Civil Servants In Northern Nigeria Celebrate Workers Day

Workers Day-Northern NigeriaState governments and civil servants in northern Nigeria have joined the rest of the world to mark the 2016 edition of the Workers Day.

In Kaduna State, the government called on both Federal and state governments to address some of the socio-economic challenges facing the nation.

The civil servants demanded for an upward review of the current minimum wage to at least 100,000 Naira in line with the present economic realities.

At separate rallies to mark the May Day, the workers called on the Federal Government to tackle the epileptic electricity supply, fuel scarcity, insecurity, unemployment and casualisation of workers among other challenges.

They also warned the Kaduna State government to shun any plan to retrench its workforce, threatening a showdown against government if any civil servant is sacked.

While a faction of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna State, led by Mr Adamu Ango, marked the Workers Day with a rally held at the Kaduna Township stadium, the other faction held a road procession near the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.

Kano

In Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, said that his government has recently established the salary and wages directorate as part of efforts to ensure transparent salary administration for the state’s civil servants.

Addressing workers to mark the 2016 Workers Day celebration, Governor Ganduje noted that the welfare of workers has been one of the major priority of his administration since inception.

Channels Television correspondent reports that hundreds of workers turned out during the colorful match pass held at the Sani Abacha indoor stadium.

While expressing happiness with the cordial relationships between his government and labour unions in the state, the Governor promised that his government would not leave a stone upturned in ensuring the state civil servants are catered for.

He added that various policy frameworks had been put in place to ensure that workers in Kano State benefit from his government’s welfare packages for the civil servants.

Although the NLC Chairman in Kano State, Dr. Kabiru Minjibir, commended the Governor’s civil service initiatives, he disagreed with some policies the workers considered injurious to them.

He stressed the need for government to fully study the report of the just concluded workers’ biometric data exercise, to avoid further complications that might result to confrontation between government and workers.

Other issues highlighted by the workers were the issue of labour casualisation and scarce job opportunities for teaming youths in Kano State.

Borno

In the northeast, civil servants in Borno State demanded a total implementation of the 18,000 Naira minimum wage.

Pensioners who joined in the celebration also called for an upward review of their pension, which is still on a minimum of 4,400 Naira.

The anniversary was marked with an elaborate rally under heavy security in the Ramat Square in Maiduguri, the first rally in five years, owing to the insurgency problem.

In line with the 2016 theme “The Working Class and the Quest for Economic Revival”, the civil servants lamented that their income was no longer sufficient, considering the economic reality of the country.

The Borno State NLC Chairman, Comrade Titus Abana, said that the theme was symbolic as people of the state were faced with two fundamental problems of insurgency and dwindling resources.

Textile Workers Criticise 18,000 Naira Minimum Wage Reduction

TextileA body of textile workers has kicked against the reduction of the 18,000 Naira minimum wage by some state governors in Nigera.

The governors’ plan, which was as a result of lack of funds, was criticised by the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria on Wednesday in Kadanu State.

Speaking after the group’s Central Working Committee meeting, the General Secretary of the union, Issa Aremu, questioned why the State governments could not pay workers’ salaries while past governors left office with huge severance packages and pensions.

Commending President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention in ensuring that workers’ salaries across the states were paid, the textile workers maintained that any governor that was not willing to pay the 18,000 Naira minimum wage had no business to remain in office since the paramount responsibility of any leader was to serve the people effectively.

They also urged President Buhari to embrace holistic implementation of the Textile Policy, as contained in the National Industrial Revolution Plan, stating that the textile industry remains a critical plank for addressing the current unemployment challenge in Nigeria.

While calling on the government to create enabling environment for the survival of the manufacturing sector, the union stressed the need for proper integration of sustainable industrial policy development for policy coherence between the different arms of government.

They urged the State governments to compliment the Federal Government’s efforts by initiating bold industrial policies such as provision of infrastructure, granting of genuine tax incentives and patronage of ‘made in Nigeria’ products to revive closed factories within their localities .

FG Advises State Governments To Adopt 2015 Criminal Justice Act

FG Advises State Government To Adopt 2015 Criminal Justice Act
Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

The Federal Government has advised State Governments to adopt the 2015 Administration of Criminal Justice Act in order to stem the tide of corruption in Nigeria.

Speaking at a forum on ‘Criminal Justice Administration’ in the Abuja on Wednesday, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice,  Abubakar Malami, said that the Federal Government remains committed to fighting corruption at all levels.

He said that the enforcement of Section 306 and 396 of the Act, which forbids applications for stay of proceedings in respect of criminal matters before a court will fast track the prosecution of corrupt persons.

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), however, criticised the delay in the trial of corruption cases, which has led to a low level of conviction.

The Convener of the forum and President of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies said that approaches adopted by the courts in the past, contributed to the delay in the trial of corruption cases.

With the conviction of only seven cases in 15 years as disclosed by Professor Sagay (SAN), the enforcement of the administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 will no doubt contribute to stemming the tide of corruption in the country.

APC Seeks Probe Of Past NLNG Payments

Lai Mohammed on NLNG paymentsThe ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Federal Government to probe past payments from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company which it claims are in the range of over $4 billion.

In a statement on Sunday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lai Muhammadu, the party also requested for the probing of the ”dividend payments totalling $4,728,136,946 paid to the Federal Government (FG) between 2004 and 2009.

The party claimed that out of the dividend payments only $127,851,348.19 was credited to the FG’s independent account with JP Morgan, leaving a balance of over $4 billion.

The APC’s request is coming days after the Federal Government gave states a relief fund drawn from the NLNG account to clear unpaid workers’ salaries.

President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sum of $2.1 billion dollars from the income and education tax of the NLNG to be paid to states, an action that has generated controversy within the political sphere.

The decision was taken days after President Muhammadu Buhari said he met a near-empty treasury.

In the statement, the APC questioned why all the past taxes and dividends were neither fully paid into the Federation Account nor shared by the three tiers of government. “What happened to the funds?” the ruling party questioned.

The APC spokesman further urged the FG to, as part of the investigation, ask the PDP where it kept the $5.5 billion which it said was the dividend paid to the FG by the NLNG before the May 29 handover.

Commending the decision of the Federal Government to share the money with the states, the party said recent actions of President Buhari were bringing transparency into governance in Nigeria.

“It is helping to plug financial leakages,” Mr Mohammed said.

 

Unpaid Salaries: State Governors Disregard The Budget – Prof Bello

Olasemi-Akintola-Bello on unpaid salariesThe team leader of the European Union Support for Nigeria’s Federal Government Reforms, Professor Olaseni Akintola-Bello, says the inability of some state governments to pay salaries is as a result of the Governor’s disregard for the state’s budget.

He said that the ‘scissors crisis’ situation, where expenditure is rising faster than revenue, required some fiscal reforms.

Professor Bello stressed the need for the Governors to understand the budget very well.

“If you look at the budget, you have the recurrent revenues and the recurrent expenditure. There are two aspects of the budget and one aspects are discretionary while others are non-discretionary.

“Capital expenditure are discretionary while payment of salaries and pensions are non-discretionary.

“If the governors can match their revenue to their expenditure and raise debt within their ability to repay they won’t have problems,” Professor Bello said.

“Fiscal indiscipline is why they have challenges. If there is a way that we can bring about fiscal discipline, that is the first step.”

He also stressed that the Governors must adhere to fiscal transparency roles, which are international good practices.

“A governor or a state is supposed to publish monthly or quarterly report to ensure that people follow the activities,” Professor Bello said.

Some States government in Nigeria had few days ago, requested for a bailout from the Federal Government, saying that the dwindling revenue allocation had forced them to seek help.

Sanga Residents Ask Government To Beef Up Security After Killing Of 10 People

fulani-herdsmen2Residents of Sanga local government of Kaduna State have once again called on both the Federal and State Governments to urgently beef up security in their area and stop further attacks on them by Fulani herdsmen.

They made the demand when the state Deputy Governor, Ambassador Audu Bajoga, visited Tattauru village, where gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen killed 10 people during the Christmas celebration.

The indigenes pointed out that the frequent attacks on their people had rendered so many families homeless, with many children turned to orphans.

They also warned that they were running out of patience and therefore called on relevant authorities to come to their aid.

During his visit to commiserate with the victims, the Ambassador Bajoga condemned the attack and appealed to the people of the area to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands.

He expressed dismay that another community could be attacked so soon despite the recent agreement signed by various ethnic groups, such as women, youths, community leaders and stakeholders to halt further attacks.

The Deputy Governor assured the people of Sanga of the government’s commitment to protecting their communities, adding that security had been beefed up in the area.

At least 3,000 people, mostly women and children, have died since the attacks started last two years. Only recently, both Fulani herdsmen and local farmer signed a peace accord towards end of the hostilities. Sadly, despite the peace agreement, the attacks have continued.

Although the state government has assured the people of Sanga of its commitment to providing adequate security, residents say it is not the first time that they are getting such assurance.

They want more to be done in protecting their lives from those they term as enemies.