Governor Ahmed Calls For Restructuring Of Local Govt.

Kwara Governor, Governor AhmedThe Kwara State Governor, Mr Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called for the restructuring of the local governments in the country.

He explained that the need of restructuring was necessary for the state government to meet the needs of the people especially in the provision of the democratic dividends.

Governor Ahmed made the call at the recent meeting held with senior civil servants in the state on the challenges bedeviling the local governments in the state.

He wondered how the third tier of government could not provide basic needs of the people but only used their monthly allocation to pay salary alone which he said is not forthcoming with the dwindling federal allocation.

Governor Ahmed noted that the basis for their creation has been incapacitated and urged for roundtable discussion on why they were created, where they are presently and how to improve for the future generation since they are closer to the grassroots.

Governor Ahmed Expresses Displeasure Over NULGE Strike

Abdulfatah-AhmedThe Governor of Kwara State, Mr Abdulfatah Ahmed, has expressed displeasure over the protest held by the state civil servants.

He made this known during a meeting with the labour leaders and Chairmen of Local Government Councils.

The meeting was held in order to resolve the non-payment of the workers salary arrears.

The meeting was attended by the leadership of various unions in the state which include, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).

Governor Ahmed promised to ensure that their salaries are paid promptly but with some conditions attached.

He added that the larger percentage of last month’s allocation was given to offset primary and junior secondary school teacher’s salary to save the education sector from collapse to ensure that pupils go back to school.

The Governor stated that since the allocation from the federation has been dwindling, complaints should be directed at the council chairmen on how to increase their internally generated revenue to augment in paying local government salaries.

He also gave the labour leaders three conditions on how to put a permanent stop to non-delay in the payment of salaries.

The conditions include sharing the allocation as they come on monthly basis, which could mean collecting half salary monthly; calculation of the number of days worked by each worker before collection based on number of days and outright reduction of staff strength in order to collect full salary.

At the end of the three-hour meeting, they agreed not to retrench workers but promised to get back on the remaining two options.

Recently, the staff of the sixteen local government held a demonstration in Kwara State.

They took to the streets in the state capital protesting non-payment of six months’ salary arrears by local government chairmen.

The protest took them to the gate of Government House where they demanded to see the governor to inform him of how they are being treated by their employers.

NLC Strike: Ondo Workers Join Protest, Call For Reversal Of Petrol Price

ondo workersWorkers in Ondo State on Wednesday complied with the directive of a faction of the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Workers in the south western state abandoned their duty posts to stage a peaceful protest against the decision of the federal government to increase the official pump price of petrol.

The workers trooped out into the major streets of Akure, the State capital, chanting solidarity songs against the fuel price increase.

The usual heavy traffic ‎on the major roads in the city was absent as very few commercial and personal vehicles were plying the roads.

Commercial activities were also reduced drastically as other workers not taking part in the protest stayed indoors.

The labour leaders accused the federal government of not consulting properly with the relevant stakeholders before going ahead to increase the official pump price of petrol.

They, therefore, called for the reversal of the price of the product to the old price of 86 Naira per litre.

NLC Warn Governor Bello Over Ongoing Workers Screening

Sani-BelloThe Niger State branch of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has warned Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to as a matter of urgency to be steadfast and choose between state civil servants and the consultant handling the on going screening exercise of workforce.

The Chairman of the organised labour in the state, Comrade Yahaya Idris Ndako, who made the disclosure in a press briefing at Labour House in Minna, expressed displeasure over the way and manner the screening exercise of its members were been carried out in the state.

Comrade Ndako said that despite their complaint to the state government over unpleasant conduct on the part of the consultant, the consultant was allowed to allegedly continue inflicting pains on the state workers

He noted that labour was not opposed to screening whatsoever, “but would not fold its arms and watch its members suffer unnecessarily in the hands of Sally and Tibbot Consultancy Firm led by Sa’adatu Bakrin- Ottun Sally”, insisting that they will protect their members..

Ndako urged Governor Bello to immediately assent to the repelled 7.5% Contributory Pension Scheme law so as to facilitate the refund of all contributed funds to their members exempted from the law.

He explained that labour would not accept unnecessary delay in the refund for alleged lack of money from the state government because labour overwhelmingly supported the present administration.

The labour leader applauded the Assembly lawmakers for their stand and focus to repeal the law establishing the 7.5% CPS and the state government for being able to pay workers salaries to date despite the dwindling allocations for the state as well for provision of security and repairs on roads.

He assured to maintain cordial relationship with the state government but would not compromise the welfare and well-being of his members for selfish gains.

NLC Urges Public Office Holders To Declare Assets

NLC-Issa-aremuThe Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has called on all public officers in the country to promptly make public the details of their assets.

The Union made the request in a statement issued by its factional Deputy President, Issa Aremu on Sunday in Kaduna.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for making their declared assets public, the NLC deputy president challenged other elected and appointed public officers such as governors, state and federal legislators to follow suit by making their assets public.

He stressed that the action of the president and his vice had made the war against corruption all inclusive, and also imposes a moral burden on all public office holders.

According to the statement, “in a country whereby the common wealth had been serially looted by a few individuals, only those who make sources of their wealth available to public interrogation will command genuine legitimacy to manage the affairs of Nigerians, while those who fail to declare their assets would be seen as looters of the nation’s treasury”.

Exhaust All Options Before Going On Strike, Jonathan Tells Labour Unions

SataPresident Goodluck Jonathan has asked labour unions in the country to exhaust all avenues of negotiations with the Federal Government before embarking on industrial actions to reduce the pains such industrial actions inflict on the Nigerian workers.

The President was speaking at the flag off of the 100, 000 mass housing scheme being built for the Nigerian workers in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

President Jonathan said his administration means well for he Nigerian worker and called on the labour unions to always partner with the Federal Government in such initiatives promising that his administration will not waver on its commitment to transform Nigeria.

The Ministers of the FCT, Housing and Urban Development said the event is another land mark and a demnsration of the administrations commitment to the welfare of workers

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have also expressed confidence that the federal government will keep an eye on the project to enure its completion and occupation by Nigerian workers.

APC Reacts To Ogar On Osun Election

Lai Mohammed_APC_spokesman2The All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to the statement made by the spokesperson of the Department of State Security – DSS, on the conduct of Osun governorship election.

The party, in a press release on Thursday by its Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed said Ms Ogar’s statements were unprofessional and irresponsible and represents the opinion of the PDP.

Mohammed wondered why the DSS Spokesperson would describe his movement on the night he was arrested in Osogbo as “loitering’‘ when as a citizen of Nigeria, he has the freedom to move around.

The party went further to ask why the DSS did not arrest some other key PDP chieftains who were in Osun and are not indigenes of the state.

It described as  tissue of lies the allegation by Ms. Ogar that the party tried to bribe the DSS with 14 million Naira before the Osun election, wondering why the DSS did not arrest the official who offered the alleged bribe.

“Apparently, Ms. Ogar has never head of a ‘sting operation’ that is widely used by security agencies to catch a person who is committing a crime. The allegation by Ms. Ogar would have been sweet in her mouth had the DSS mounted a sting operation to catch whoever was offering the alleged bribe, and then prosecute him or her,” the party said, calling the allegation cheap blackmail by a conspiratorial
organization.

Commenting on the deployment of security for election, Mohammed said that  “ election is not war, but a celebration of democracy, hence DSS agents should drop their hoods and hide away their menacing guns when next they are posted to police an election anywhere in the country”.

”Was it not publicly announced that the APC was moving its headquarters to Osun to give support for Gov. Rauf Aregbesola? Why didn’t Ms. Ogar question the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan or Vice President Namadi Sambo in Osun when they came too, if she was being fair? It is sad that Ms. Ogar has turned herself to the spokesperson of the PDP by echoing what that party has said on the Osun election. This is unprofessional and irresponsible,” the apc said.

APC said by spearheading the mass arrest of its leaders and members in Osun before and during the August 9th governorship election in the state, and by preventing the rally planned by the NLC in support of Gov. Aregbesola from holding, the DSS has decided to pitch its tent with the PDP instead of staying neutral.

The party said the questions to ask Ms. Ogar are: ”How many PDP leaders were arrested in Osun? If the rally by the NLC had been planned in support of the PDP candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, would the DSS have aborted it? Why must the DSS send hooded gunmen to police an election that is a civic matter? Does Ms.Ogar bother to read and understand the Nigerian constitution to know the rights of the citizens?”

APC said it is important to educate the likes of Ogar, and indeed the entire DSS, that election is not war, but a celebration of democracy, hence DSS agents should drop their hoods and hide away their menacing guns when next they are posted to police an election anywhere in the country.

NLC Protest Death Of Immigration Job-Seeking Applicants In Kaduna

IMG-20140317-00448The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) today (Monday)  led a peaceful protest to the Kaduna State command of the Nigerian Immigration Service to express their anger and demand explanation from the authorities over  last Saturday’s recruitment exercise that claimed  the lives of about 19 applicants. 

The angry workers led by the NLC Vice President, Isa Aremu, arrived the Immigration office as early as 7:30am, blocking the entrance and preventing officers of the command from gaining access to their offices.

The workers, who sang anti-government songs, also carried placards carrying various inscriptions. They demanded to see the State Comptroller of Immigration in order to drop their protest letter, but officers on duty denied the protesters access, insisting he was not on seat.

The peaceful protest almost resulted to a fracas when some of the Immigration officials attempted to push the protesters away from the gate, but for the timely intervention of some soldiers attached to the protesters.

The defiant workers insisted that they would not leave the premises until they present their letter to the State Comptroller of Immigration. They also demanded the resignation of the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro.

The protests caused traffic gridlock along the popular Independence Way in the state capital where the immigration office is located.

Addressing journalists at the gate of the Immigration office, NLC Vice President, Isa Aremu, demanded for an immediate compensation to the families of the victims, as well as assurance from Government that such avoidable deaths would stop.

NLC Faults FG’s Closure Of Unity Colleges In N/East

issa_aremuThe Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has faulted the Federal Government’s decision to shut down five Federal Government Colleges in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states as a result of the recent massacre of secondary school students in Buni Yadi, Yobe state, by suspected Boko Haram members, describing the decision as reactionary and unhelpful to education development in the country.     

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, NLC Vice President, Isa Aremu, while condemning the killing of the students, noted that closing down the schools will have grave consequences on the academic future of the students especially for those already preparing for their WAEC and NECO examinations.

According to Aremu, if the federal government could protect a few dignitaries that attended the just concluded centenary celebration, it should be more upbeat and proactive to guarantee the security of all citizens, including students.

He called on the National Assembly to urgently organise a public hearing on the massacre of the students in order to unravel the mystery surrounding the incident, pointing out that what government should do is to provide adequate security to those schools and not to close them down.

Threatens Nationwide Strike     

On the seven months old strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), the Congress threatened to call a nationwide industrial action if the Federal Government fails to end the ongoing strike by the lecturers.

Aremu said it was unfortunate that the government had not taken the expected steps to stop the ongoing strike that had crippled academic activities in public polytechnics.

He also asked the federal government  to immediately conclude negotiations with the striking lecturers so that they can return to classes.

He lamented what he described as government’s insensitivity to develop the education sector, despite its quest to be among the 20 leading economies in the world by the year 2020.

NLC Calls On FG To Improve Electoral System Funding

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) today called on the Federal Government to invest more resources on the nation’s electoral system in order to produce free and fair elections in 2015.   

NLC Vice President, Isa Aremu made the submission at a one-day interactive session between the Textile Workers Union and the Labour Party held in Kaduna, North West Nigeria.

While expressing that the union is encouraged with the new sense of purposeful  leadership by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  to conduct free and fair election next year, Aremu noted that the entire world is not just watching the  commission to deliver on its promises, but  will hold  it  accountable for the success or failure  of the next election,  in terms of availability of voting materials, integrity of its  officials, voting,  and announcement of results.

He further en joined the Nigerian Police to ensure that the coming elections are conducted in a peaceful manner, and to remain neutral during and after the entire process, and commended the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar for taking proactive steps by meeting with his senior officers to review the current security and political situations across the country.

The NLC vice president however warned politicians and other stakeholders in the election to play according to the laid down rules provided in the Electoral Act and the constitution, and urged the electorate to rise up and demand for accountability from public officers even before the elections.

NLC VP Expresses Doubt Over 18-Hour Power Promise By Jonathan

Vice  President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Isa Aremu has expressed doubt over President Goodluck Jonathan’s assurance of realising a minimum of 18 hours electricity supply daily in 2014.

He lamented that electricity supply in the country has gone from bad to worse despite the huge sum of money  pumped into the sector over the years and the recent privatisation of the sector.

Speaking at a function to mark his 53rd birthday, Aremu described the 18-hour daily power supply as a “huge joke” since the country has witnessed unacceptable power outages leading to massive closure of factories and job losses  in the last 30 years.

He stressed that what Nigerians need at present is no longer vain promises but immediate uninterrupted electricity supply to propel industrialisation and eradicate poverty. He however commended the president for giving a six month ultimatum to power investors to improve power supply.

While attributing most causes of labour crisis in the country to insincerity and government’s wrong approach to reform, he called on the Federal Government to convene a National Summit on Collective Bargaining which will involve all employers of labour and labour unions in the country.

He further cautioned the Ministry of Petroleum to ensure the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill rather than plan to privatise the refineries.

A former governor of Kaduna state, who attended the event, Balarabe Musa, also doubted the seriousness of the Federal Government and the new power investors to improve electricity generation in the country because most of the new investors are political entrepreneurs who lack the expertise to manage the power sector effectively.

He alleged that the power sector has been hijacked by some cabals who are bent on frustrating government’s effort; a situation he said is beyond the president’s control.

Put Funds Into Good Use, Okupe Tells ASUU

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe has commended the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, for ending their 5 month old strike.

Okupe, in an interview with Channels Television in Abuja, saluted the patriotism of the university lecturers and their commitment to the development of education in the country.

“It’s very heartwarming news to hear that the long strike has been finally put aside. This is a great relief to government and to the students, parents and stakeholders generally.

“I want to assure that the agreement that has been signed or the agreement that has been reached will be fully discharged by this administration. I have said it before that this administration does not have any credibility issue whatsoever, and the President and his government will honour their word.”

He urged the lecturers to ensure that the fund provided by the government is used for the provision of infrastructure in the nation’s ivory towers. He said: “the monies provided have been painstakingly sought for and they should be applied to good use for the educational advancement of our institutions.”

Dr. Okupe had been a major feature in the saga between the union of Nigerian university lecturers and the Federal Government while the industrial action lasted.

He appeared on Channels Television a number of times to communicate the government’s stance at different points in the protracted negotiation.