Ngige Describes Picketing Of His House By NLC As ‘Hooliganism’

 

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, has described the picketing of his house by some members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) as hooliganism.

He said this on Thursday while addressing journalists at the State House.

Members of the NLC had on Wednesday protested against the minister for his alleged failure to inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund with Frank Kokori as the chairman.

But the protest took a new twist as workers were attacked by suspected thugs at the minister’s house in Asokoro.

Read Also: Buhari Nominates Godwin Emefiele For Second Term

While the Labour accused the minister of hiring thugs to attack them, he has denied the reports.

He also added that members of his family and immediate neighbours have been traumatised by the action.

Those who were injured during the incident on Wednesday were immediately taken to the National Hospital in Abuja for treatment.

Alleged Murder: FG Urges NLC To Suspend Nationwide Protests

Chris Ngige, Labour Minister, NLC Strike
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Chris Ngigie.

The Federal Government on Wednesday directed the labour unions to suspend all protests to allow for negotiations.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Chris Ngigie, at a meeting with labour leaders in Abuja said a meeting has been scheduled to hold next week to resolve the impasse.

Ahead of that meeting however, the Minister advised states to adhere to existing labour laws when dealing with issues that affect workers’ salaries and their working hours.

This is coming after protests by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) against salary cut and the death of their colleagues in Nasarawa State.

Though the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had asked the NLC and its affiliates to refrain from embarking on its planned protest in Nasarawa State, the National body of the NLC staged a nationwide protest over the alleged killing of their colleagues in Nasarawa by security personnel.

The protest saw labour members wear a black hand band to mourn the deceased workers who were killed on July 29.

ASUP Threatens Strike Over Non-Implementation Of Agreement With FG

ASUP, agreementThe Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has threatened to embark on another round of industrial action should the federal government continue to ignore the agreement it reached with the union since 2012.

Speaking with journalists in Kaduna during a capacity building workshop for members of the union, ASUP President, Usman Dutse, lamented that several agreements the union and the federal government signed in 2012 were yet to be implemented.

He listed the agreements to include, non-implementation of CONTISS, poor state of polytechnics, under-funding of the sector, dichotomy between HND and bachelors’ degree holders and non-implementation of NEEDS assessment report on polytechnics, among others.

He noted that having given the present administration more than one year to settle down and address their demands, it seemed that the government is not serious in addressing the matter.

On his part, the Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, appealed to the union to review its demands in the light of the current economic situation.

He also called for more funding of the polytechnic sector which he said is key to the technical and vocational advancement of the country.

The workshop themed “Administering Trade Unions in a Receding Economy” is aimed at sensitizing officials of ASUP across the country on how to pilot the affairs of the union on the various institutions with regards to the dwindling fortunes of the national economy and how they can collaborate with government to address some of the challenges in the sector.

Notwithstanding the situation, the polytechnic lecturers noted that a situation whereby many state-owned institutions owe their workers over seven months’ salaries and other allowances would no longer be acceptable.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity who was represented by a Director in the Ministry, Mohammed Yusuf, told the lecturers that the idea of shutting down campuses to press home their demands does not go well for the education sector.

Rather, he called for an effective synergy between the union and chief executives of institutions to address their demands.

Although the polytechnic lecturers say they are aware of the fact that the present government came to power about one year ago, but then they are of the believe that government is a continuum.

The issues between government and ASUP have lingered for years.

Labour Minister Says Vision 20-20-20 On Course

Nigeria’s Minister of  Labour and Productivity,Vision 20-20-20 Mr Emeka Wogu, says Vision 20-20-20, which is the country’s vision of becoming one of the world’s top 20 economies by the year 2020 is on course.

Mr Wogu gave the assurance during the year’s annual National Productivity Order of Merit Awards in Abuja.

According to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, improved productivity at all levels of the economy is key to the attainment of Nigeria’s vision 20-20-20.

He said this as 16 recipients of the year’s National Productivity Order of Merit Award filed out to receive their awards.

It was the 14th edition since the year 2000, when the National Productivity Centre was established to honour Nigerians who have made their marks in both public and private sectors of the economy.

While expressing confidence in the awardees’ ability to help realize President Goodluck Jonathan’s vision 20-20-20, the Minister enjoined them to remain productive and not to relent in their good works to the nation.

The Vice President, Namandi Sambo, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan at the event, charged award recipients to continue in their services towards moving the nation forward.

Jonathan Urges NASS To Expedite Action On 2014 Appropriation Bill

The Federal Government has appealed to members of the National Assembly to expedite action on the 2014 Appropriation Bill currently before them to ensure that the administration delivers dividends of democracy to the people.

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu,who represented President Goodluck Jonathan made the appeal  during a  forum of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He reiterated President Jonathan’s determination to continue to impact positively on the infrastructural needs of the country and that the SURE-P had since its inception in 2012 become a critical unit of his administration’s transformation agenda.

He said over 190,000 youths have so far been employed under various categories of SURE-P alongside massive intervention in railway, road construction and health among others.

The acting chairman of SURE-P, Gen. Martin-Luther Agwai (Rtd), agreed that there were obvious challenges in the implementation of its programmes.

Agwai explained that the forum was therefore meant to review past operations to assist the programme to fulfil its mandate.

Minister Assures Nigerians On Viability Of SURE-P

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Emeka Wogu has given the assurance that the SURE-P Community Service Scheme will achieve the desired result.

According to him, even though the scheme has witnessed several challenges, it has recorded success in various states across Nigeria.

According to him, the scheme has recorded at least 3,000 beneficiaries in each state of the federation.

The ministry says it has also resolved conflicts and crisis surrounding the scheme in 12 states.

He promised that the next phase of the scheme will do better.

Plateau Workers Suspend 7month Old Strike

Workers in Plateau state have suspended the industrial action they embarked on, in May 2012 over the non-payment of the N18,000 minimum wage.

The strike was suspended after the state government agreed to implement 55 per cent of the minimum wage from June.

The government also agreed to pay salaries of October, November and December immediately.

The two parties also agreed to work together to carry out a biometric screening to ascertain the actual staff strength of the local government areas within two weeks.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, who brokered the agreement between the two parties, expressed hope that the Plateau state government will abide by the terms of agreement.

He urged the government not to witch hunt or victimize any of the workers as a result of their participation in the industrial action.

Workers in plateau state had embarked on an industrial action to protest the non-payment of the N18,000 minimum wage.