Resident Doctors: Governors To Address Unresolved Issues In Five States

A photo combination showing NGF Chairman, Kayode Fayemi and NARD President, Dr Dare Ishaya.
A photo combination showing NGF Chairman, Kayode Fayemi and NARD President, Dr Dare Ishaya.

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has pledged to address the unresolved issues raised by the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in five states.

This was contained in a communique posted on NGF’s Facebook handle on Saturday, three days after the forum held its 33rd teleconference presided by its chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi.

“On the suspended strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD), the Forum noted that there were still unresolved issues in five states: Abia, Imo, Ondo, Kaduna, and Ekiti, and advised that State Governors appoint either the Deputy Governor or another high-ranking official such as the Commissioner of Health to take up the discussion with the Association at the State level,” said the communique issued on Thursday.

READ ALSO: NARD Directs Resident Doctors To Resume Work Fully On Wednesday

At the virtual meeting held on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees to the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research Foundation, Babatunde Fashola, made a presentation on a national fundraising initiative.

The initiative seeks to mobilise resources for the establishment of an endowment for medical research in the country.

Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Governor Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Governor Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Governor Douye Diri (Bayelsa), and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and among those present at the meeting.

 

Thereafter, the forum resolved to make a collective pledge to support research in priority medical fields in the country and called on all state governments to individually advance support for the initiative at the state level.

“Members also received a presentation from Mark Giambrone, MPP the Country Coordinator for PEPFAR in Nigeria, on the status of state engagement that is paving the way towards HIV epidemic control in the country,” the communique added.

“With the country on the verge of reaching control status by the end of 2022, governors pledged to continue to facilitate access to HIV testing and treatment for more Nigerians and committed to supporting campaigns and initiatives that will reduce stigmatisation among people living with HIV/AIDS.”

The governors met two days after the leadership of NARD suspended its two-month industrial action and directed its members across the country to resume work fully from October 6.

NARD President, Dr Dare Ishaya, briefs reporters at the end of a meeting of doctors in Bauchi State on September 25, 2021.

 

But NARD President, Dr Dare Godiya Ishaya, who briefed reporters in Abuja on the development had clarified that the strike was suspended for six weeks to allow the Federal Government to address the issues raised by the doctors.

He explained that the association took the decision to suspend the industrial action due to a simple majority vote of members at a meeting held on Sunday.

The strike, which began on August 2 to protest the issues affecting members, has left many patients helpless in government-owned hospitals within the period.

These include the non-payment of death benefits to families of members who died while treating COVID-19 patients, as well as non-payment of hazard allowance and arrears of salaries of members in various states.

South South Governors To Launch Regional Security Outfit

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, flanked by his counterparts in the region, briefs reporters after the meeting held at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on October 4, 2021.

 

Governors of the South-South region of the country have agreed to set up a regional security outfit, which according to them will be launched soon.

This formed part of their resolutions during a closed-door meeting held at the Rivers State Government House in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, disclosed this while briefing reporters at the end of the meeting.

“After an extensive deliberation, the Council resolved (that) bearing in mind that most of the BRACED states have established their state security organs, we approved the regional security architecture which will be launched very soon,” Governor Okowa said.

The governors also resolved that states in the region should join the suit filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) challenging the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by states.

According to Okowa, the governors “equivocally support the decision for states to collect Value Added Tax and resolved to join the suit before the Supreme Court”.

While Rivers was initially the only respondent to the suit pending before the Court of Appeal, authorities in Lagos and Oyo states have already filed applications for joinder in the appellate court.


RELATED: Southern Governors Back VAT Collection By States, Zoning Of 2023 Presidency To South

Open Grazing Ban: Southern Governors Did Not Provide Any Solution – Presidency

Nigeria’s Next President Should Emerge From The South – Southern Governors

Malami Slams Southern Governors Over Open Grazing Ban


 

The southern leaders also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive board for the Nigeria Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

They demanded that the report of the forensic audit of the agency recently submitted to the President be made public.

The governors also called for the relocation of the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and head offices of international oil companies to states in the Niger Delta region.

According to them, the request has since been made during a dialogue between stakeholders in the geopolitical zone and a Federal Government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

Present at the meeting were the host, Governor Nyesom Wike, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

However, Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, was absent.

‘It Is Unconstitutional’: Northern Groups Oppose Zoning Of 2023 Presidency

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has opposed the zoning arrangement by political parties, describing it as unconstitutional and a plot to intimidate the north from contesting for the presidency in 2023.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, CNG spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said the group aligns with the position of the Northern Governors’ Forum, asking the political parties to jettison the idea of zoning the post to the southern region of Nigeria. 

According to him, the north will not be obliged to any zoning arrangement for elective positions in the forthcoming general election.

“We find the renewed desperation by the south to threaten [the] northern people’s right to franchise a deliberate attempt to bastardise democracy, cause greater instability in the guise of contentious undemocratic power shift arrangement and therefore unacceptable,” he said.

CNG spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, speaks during a press conference in Abuja on October 4, 2021.

“The CNG after due consultation with stakeholders, leaders and elders has categorically resolved to firmly and solidly align completely with the position taken by the Northern Elders Forum as expressed by Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and that of the Northern Governors’ Forum that zoning of elective positions is unconstitutional, undemocratic and must be jettisoned.”

The CNG spokesman further explained that the northern region is a major stakeholder in Nigeria, especially with respect to elections.


RELATED: Southern Governors Back VAT Collection By States, Zoning Of 2023 Presidency To South

Open Grazing Ban: Southern Governors Did Not Provide Any Solution – Presidency

Nigeria’s Next President Should Emerge From The South – Southern Governors

Malami Slams Southern Governors Over Open Grazing Ban


The group’s comment came eight days after the governors of the 19 northern states opposed the call by their southern counterparts that the Presidency should be zoned to the south in 2023.

After an emergency meeting with traditional rulers in the region at the Government House in Kaduna State on September 27, the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, read out the communique containing the resolutions on behalf of his colleagues.

According to the governors, zoning the office of the president as being agitated by southern governors is against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

They stated that any president elected must meet the constitutional requirements which include scoring the majority votes, and polling at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in two-thirds of the 36 states of the federation.

Governor Lalong noted that although some northern governors had endorsed the power shift to the south, the regional governors collectively fault such calls.

South-South Governors Meet In Rivers

A screengrab taken on October 4, 2021, shows the building where the governors are meeting at Rivers State Government House in Port Harcourt.

 

Governors of the South-South region of the country on Monday met in Rivers State.

The meeting, hosted by Governor Nyesom Wike, held at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and his Edo State counterpart, Governor Godwin Obaseki, were part of those at the meeting.

They arrived around 10:30am and were joined later by the governors of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, and his counterpart from Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel.

At the time of this report, Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, had yet to arrive for the meeting.

The meeting is taking place a month before the meeting of the Southern Governors’ Forum, which is also scheduled to take place in Port Harcourt.

Although the agenda of the South-South governors’ meeting was not disclosed, it is expected to focus on issues bordering on power rotation, the dispute over the Value Added Tax (VAT), as well as the security and economic development of the region.

Northern Governors, Traditional Rulers Meet In Kaduna Over VAT, Insecurity And Others

A cross section of northern leaders during the meeting.

 

The Northern Governors’ Forum and traditional rulers from the region are holding an emergency meeting in Kaduna State. 

Top on the agenda at the meeting are issues relating to the Value Added Tax (VAT), insecurity and economic problems confronting the region.

The meeting, which is taking place at the Executive Council Chamber of the Kaduna State Government House, is chaired by the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong. 

Those in attendance include the governors of Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Borno, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Gombe.

The governors of Niger, Kogi, Benue, Niger, Zamfara and Taraba states are represented by their deputies.

The deputy governor of Kogi State, Edward Onoja and others during the meeting.

 

Also present are the Sultan of Sokoto and the Chairman of Northern Traditional Rulers Council, Abubakar Saad.

The Shehu of Borno, the Emir of Zazzau, Nuhu Bamali, Estu Nupe, Emir of Kano and other royal fathers are also attending the meeting. 

RELATED: Southern Governors Back VAT Collection By States, Zoning Of 2023 Presidency To South

Open Grazing Ban: Southern Governors Did Not Provide Any Solution – Presidency

Nigeria’s Next President Should Emerge From The South – Southern Governors

Malami Slams Southern Governors Over Open Grazing Ban

The governors and traditional rulers are expected to take a string of decisions during the meeting.

 

In his remark, the host governor, Nasir El-Rufai said the northern region is facing severe economic and security challenges that require the convening of the emergency meeting between the governors and traditional rulers.

According to El-Rufai, the forum will help chart a way forward to deal with these issues. 

While highlighting the agenda for the meeting, the chairman of the forum, Simon Lalong, disclosed that the governors will take a common position on VAT collection and the surrounding controversies.

Some of the traditional rulers at the meeting.

 

Last month, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had in a judgement held that Rivers State has the power to collect VAT within its jurisdiction.

However, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) challenged the judgement of the lower court at the Appeal Court.

At the Court of Appeal, Lagos State also filed an application to be joined with Rivers State as co-defendant in the appeal filed by FIRS.

After debates and deliberations, the Appeal Court ordered parties in the suit to maintain status quo pending the determination of the appeal.

UPDATED: Southern Governors Meet In Enugu

Governor Ugwuanyi (left) exchanging greetings with his Delta counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa.

 

Members of the Southern Governors’ Forum have met in Enugu on Thursday, just about two months after they converged in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos State.

Governors who first arrived at the meeting included Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State; Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos; Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State; and Bayelsa’s Douye Diri.

They were received at the Government House, Enugu, by the host, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

While there was no officially published agenda for the meeting, the governors  deliberated on the ongoing Value Added Tax (VAT) battle between states and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), open grazing and security issues.

RELATED: What PDP Governors Discussed In Bauchi (Full Text)

Open Grazing Ban: Southern Governors Did Not Provide Any Solution – Presidency

Nigeria’s Next President Should Emerge From The South – Southern Governors

Malami Slams Southern Governors Over Open Grazing Ban

The governors are expected to deliberate on the ongoing VAT battle between the FIRS and states.

 

Thursday’s meeting came just over two months after the governors met in Lagos State where they made a series of decisions including banning open grazing.

The governors had set September 5 as the deadline for states in southern Nigeria to promulgate the anti-open grazing law.

Although only seven states – Ebonyi, Abia, Bayelsa, Rivers, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo – beat the deadline, more states have enacted the law banning open grazing.

Enugu, Lagos, and Akwa Ibom were the latest states to enact the law against open grazing.

Governor Ugwuanyi welcoming Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.

 

Aside from issues around open grazing, the governors also agreed that Nigeria’s next president [in 2023] should be from the southern part of the country.

They equally affirmed their commitment to Nigeria’s unity, restating calls for state policing among other issues.

Miyetti Allah Asks FG To ‘Stop Governors From Enacting Anti-Open Grazing Laws’ 

 

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) on Monday asked the Federal Government to stop state governors from enacting the anti-open grazing law.

MACBAN Secretary-General, Saleh Alhassan made the comment during a press conference in Abuja.

He said the law would undermine the relative peace and stability currently enjoyed in the local communities, threaten the social order and exacerbate cattle rustling.

“The National Assembly and Mr President should intervene and stop the current attempts by some state governments to criminalise our means of livelihood of cattle-rearing through enacting of satanic and obnoxious laws they call Anti-Grazing Law,” he noted.

“The Federal Government should create a ministry for livestock and fisheries as obtainable in many African countries. Nigerians should adopt strategies in responding to changes of climate change as it affects livestock production not negative laws.”

Alhassan noted that anti-open grazing laws would destroy livestock production and send millions who depend on the livestock value chain into poverty.

READ ALSO: ‘Democracy Won’: El-Rufai Commends Conduct Of Kaduna LG Poll

The Miyetti Allah leader also called on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to take an inventory of grazing reserves in the country and fully develop at least one grazing reserve in each senatorial zone.

He appealed to the National Assembly to rescue the pastoralists by resuscitating and passing the Grazing Reserves Commission Bill and other livestock management bills initiated by the previous assembly.

While referencing the African Union and ECOWAS Protocols/regulation of pastoralists and trans humans, the MACBAN spokesman asked the Nigerian government to domesticate the law in the country.

According to him, if the protocols are properly documented and implemented, it will effectively tackle the scourge of illegal migration in Nigeria.

Alhassan’s remarks come four months after the Southern Governors Forum announced a ban on open grazing of cattle across states in the region.

The governors after meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, asked President Buhari to address Nigerians on the state of the nation.

It also met months later and instructed states in the region to enact anti-open grazing laws in their domain to curb incessant clashes between herders and farmers.

What PDP Governors Discussed In Bauchi (Full Text)

A file photo of some PDP governors at an event in Ibadan, Oyo State on May 16, 2021.

 

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday met in Bauchi State.

At the meeting, the PDP governors deliberated on the state of the nation and reviewed the state of the nation’s democracy, economy, and security.

Read the full text of the communique issued at the end of the meeting below:

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 11TH MEETING OF THE PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON MONDAY, 26TH JULY, 2021 AT BAUCHI.

Governors elected on the platform of the PDP met in Bauchi, Bauchi State on 26th July 2021. The meeting deliberated once again on the state of the nation, reviewed the deteriorating state of our democracy, the economic and security situation in the country, the state of the PDP as the main opposition platform in Nigeria, and arrived at the following decisions.

o) On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Governors identified with the need for free, fair and credible elections in the country and called on the National Assembly to entrench electronic transmission of results of elections in the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.

o) The meeting requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the only body empowered by the Constitution to conduct elections, to deploy appropriate technologies necessary to ensure that the vote of every Nigerian is counted and made to count.

The meeting further called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), especially, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Telephone Companies (Telcos) and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that universal access and service of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are provided especially in rural, un-served and under-served areas of the country before the 2023 General elections.

o) The meeting condemned the attempt to foist on all political parties, one method of conducting primaries, that is, by DIRECT METHOD ONLY, through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. The Governors noted that the method is prone to massive rigging, as evidenced by a situation where President Buhari scored about 15 million votes in the 2018 APC Direct Primaries only 1 score 15 million votes from the entire country in the 2019 General Election.

The Governors advised that political parties should be allowed to decide whether to use the direct or indirect methods of conducting primaries as part of internal democracy in political parties.

o) The Governors reiterated, once again, the need for the NNPC and other revenue-generating agencies of Government to strictly abide by the Constitution by remitting all their Revenue less cost of Production into the Federation Account as provided for by 5.162 of the Constitution.

o) The meeting condemned, once again, the use of underhand tactics to arm-twist some PDP Governors and other stakeholders to join the APC, a political party that has wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned Nigeria into a killing field, and has nothing to offer Nigerians but misery and bad governance.

o) The Governors condemned Mr President and APC for turning the Presidential Villa, which belongs to all Nigerians, into the new APC headquarters, where coerced PDP members are being paraded at intervals.

o) On the economy, the meeting admonished the APC Federal Government to collaborate more with State Governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youths of Nigeria, through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour, reiterating that Government should stop paying lip service on the Ease of Doing Business, as foreign direct investments have continued to fall partly due to obstacles placed on foreign companies wishing to invest in Nigeria.

A glaring example is that of FACEBOOK who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities.

o) On the security of lives and properties, in addition to our earlier recommendations, it is time to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists to an end, through increased use of military equipment.

Traditional means of conflict resolution and technology for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out. Kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism ARE NOT BUSINESS VENTURES as claimed by APC but heinous STATE CRIMES, that is destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society, the PDP Governors admonished.

o) The PDP Governors enjoined all Nigerians of goodwill to take advantage of the ongoing registration of Voters by INEC to register to vote, thereby arming themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to RESCUE NIGERIA from the APC maladministration.

Furthermore, the general public, especially our Youths and Women are implored to use the opportunity of the PDP E-REGISTRATION exercise which will kick off soon, to register as PDP members, while PDP members should update their membership electronically.

o) The Governors thanked the Chief Host, His Excellency, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohamed, CON, of Bauchi State for providing a conducive atmosphere for the meeting and for the huge difference he has made in the provision of infrastructure and general welfare of citizens. of Bauchi State, the Pearl of Tourism.

Governors To Meet Over Judiciary Workers’ Strike, Others

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum will meet on Wednesday to further discuss the implementation of the contentious Order 10 which grants financial autonomy to the judiciary and legislature in various states.

In a statement on Monday, the NGF Head of Media and Publicity, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, noted that the meeting would also consider updates on states fiscal transparency and accountability report, as well as concerns about the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stated that the meeting would cover lessons for states and actions for governors on sustainability, as well as the adoption of SaaS E-procurement.

The NGF PTF Committee led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, charged with the responsibility of liaising between the committee and the forum, would brief the meeting on health matters arising from the third wave of COVID-19.

There would also be presentations from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, on the second Phase of Farmers’ Enumeration, as well as the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises, Alexander Okoh, on unlocking liquidity through sale/optimization of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets.

According to Bello-Barkindo, the Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, will give feedback on the series of Executive Order 10 meetings with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on the ongoing industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria.

The chairman of the forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, had stated that governors were willing to implement the Order 10.

He had also given the assurance that the implementation process would commence in the states by the end of May.

Insecurity: ‘Governors Are Not In Charge,’ Adegboruwa Backs Call For Dialogue

A file photo of Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has supported the call for a national dialogue to address the insecurity and other problems in the country.

Speaking on Friday when he featured as a guest on Sunrise Daily, he believes state governors are handicapped to address the challenges in their various domains.

“Look at what is going on in the land – insecurity. Farmers cannot go to work, you cannot even travel within your local entity, and the governors are not in charge because they don’t have control over security,” the senior lawyer said during an interview on the Channels Television breakfast programme.

He added, “The governors are not in charge because they cannot harness the resources in their states for the benefit of their people; the governors are not in charge because they go to Abuja every month to go and beg for money, in a federation.

“The governors are not in charge because even universities that they established and they call state universities, it is the Federal Government that will determine who can get admission into the university that is being funded by a state; the governors are not in charge because they cannot even generate electricity for their own people even though they have the resources.”

 

A Federation Called Nigeria

State governors in the South met on Tuesday in Asaba, the Delta State capital where they resolved to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot and called for a national dialogue to address the agitations by various groups in the region.

They put aside their political differences to demand a restructuring of the country along with fiscal federalism, devolution of powers, and state police, among other demands.

 

Supporting the position of the governors, Adegboruwa stated that the action of the leaders was a reflection of the will and desire of Nigerians.

According to him, there seems to be so much confusion in the land and there is a need for a cohesive discussion that will provide a meaning of what the Nigerian Federation is all about.

The senior advocate noted that the All Progressives Congress hinted at the devolution of powers and amending the Constitution in its manifesto while seeking to take over power at the centre in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

He explained that it was important to ensure sub-nationals and the people have a say in how they were governed and in how their resources were being utilised.

“That has not happened since 2015 up till now,” Adegboruwa said, adding, “It is important that at the stage we are now, we should not be pretending that there is a federation called Nigeria; we should determine the terms of that federation.”

“We should dismantle the constitution and get us a new document that will define what indeed should be the terms of our togetherness, I think that’s what the governors mean by there is a need for a national conference,” he affirmed.

Governors Not Paying Minimum Wage Are Breaching The Law – Ngige

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has faulted governors yet to pay the new minimum wage to workers in their states.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, he stated that any employer paying its employee below N30,000 was doing so in contravention of the law.

“If you read the Act well, you will see the applicability of the Act. The applicability is that all parts of the Federation (Section II); Section III also says N30,000 shall be paid, the operating word is shall.

“It does not give room for picking and choosing, it is a must. The state governors that are not paying are breaching the law of the land,” the minister said.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Minimum Wage Repeal and Re-Enactment Act, 2019 into law on April 18, 2019.

The Act makes it compulsory for all employers of labour in the country to pay a minimum of N30,000 to their workers and gives workers compelled to accept salary less than the amount the right to sue their employer to recover the balance.

It also authorises the Minister of Labour and any person nominated or designated by the minister to take action against such an employer on behalf of the worker to recover the balance of the wages.

Buhari Signs N30,000 Minimum Wage Bill Into Law
President Muhammadu Buhari assents to the Minimum Wage Repeal and Re-Enactment Act, 2019 at the Aso Villa in Abuja on April 18, 2019.

 

‘Take Them To Court’

The law, however, excludes persons employing less than 25 workers, persons who work in a ship that sails out of jurisdiction, and others in other kinds of regulated employment that are accepted by the Act.

Two years after the President assented to the Act, some states have begun to pay civil servants the new minimum wage while others still struggle to do so as a result of inadequate funds.

In his reaction, Ngige faulted governors negotiating with the labour unions in their states over the payment of the minimum wage to workers.

According to him, they are getting the issues mixed up as the minimum wage is different from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

 

“This is a national law that states what you will pay to the lowest-paid employee (worker) in your establishment; state governments are employers… they are caught in the web of this law until repealed.

“Any state government or employer that negotiates minimum wage like some of them are doing with their unions, they are running afoul of the law,” the minister stated.

Asked what the next action would be for erring governors, he said, “I am negotiating with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF); the law permits me to take them to court.

“I can take any employer to court. If governors have immunity, I can start from the secretary to the government, to the head of service, and go down to the State Executive Council; take them all to court and I do not need any permission.”

Governors Seek Special Review Of Nigeria’s Security Challenges

In this file photo, a man is seen holding a rifle. AFP

 

Members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) have called for a special review of the nation’s security challenges for an in-depth understanding of the enormity of the situation.

They made the call on Wednesday at a meeting presided by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, at the State House in Abuja.

Briefing reporters after the meeting which lasted till about midnight, Governor Fayemi explained that a special review of the security crisis was necessary to further engage the federal authorities at the political and security levels and find a solution to insecurity in the land.

He noted the rising concerns by the forum, following incidents of attack on correctional and police facilities in Imo State, the killing of soldiers in Benue, and successive acts of violence across the country, among others.

Nigeria witnessed increased insecurity recently as a result of the alarming rate of attacks by bandits and insurgents in the North, and attacks on security facilities in the South.

At least three police facilities, including the State Command Headquarters, came under attack in Imo in April, while no fewer than 1,800 inmates were released by gunmen at the Owerri Custodial Centre in the state capital.

Pockets of violence were also recorded in other southern states, including Oyo, Ogun, and Rivers, while dozens of villages were attacked by bandits in Kaduna, Zamfara, and Benue among others.

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

Financial Autonomy

Apart from security, Governor Fayemi also briefed reporters on what his colleagues discussed about the nationwide strike by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) demanding financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.

He stated that the NGF committee responsible for engaging with representatives of the legislative and judiciary would convey the position of the governors on the Executive Order 10.

The governor, however, declined to state specifically what positions have been adopted by the forum.

President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the Executive Order 10, which deals with the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.

Although the governors said they were not against the implementation of the law on financial autonomy, they insisted that they would not be stampeded by the executive order.

Following the refusal to implement the executive order, members of JUSUN commenced an industrial action on April 6.

The decision of the judiciary workers has paralysed activities in courts across the country, with various individuals and groups such as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) urging the union to end the strike.