generates friction between the body and the National Team.

“The reports of NFF owing Eagles’ coaches the sum of N48 million is not only incorrect, it is mischievous. Today is the seventh day of the month; even if you add up this new month that we are yet to get one quarter of the way, the amount we are owing them is not up to N48 million.

“It is sad that at this time that all fair-minded and noble football stakeholders are supposed to be working together with the Federation and the team to see that we do the country proud at the Cup of Nations in South Africa, some persons are bent on creating undue anxiety through false reporting.”

The body also debunked the claim that the camp set up Faro; Portugal is experiencing unrest due to the debt the NFF owes the coaches. Musa Amadu the NNF General Secretary of the NFF said such insinuations by people are damaging the reputation of the body and the dampening the morale of the camp.

Also in Abuja, NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu dismissed insinuations that there is unease in the Super Eagles’ camp as a result of the simulated debt.

“It is unfair for people to go to town with these untrue statements at a critical time like this. There is absolutely no tension in Faro; everyone is fine and the coaches and players are looking forward to bringing glory to Nigeria in South Africa.

“Why have people not asked questions on how the NFF was able to raise money to finance the team’s camping in Abuja, take the team to Faro and arrange for friendly matches? Instead, people are coming with diversionary falsehood.”