Nasarawa State Govt. Commences Payment Of Gratuity

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The Nasarawa State Government, has commenced screening for payment of gratuities for eligible pensioners in the state.

The two days screening is supervised by the State Head of Service, Thomas Ogiri.

As early as 8:00am on Thursday, beneficiaries of the first phase of payment of gratuities and death benefits to families of deceased civil servants trooped into the Lafia city hall with relevant documents.

Speaking in an interview, Thomas Ogiri said only those whose names were published on certain newspaper are qualified for payment.

He also gave reasons why names were published saying that the government has nothing to hide from its citizens.

“We did it deliberately because this is a transparent government so nothing to hide.

“The governor ordered that it should be published so that we can see it in the newspaper publication, there is no point you come to this point without knowing how much you are going to earn”.

He further expressed satisfaction with the exercise and called on the beneficiaries to be patient adding that they will all be screened within two days.

On their part, the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the government approving the release of their entitlements.

Nasarawa Records 15 Cases Of Measles In Three LGAs

The Nasarawa State Government says it has recorded 15 cases of measles in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, between January and April.

Briefing reporters in Lafia, the state’s capital, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Daniel Iya, said the cases recorded are from Lafia, Keana and Awe LGAs.

He noted that the outbreak could be as a result of break in the chain of routine immunisation, which he said the State Rapid Response Team is already working out modalities to ascertain the cause of the outbreak.

“There has been a case of measles, and information we have received as at now is that it may be between January and now. There may have been cases of measles up to 15 in the state, but no recorded case of death,” he said.

The Commissioner hinted that measures have been put in place to strengthen routine immunisation, in order to curtail further spread of the disease.

On the outbreak of meningitis in some parts of the country, he said Nasarawa State has not recorded any case, adding that government has provided needed facilities in the case of an eventuality.

“I want to state categorically that we have not had any case reported, either suspected or confirmed, of Cerebrum Spinal Meningitis in Nasarawa State and we are doing our best to make sure that we continue to sensitise our community,” he said.

He advised the people of the state to avoid overcrowded environment, maintain personnel hygiene, and ensure that they sleep in well ventilated rooms to prevent contracting the disease.

Nasarawa Government To Empower Youth

Nasarawa Government To Empower YouthThe Nasarawa State Government has assured youths in the state that the government will soon roll out programmes to address restiveness.

The State Deputy Governor, Silas Agara, made the pledge when he met with a group of youth who paid him a courtesy visit.

The group, All Progressives Congress (APC) Young Patriots, has representatives drawn from the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state in north-central Nigeria.

Mr Agara acknowledged the youth’s contributions towards the success of the present administration and the APC, especially the grassroots mobilisation they are engaged in.

He assured them of the resolve and readiness of the government to carry them along in its programmes and policies.

The Deputy Governor also urged them to galvanise support for the reconstituted State Executive Council members, while appealing to them to monitor and protect the ongoing building of culverts and bridges spread across the 13 LGAs and 18 council development areas of the state.

“We have awarded a lot of jobs spread across the state and they are worth over 700 million Naira.

“We want to urge you as soon as you leave here go out and help see what is going on there,” he appealed.

Agara further hinted on the government’s plan to roll out new empowerment programmes for youth and women in the state.

He said they would commence by the end of the first quarter of 2017, in order to ease the burden of unemployment and poverty in the state.

“We just signed our budget into law. In implementing the budget, we have far reaching plans that will address youth unemployment and not only the youth, but women and some indigent of the state.

“We are going to roll out programmes that will be done quarterly,” said the Deputy Governor.

In his response, leader of the group, Musa Umar, commended the leadership style of the APC administration, saying it is premium on youth development.

Nasarawa Govt. To Embark On Construction Of Bridges

Adams Oshiomhole, Roads, Edo StateThe Nasarawa state government says it will soon embark on the construction of over 600 bridges and culverts in all the development areas and local government areas of the state before the rains set in.

This was to disclosed to Channels Television in an exclusive interview by the state Commissioner of Education Aliyu Tijjani Ahmed.

He said the gesture is a partnership between the state government and the local government using the value added tax that has been accrued, to provide an enabling environment for people in the inter lands.

He also stated that the monies for the contract have already been deposited in the accounts of local governments and development areas so that work can commence in earnest.

“Arrangement is underway to provide an enabling environment for the people living in the interlands, particularly in the area of construction of bridges and culverts”

” I am happy to tell you that monies are deposited in the accounts of local governments and development areas for the construction of bridges and culverts all over the state, the money is gotten from the accrued VAT”

He also noted that people affected by communal clashes in the recent past would be compensated with relief materials so as to provide them some succour.

“Apart from the bridges and culverts, arrangement is also in progress for the provision of relief materials to all the villages affected by communal clashes.

“In no distant time, we will disclose our arrangements and people who were directly affected will benefit from the provision of food items and building materials to enable them settle down.

“This is being prepared in conjunction with the state government and local government councils,” Ahmed said.

Nasarawa Govt, Labour Reach Consensus Over Industrial Rift

Nasarawa, LabourThe Nasarawa State government and organised labour have reached a consensus over the lingering industrial dispute propelled by the payment of workers’ emolument in percentages.

The consensus was reached after a meeting of the tripartite committee set up by the state government at the deputy governor’s office in Lafia, the state’s capital in north-central Nigeria.

The meeting officially brought to climax series of meetings held by the committee with a view to resolving discrepancies that led to the July/August industrial action in the state and the continuous payment of workers’ salaries in percentages.

No Victor, No Vanquish

Giving a brief of the meeting which lasted for six hours, Chairman of the committee and Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Mr Silas Agara, told Channels Television that the state government and the labour union have amicably resolved all contending issues.

He said due to a number of factors considered by both parties, they have decided to shift grounds to allow a peaceful decision in the benefit and interest of the workers.

“We have amicably come to the final position and we have resolved all issues that made workers of Nasarawa State go on strike.

“Government on its own side shifted grounds, labour too have shifted grounds and as it is, there is no victor, no vanquish,” he said.

The 6-point agreement, reached by both labour and government, has the input of the representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The agreement included the payment of July salaries by 50% which would be paid in two tranches to commence on Tuesday, December 13 with the other part to be paid in January 2017.

Consequently, the agreement also involved the state government paying December salaries by 50% due to shortfall in allocation from the Federal Government while the government would device a means to pay full salaries in 2017, even if it means accumulating two months allocations.

The government also agreed to pay the remaining months arrears from the first quarter of 2017 as soon as the economic situation of the state improves.

The organised labour, who spoke through Comrade Sule Odeh, expressed satisfaction and promised to cooperate with the government.

“We have signed an agreement between us and the government because all issues have been resolved, especially the issue of July/August salary payment which the government has agreed to pay” he said.

The representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dalhatu Ahmad, on his part, appreciated both parties for reaching the consensus.

Nasarawa Govt. Partners World Bank To Assist Needy Communities

Nasarawa-World-Bank-Yalwata-WujiThe Nasarawa State government has restated its commitment to providing basic amenities for rural communities in dire need.

The state’s Commissioner of Budget and Planning, Othman Ibrahim, gave the government’s position on Tuesday in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital in north-central Nigeria.

He was speaking when he led a team of some government officials and that of the World Bank to Yalwata Wuji, a community in dire need of basic amenities in the state.

The plight of the community, which has at least 1,000 people and has been in existence for over 60 years, was highlighted on the Community Report segment of Channels Television’s flagship programme, “News At 10” on August 31, 2016.

Yalwata-Wuji-community4
Poor state of a bridge in Yalwata Wuji community
Yalwata-Wuji-community3
Pitiable condition of residents in Yalwata Wuji community
Yalwata-Wuji-community
Residents decry lack of basic amenities
Yalwata-Wuji-community2
A house in the community begging for reconstruction

 

The Commissioner described the report as a wakeup call to swing into action, not only in Yalwata, but also other communities with similar challenges.

The task team leader from the World Bank, Foluso Okunmadewa, also noted that the report had attracted the attention of the World Bank.

He said it necessitated the need for the bank to renew its partnership with the Nasarawa State government, which had been abandoned since 2013.

The World Bank official promised the residents of the community that a quick intervention to address their plights was underway.

Nasarawa Government Denies Slashing Workers Salaries By 50 Per Cent

nasarawa, nlc,, unpaid salaries, strike, yusuf usmanThe Nasarawa State Government has condemned the action by the National Labour Congress (NLC) to declare an industrial action over the reduction of the workers salaries by 50 per cent.

This is according to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Nasarawa State, Yusuf Usman during an interview on Sunrise Daily.

“The strike was as a result of labour’s inability to comprehend the situation on ground, they had no reason to go on strike without actually taking into account the real situations on ground, Mr Usman told Channels television.

“Here is a state that for five years consecutively has been paying without failing and without any default.

“I emphasised this point because as we are talking with you there are so many states that are far behind in the payment of salaries, owing arrears of five, six, seven months.

“So if Nasarawa State would, despite all the hardship in the country, keep fit with the payment of salaries for 5 years without arrears I think there is no reason.

Mr Usman also debunked the allegations that the state government slashed the workers’ salaries by 50 per cent saying it was a reduction of the bonuses the government gave the workers in 2011.

The commissioner insisted that the move had become imperative in the face of the current economic reality in the country.

“It is not true that Nasarawa State Government has slashed the salary of any worker, what has happened is a reduction or review of the super bonuses that the government magnanimously gave the workers during the implementation of the minimum wage in 2011”, he said.

However, supporting the planned protest, the NLC through the Assistant Secretary, Information and Public Relations, NLC, Mr Denja Yaqub said the action by the Nasarawa Government was one-sided and described it as a criminal act.

“We got a report that the government of Nasarawa state unilaterally decided to slash workers salary by 50 per cent through processes that were completely not in line with the standard set for collective bargaining by our laws, national laws and also the International Labour Conventions especially 98 and 87, which mean if you have disagreement or dispute there is always an opportunity to sit down and look at all the issues and resolve collectively.

“When an employer decides to unilaterally take decisions especially on wage issues particularly in this case, it has to do with tampering with the national minimum wage law which no employer has the right to do.

“The governor was saying that their decision did touch on the minimum wage. It is the most illegal thing that has been done to the national minimum wage law. There is an Act on National Minimum wage that has been completely violated by the state government, completely illegal and criminal.”

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had earlier asked the (NLC) and its affiliates to refrain from embarking on its planned protest in Nasarawa State.

In a compliance advisory signed by the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, all parties to the complaint before the NHRC were strongly advised to maintain peace and order, pending the final determination of the investigation of the complaint.

The commission also advised the Nasarawa State government to suspend the implementation of the reduction in the workers’ salaries, pending the completion of the investigation of the complaints.

NHRC Cautions NLC Against Planned Protest In Nasarawa State

NHRC, NLC Protest, NasarawaThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates to refrain from embarking on its planned protest in Nasarawa State.

Sequel to the death of two workers in the state in north-central Nigeria, the NHRC asked the group to desist from activities that would jeopardise the outcome of its investigation.

In a compliance advisory signed by the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, all parties to the complaint before the NHRC were strongly advised to maintain peace and order, pending the final determination of the investigation of the complaint.

The commission also advised the Nasarawa State government to suspend the implementation of the reduction in the workers’ salaries, pending the completion of the investigation of the complaints.

It further directed law enforcement and security agencies to ensure full adherence to the compliance advisory till the investigation was fully completed and determined.

The NHRC added that the advisory became necessary following the reports it received that the NLC was planning to hold a rally in Lafia, the Nasarawa State’s capital and other places to protest against the state government on August 23.

The compliance advisory reads:

RE: PLANNED MASS PROTEST IN NASARAWA AND IMO STATES ON COMPLAINT OF ALLEGED SHOOTING AND KILLING OF NASARAWA STATE WORKERS AND DEMAND FOR JUSTICE.

INTERIM ORDER TO MAINTAIN STATUS QUO AND PEACE PENDING INVESTIGATION OF THE COMPLAINT.

ABUJA, 16 August 2016: This Advisory is issued in exercise of the responsibilities conferred on the National Human Rights Commission under Section 5(o) of the National Human Rights Commission Act, 1995 (as amended), which empowers the Commission to “on its own initiative…. report on actions that should be taken by the Federal, State or Local Government to comply with the provisions of any relevant international human rights instruments.” and

WHEREAS by a letter dated 3rd of August, the National Human Rights Commission received a complaint from the office of the President of Nigerian Labour Congress, alleging shooting and killing of some Nasarawa State workers by police in the course of meeting with the Governor of Nasarawa State.

WHEREAS the Commission has admitted the Complaint and commenced full investigation Pursuant to Section 5 of the National Human Rights Commission Act of 1995 (as amended) and have met with all the parties to the complaint.

WHEREAS it has come to the notice/attention of the National Human Rights Commission that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is planning to hold a rally in Lafia, the Nasarawa State Capital and other places to protest against the Nasarawa State Government on the 23rd August, 2016.

WHEREAS the National Human Rights Commission affirms that the right to assemble freely and to protest or demonstrate peacefully is a human right guaranteed by Sections 39-40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 9-11 of the African charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is domestic law in Nigeria.

WHEREAS the National Human Rights Commission also affirms that under Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nigeria is also party, “no restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (order public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”

AND WHEREAS there is need to forestall a recurrence of such incident during the planned rally which, though well within the right of the organised labour (and indeed any other citizen at that) to hold or participate in, could still go awry when members of the congress participating in the rally becomes uncontrollable, or are infiltrated by other elements with ulterior motives;

NOW THEREFORE, the National Human Rights Commission in a considered opinion in line with Sections 6 (1)(a) of the NHRC Act (as amended) and rules 67(1)&(2) of the Standing Orders and Rules of Procedure (STORP) of the Commission do hereby, issue the following interim measures as COMPLIANCE ADVISORY:

a) All parties to the complaint before the Commission are hereby STRONGLY ADVISED to maintain peace and order pending the final determination of the investigation of the complaint.

b) NLC and its affiliates are hereby STRONGLY ADVISED to refrain from embarking on the planned or any protest in connection with this complaint either in Nassarawa State or do any such act that will jeopardize, or has the potentials of affecting the protection of parties, victims, evidence, witnesses or any participants in the complaint process or the outcome of the investigation.

c) The Government of Nassarawa State is to suspend forthwith, the implementation of the reduction in the worker’s salary, pending the completion of the investigation of the complaints

d) All parties to this complaint as well as the law enforcement and security agencies are to ensure full compliance of this interim measure, pending the full investigation and determination of this complaint.

PLEASE NOTE: That by Section 6 (4) (d) of the NHRC Act, 1995 (as amended), it is a punishable offence for any person, body or authority to refuse to comply with lawful directives of the Commission.

Issued this 22nd day of August, 2016 at the National Human Rights Commission Headquarters.

Signed:
Prof. Bem Angwe
Executive Secretary/CEO

Al-makura To Build Water Channels In Flood Plain Areas

Tanko-Al-Makura-Governor-Nassarawa-StateThe Nasarawa State Government has taken adequate measures to construct water channels in flood plain areas to cushion ecological problems in the state before the rains set in.

Governor Tanko Al-makura on Sunday, dropped the hint while assessing the topography of the areas in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State.

Governor Al-Makura said that the water channels would be built especially in Tudun Kauri area of the state’s capital.

The Governor noted that the people had suffered a lot of destruction, as a result of floods in the last few years and assured them that it would be a thing of the past.

The project, however, cannot be achieved without the demolition of some houses, but Governor Al-Makura said that he is ready to compensate those whose houses would be demolished.

The construction of water channels is expected to commence in March.

Herdsmen Crisis: Agatu Victims Urge State Governments To Uphold Peace Deal

AgatuSurvivors of attacks on communities in Agatu Local Government by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen have called on the Nasarawa State Government to implement the peace agreement signed with Benue State.

The survivors, on Saturday, urged the State Government to also put a leach on the militia herders.

The traditional ruler of Obagaji and the survivors made the call when a member representing Agatu in the Benue State House of assembly, Mr Audu Sule, visited the affected communities to see the level of destruction carried out by the imposing herdsmen.

Although, both the Army and Police had been mobilized to Agatu Local Government Area where over 20 villages were overran by the herdsmen, the security forces have not been able to subdue the Fulani militia.

Security forces said that the armed Fulani herdsmen with over 5,000 cattle, confronted them at Okokolo at the banks of the River Benue.

The crisis left a huge number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who now share public schools with students during school hours.

The IDPs said life has been difficult, as little is being done to help them cope with the displacement.

Some of the young men left behind in Obagaji, the headquarters of Agatu Local Government Area to defend their homes, told Channels Television that the herdsmen were still occupying six villages as at Friday, February 26.

Chief James Edoh, said that three pregnant women put to bed along the road while fleeing from the crisis.

The Chief further lamented the inability of his people to recover the corpses of their loved ones for proper burial.

The member representing Agatu in the Benue State House of assembly, Mr Sule, urged the Nasarawa State Government to uphold their end of the peace deal, which the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Silas Agara, insisted is on course.

The renewed clashes after both Governors of Benue and Nasarawa State had convened a peace meeting have underscored the need for the Federal Government to step into the crisis and end hostilities.

Nasarawa Govt. Reserves Lands For FG Housing Scheme

NasarawaNasarawa State government has earmarked lands to support the Federal government’s mass housing scheme initiative.

Governor Tanko Al-Makura gave a hint about the reservation on Monday after visiting the office of the Nasarawa Geographic Information System in Karu Local Government.

He gave assurance of collaborating with the Federal Government to ensure the decline of housing deficit.

In similar development, the Governor made an aerial survey of the proposed land in north central Nigeria, and also visited the ongoing Kabayi road construction to ascertain the level of work.

He expressed confidence that the road would be completed before the end of February.

Governor Al-Makura added that the seven-kilometer road would reduce the gridlock on the Mararraba-Karu highway.

Nasarawa Govt. To Upgrade Facilities At Maraba General Hospital

nasarawaThe Nasarawa State Government will begin the upgrading of medical and structural facilities at the Maraba Guruku General Hospital which has been designated a referral centre to the Abuja National Hospital.

Governor Tanko Al-Makura gave the hint about the development while in a meeting with the hospital management during a working visit to the hospital in Karu Local Government on Wednesday.

The Governor also met with some patients at the hospital on his arrival, assuring them of better days ahead. He told them they would receive standard medical services in the public hospital.

Al-Makura also met with stakeholders at the Karu International Market, to put finishing touches in place at the market, ahead of its commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari.