Minimum Wage: IGR To Drive States’ Payment, Says NGF

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum says payment of minimum wage consequential adjustments will be determined by each state based on their Internal Generated Revenue.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Fayemi Kayode, gave an assurance that governors are ready to comply with the 30,000 minimum wage as agreed by the tripartite negotiation committee.

He, however, explained that they cannot be forced to comply with the consequential adjustment.

According to him, payment will be determined majorly by the Internally Generated Revenue of each state and the number of civil servants on their payroll.

This formed part of the deliberations when the governor’s met at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Monday.

The development comes just days after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) ordered that payments of the new minimum wage and the consequential adjustments, must be completed by the 31st of December, 2019.

Read Also: FEC Sets Deadline For Payment Of New Minimum Wage Arrears

Others in attendance included Governors of Sokoto, Imo, Anambra, Ondo, Adamawa, Oyo, Osun, Cross River states, and some deputy governors.

Details later…

Nigeria Governors’ Forum Meets In Abuja

File Photo

 

The Nigeria Governors Forum is about to commence its meeting.

The meeting is expected to hold at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, and the forum is expected to be briefed on the updates from meetings with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation among other things.

Already, Governors of Imo, Anambra, Ondo, Adamawa, Oyo, Osun, Cross River, and some deputy governors have arrived at the venue.

Details later.

Buhari, Three Governors, Others Arrive In Russia

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Russia for a three-day inaugural Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum, which will focus on peace, security, and development.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed in a statement that the President’s plane touched the tarmac of the Sochi International Airport at 11.25pm on Monday.

He added that President Buhari was received by the Mayor of the City of Sochi, Anatoliy Nikolayevich Pakhomov, and other state officials.

READ ALSO: Police Promote Senior Officers, Retire Two DIGs

The Economic Forum and Summit will hold on Wednesday and Thursday with four plenary sessions that will be attended by over 30 African Heads of State and governments.

According to Shehu, these leaders have confirmed participation, including the Chairman of the African Union and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

 

The summit will be co-chaired by President Vladimir Putin, who will present a keynote address at the opening on Wednesday, and the African Union Chairman.

The President’s spokesman said his principal and the Russian leader would meet at Nigeria and Russian bilateral meeting on Wednesday, while President Buhari would make a statement at the summit on Thursday.

Other participants at the summit that will showcase Russian interest and investment potential in Africa include businessmen, experts, investors, leaders of major sub-regional associations and organisations.

An African Business Forum, which will bring together African and Russian business leaders, will be held during the event to enhance Russian investments in Africa, and promote African business interest in the host country.

 

About 250 Nigerian business interests will be participating in the forum.

Shehu said, “It is important that this meeting is taking place at this time. All the big economies are picking a stronger interest in Africa.

“We now have US-Africa Summit, India-Africa Summit, China-Africa Summit, and Japan-Africa Summit, so Russia has signified its interest for political, cultural and economic partnership.”

“Nigeria has had an excellent relationship with Russia over the years. We will not forget how the country assisted us in keeping Nigeria as one during the civil war when some of our traditional allies deserted us.

“They have also stood behind us in the fight against terrorism, Boko Haram and ISWA, and Russia has demonstrated its capacity in gas production, a resource which Nigeria has a huge potential of utilising,” he added.

 

The presidential aide said the summit would look into issues of sustainable energy, mines and steel, infrastructure development in Africa, nuclear energy and trade and investment.

On security, he said the meeting would come up with proposals for a security architecture that would be heavily driven by new technology.

President Buhari was accompanied by Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

Ministers on the trip include Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), Adeniyi Adebayo (Trade and Investment), Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines and Steel Development), and Timipre Sylva (Minister of State, Petroleum).

APC Governors, Others Pay Sallah Homage To Buhari In Daura

 

Members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum on Tuesday visited President Muhammadu Buhari at his residence in Katsina State.

The host governor, Aminu Masari, accompanied the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and other governors elected on the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s platform to the President’s abode in his hometown of Daura.

Governor Masari received his colleagues in batches along with Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, at the Umar Musa Yar’Adua Airport.

READ ALSO: Nobody Can Succeed In Undermining Nigeria’s Territorial Integrity, Says NAF Boss

On their arrival, the governors paid Sallah homage to the President and prayed for good health and many more years of active service to the nation.

In his response, President Buhari thanked his guest for the visit after which they went into a closed-door session.

Among the visiting governors are Babajide Sanwoolu (Lagos), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).

Others who paid homage to the President are the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, and Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari.

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Isa Pantami, and acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

See photos below:

SERAP Sues CCB Over Presidents, Govs’ Privacy Of Assets Declaration

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit in the Federal High Court, Lagos against the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

In a statement issued on Sunday, SERAP said it was suing the CCB over its claim that it could not disclose details of asset declarations submitted to it by successive presidents and state governors since 1999 because doing so “would offend the right to privacy of presidents and state governors.”

According to the human rights group, the CCB had last week refused a Freedom of Information request by SERAP, stating that: “Asset declaration form is private information.”

But in the suit number FHC/L/CS/1019/2019 filed last Friday, SERAP argued: “Asset declarations of presidents and state governors submitted to the CCB are public documents. Public interest in disclosure of the details of asset declarations sought by SERAP clearly outweighs any claim of protection of the privacy of presidents and state governors, as they are public officers entrusted with the duty to manage public funds, among other public functions.”

According to the group, “A necessary implication of the rule of law is that a public institution like the CCB can only act in accordance with the law, as to do otherwise may enthrone arbitrariness. The CCB does not have reasonable grounds on which to deny SERAP’s FOI request, as it is in the interest of justice, the Nigerian public, transparency and accountability to publish details of asset declarations by presidents and state governors since the return of democracy in 1999.”

SERAP also argued that: “Disclosing details of asset declarations of public officers such as presidents and state governors would improve public trust in the ability of the CCB to effectively discharge its mandate. This would, in turn, put pressure on public officers like presidents and state governors to make voluntary public declaration of their assets.”

The suit filed by SERAP’s counsel, Adelanke Aremo, read in part: “The right to receive information without any interference or distortion should be based on the principle of maximum disclosure, and a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions. It is a settled principle of law that details such as asset declarations of presidents and governors should be disclosed if there is an overriding public interest in having access to such information, which is clearly so in this matter.

“Democracy cannot flourish if governments operate in secrecy, no matter how much open discussion and debate is allowed. The very nature and quality of public discussion would be significantly impoverished without the nourishment of information from public authorities such as the CCB, and to guarantee freedom of expression without including the right to know would be a formal exercise.”

SERAP is, therefore, seeking the following reliefs:

An order granting leave to the Applicant to apply for judicial review and to seek an order of mandamus directing and compelling the Respondent to compile and make available to the Applicant information on specific details of asset declarations submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau by successive Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senate Presidents, Speakers of House of Representatives, State Governors and Deputy Governors from 1999 to 2019 and to publish widely including on a dedicated website, any such information.

An Order granting leave to the Applicant to apply for judicial review and to seek an order of mandamus directing and compelling the Respondent to compile and make available to the Applicant information on the number of asset declarations so far verified by the Code of Conduct Bureau and the number of those declarations found to be false and deemed to be in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers by the Bureau and to publish widely including on a dedicated website, any such information.

An order granting leave to the Applicant to apply for Judicial Review and to seek an order of mandamus directing and compelling the Respondent to immediately take cases of false asset declarations to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for effective prosecution of suspects, and include banning the politicians involved from holding public offices for at least a period of 10 years and seeking refund of stolen public funds as part of the reliefs to be sought before the Tribunal
and for further order or orders as this Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Updated: President Buhari Meets With Governors, Security Chiefs In Abuja

President Buhari Meets With Governors, Security Chiefs In Abuja

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday held a security meeting with state governors and security chiefs.

The governors in attendance were those of Borno, Kaduna, and Adamawa states, Kashim Shettima, Nasir El-Rufai, and Bindo Jibrilla.

The meeting took place at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

READ ALSOElection Postponement: Issa Aremu Faults INEC As Kaduna PDP Berates APC

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Governor El-Rufai said the death toll in the recent killing in Kaduna State has risen.

He said those denying the recent killings in the state were “grossly irresponsible,” stressing that new facts revealed that those killed were more than 100.

Governor El-Rufai added that the effort of relevant agencies in the state has yielded a positive result, as the security agencies have arrested more suspects linked to the killings.

 

On President Buhari’s order to deal with ballot box snatchers, he said only those who were planning to snatch boxes have reasons to worry.

Governor Shettima, on his part, told reporters that he was ready to pay the supreme price as the fight against terrorism in the north-east continues.

He also vowed to return to Gamboru Ngalla, where his convoy was attacked recently by a faction of the Boko Haram terrorists.

Members of the President’s cabinet at the meeting include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, as well as the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, and Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, among others.

Security chief in attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe.

Also present were Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Director General of Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Buchi, and some other security heads.

See photos below;

Nigerian Governors Forum Meeting Fails To Hold

 

A meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum which was scheduled to hold today in Abuja has stalled because of the inability of the members to form a quorum.

Some of the governors had arrived at the NGF secretariat located in the Maitama area of the nation’s capital this evening for the meeting but had to leave shortly after.

Those present included the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, as well as his Jigawa, Adamawa, Niger and Bauchi States counterparts.

Others present were the Deputy Governors of Enugu and Kaduna States who were there to represent their principals.

NLC Warns Governors Against Refusal To Pay N30,000 Minimum Wage

NLC Warns Governors Against Refusal To Pay N30,000 Minimum Wage
NLC leadership holds a press briefing in Abuja (file)

 

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned state governors against their refusal to pay the proposed national minimum wage of N30,000.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, gave the warning on Friday after attending a labour related function in Ado, the Ekiti State capital.

He insisted that there was no going back on the N30,000 as against the existing N18,000 new minimum wage for workers in the country.

Wabba told reporters in the state that state governors have no justification to decline to pay the wage, stressing that they were part of the decision-making process.

“Six of the governors representing each geopolitical zone were part of this decision-making process; the N30,000 was not a labour demand, it was even a compromise position,” the NLC president stressed.

According to him, any governor, under any political party, who declines to pay the proposed wage stands the risk of revolt through the ballot.

On how the proposed minimum wage can be achieved by the governors, Wabba said, “If we reduce the cost of governance, including the humongous security vote, the wage can be paid.”

He added, “Workers should be resolute; we have told workers, pensioners, and their dependents not to vote or support any governor who refuses to pay the minimum wage.”

Governors Meet Over New Minimum Wage

 

The Nigeria Governors Forum on Wednesday held an emergency meeting at its Secretariat in Abuja.

Some of those at the meeting which commenced around 8:00 pm were governors of Lagos, Akwa Ibom, and Zamfara states.

Briefing journalists after the governors met behind closed doors, the chairman, Abdulaziz Yari, maintained that many states would not be able to pay the new minimum wage proposal of N30,000

He said only Lagos State has the capacity to pay because of its IGR.

He said the forum, therefore, resolved to put together another committee that will meet with President Buhari.


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NGF Says Most States Lack Capacity To Pay New Minimum Wage

 

The impasse over the new minimum wage may continue longer than expected as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says most states lack the capacity to pay.

NGF Chairman and Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari, disclosed this to reporters at the end of the forum’s meeting held on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said although the governors were not against a new minimum wage for workers, arriving at a new wage structure was difficult for them.

Governor Yari explained that this is because many states are currently unable to pay the existing N18,000 minimum wage.

NGF Says Most States Lack Capacity To Pay New Minimum Wage

 

He said, “We are very clear that we are not against any upward review of salary; we are in tandem with the NLC to get the minimum wage reviewed.”

“But the problem of the states is the capacity to pay what is agreed. As we are talking today, we are struggling with the N18,000,” the governor added.

He revealed that the forum invited the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba.

The NGF chairman said this was to determine the number of states owing salaries that have paid some of the arrears since the last Paris Club refund was shared.

The NLC and the Federal Government have been embroiled in a debate over a new minimum wage for workers, which recently led to a nationwide industrial action by the labour body.

Meanwhile, state governors present at the meeting include Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Samuel Ortom (Benue), and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos).

Others are Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), and Simon Lalong (Plateau), among others.

Falana Challenges Governors To Get Involved In Police Administration

 

Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has called on governors to leverage on the Constitution and get involved in the administration of the Nigeria Police.

He made the call on Thursday while stressing the need for state police to tackle the problems of insecurity in some parts of the country.

“Unfortunately, our governors have not taken advantage of the provisions of the Constitution to participate and get involved in the running of the Nigerian Police Force,” Falana decried during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“The constitution provides that there shall be a Nigerian Police Council which shall administer, supervise, and organise the Nigerian Police Force. That body is made up of the President (chairman), the Inspector-General of Police, Chairman of the Police (Service) Commission, and the 36 state governors.”

The senior advocate said he has been pressurising the governors for about six months at various fora to call for the meeting of the council.

According to him, there is no country in the world where there is only one central police force.

 

Falana Challenges Governors To Get Involved In Police Administration

 

Falana stressed that there is no Federal police in the country, noting that the fears of the citizens must be factored into the demand for state police.

Although he commended the Presidency for the directive to reform the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), he said there was more to be done.

The rights activist believes the decentralisation of the police will go a long way in checking the alleged abuse of power by some personnel of the force.

The reform order, he said, “hasn’t addressed the question of policing the country which cannot be done centrally.”

“Nigeria is too big to have the police regulated from Abuja, not every state, every local government, every institution will have to be part and parcel of the policing of the country,” he insisted.

Killings: Ishaku Backs State Police Creation, Says Governors Are ‘Toothless’

 

Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku has supported the calls for the establishment of state police in the country.

He revealed this on Sunday in a meeting with a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former President Atiku Abubakar, at the Government House in Jalingo, the state capital.

READ ALSO: Calls To Stop Killings In Zamfara Dominate Twitter

In the face of the herdsmen-farmers crisis, the governor was confident that creating state police would go a long way to tackle repeated killings and bring criminality to the barest minimum in the country.

“We must keep the country as one and in peace and, therefore, as of a necessity, some structural defence must have to be amended,” he said.

Governor Ishaku added, “I’m sitting here as a governor, but I cannot control one troop. In America where we copied the constitution, there is state police, there is local government police, and there is federal police.

“What is beyond the local government police, the state police steps in and what is beyond the state police, the federal police steps in. What is beyond the federal police, then that is when the attention of Mr President is called in.”

Killings: Ishaku Backs State Police Creation, Says Governors Are 'Toothless'
Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku

The governor said he was frustrated over the security situation in Taraba despite the effort of the police, noting that it has crippled the development of the state.

He described the inability of the state to deal with the challenge as very worrisome, stressing that the governors in states affected by the killings were rendered helpless.

“How will you be as they call you an Executive Governor, executive of what? We are handicap, we are toothless lame bulldogs,” Ishaku said about the governors.

“I’m not saying the police haven’t tried; if they are given real equipment with training and backed up with funding, the police can solve any problem.”

Governor Ishaku further thanked the lawmakers in both chambers of the National Assembly for their effort towards the creation of state police.

He, however, urged them to hasten the process which he said would “give teeth to our sitting here” and “arm us to stop these senseless killings that are going on”.

The governor, who noted that the killings in Taraba occur frequently, said, “Most times I weep in my room alone.”

“Can you imagine a man with a family of 10 in the village who doesn’t even know what governance is about, what he does is to plant yam and corn to feed his family and then somebody comes with an AK47 and liquidate him out of this world.

“It touches some of us in our hearts and I think as a human being, even if your dog is killed for doing nothing you feel the pain let alone human beings,” he lamented.