We Have Been Devastated By Flood, TUC Cries Out

A logo of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
A logo of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.

 

The National Administrative Council of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) says it is shaken by the devastating floods that have once again claimed hundreds of lives, farms and roads and destroyed properties worth billions of naira without a commensurate national mobilization.

The TUC in a statement on Thursday commiserated with the working people and their families over these losses caused by the floods which have swept through 33 of the 36 states of the country and have also left schools, hospitals, police stations, offices and infrastructure submerged.

According to the Congress, over 40,000 homes have been destroyed and the nation’s food security threatened.


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The TUC insists that such growing level of devastation ought to have elicited emergency responses in the entire country, which would have saved its citizens the pains, anguish and embarrassment they are currently subjected to.

In its opinion, the poor, working people and their families become as always vulnerable to the inactions of government.

“It is true that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency had warned against high amount of rainfall in September, 2022 which may trigger floods in some states.

“It is also a fact that the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA gave similar warnings, but government at all levels did not put preventive or at best control measures in place but rather devoted all energies to political activities at the expense of governance.

“The Federal Government blaming state governments for allegedly ignoring the letters of the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu informing them of the impending floods, is at this time unhelpful.

“What the country needs is a synergy by the three tiers of government to quickly come to the rescue of the displaced by immediately providing temporary shelter, warm clothing, food and medical supplies not just for the immediate, but also to combat the post-flood water borne diseases that have become inescapable.

“A country suffers in many ways than one, when it refuses to elect serious leaders driven by development, we must dredge the river Niger to its full depth potentials, so as to form a deep basin to warehouse waterbody coming from Cameroon and Niger Republic.

“Dredging gives you so much tonnage of white sharp sand for construction and export, if that is done it means we won’t stupidly, insipidly and haplessly be begging our poor neighbours not to release their dams.When you dredge, there will automatically be a reasonable depth for River transportation and multiple wharfs in Lokoja, Onitsha,” the TUC’s statement partly read.

The Congress appealed to corporate Nigeria to roll out flood funds of solidarity to assist the victims, while individuals can also take initiatives to come to the aid of those rendered homeless and helpless by the floods.

Furthermore, TUC urged the Federal Government to also take steps to ensure that the release of water from the Kiri, Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro dams does not worsen the flood situation.

“Apart from taking climate change seriously and working on meeting minimum international requirements to tackle it, government also needs to engage our neighbors on how flooding can be controlled.

“For instance, the media reports that the September 13, 2022 release of excess water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon was partly responsible for the serious level of flooding the country is experiencing.

“While taking these necessary measures, the TUC appeals for a systematic flood prevention and control system so that such flooding tragedy does not become a seasonal re-occurring feature.”

The TUC reiterated that the Congress stands with the working people and indeed the entire Nigerians during these trying times, adding that this is the time to truly show that an injury to one is an injury to all.

Trade Union Secretary Killed In Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack

A logo of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
A logo of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.

 

The secretary-general of the Trade Union Congress, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, has been reportedly killed during the Abuja-Kaduna train attack on Monday.

The Kwara State Chairman of the TUC, Akin Akinsola, is said to have also been killed during the unfortunate incident.

This is according to a statement signed by the TUC President, Quadri Olaleye.

“Comrade Ozigi served in the capacity of General Secretary, Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA), an affiliate of TUC for almost two decades before he joined the Congress in 2012,” the statement said.

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“Comrade Akinsola was a staff of Dangote Flour Mill under OLAM. They were both seasoned Trade Unionists.

“As it stands, nowhere is safe now – we can not travel by air, road is not safe and neither is the rail. Is Nigeria a failed state? It is unfortunate.

“The Congress condoles with the families and friends of our comrades and the good people of Kogi State for this irreparable loss.”

The Kaduna State Government on Tuesday said it had recovered eight bodies from the site of the attack.

“Investigations are still ongoing to ascertain the status of the passengers who were on board the train and remain unaccounted for at the time of this update. Search operations are also being sustained,” the state government said in a statement.

ASUU: TUC Threatens To Embark On Nationwide Strike

A logo of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
A logo of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.

 

The Trade Union Congress says it will embark on a solidarity strike with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) if the Federal Government does not resolve the lingering issues with the academics within two weeks.

ASUU is currently on a one-month warning strike as it negotiates with the government.

“Everything must be done to dispense with this impasse within two weeks, to avoid a situation where the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria will embark on a solidarity strike with the University Teachers and their Students,” a statement signed by TUC President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye said.

“Government must engage ASUU in constructive negotiations to find lasting solution to their complaints without further delay.”

READ ALSO: FG Resumes Negotiations With ASUU

The TUC also condemned the behaviour of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, during a meeting with the National Association of Nigerian Students on Monday.

The students had accused the Minister of walking out on them after voicing their grievances over the ongoing ASUU strike.

“We find it ridiculous that the Minister, a public officer, rather than listen to their plight and strive to intervene, walked out,” the TUC said. “This act in our opinion seems discriminatory of some sorts, amidst finding solution to resolve the Federal Government – ASUU impasse, which requires to be redressed immediately.

“Mallam Adamu should be reminded that peaceful protest is a fundamental human right, most especially for students whose academic calendar continues to be distorted as a result of the multiple recurring strikes, occasioned by governments non-honoring of agreements.

“We wish to stress unequivocally that we are together with the University lecturers and their students in this struggle.”

Shelved Strike: APC Hails FG, Organised Labour On Truce

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended Monday’s shelved nationwide strike following the federal government’s successful brokering of an agreement with the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on the increase in electricity tariff and the price of fuel.

In a statement by its deputy national publicity secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, the APC said the welcome and positive development is in line with the proven pro-people stance of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration which has always put the welfare and interest of the masses first in policy decisions and implementation. Indeed, the shelved strike is a victory for the Nigerian masses.

“The federal government is temporarily suspending the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments by DISCOs to allow for an all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations, evidence of the government’s pro-people stance.

“Again, to reduce the cost of petrol, the federal government and labour agree on the urgency to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries and increase our local refining capacity so as to reduce the overdependency on costly importation of refined petroleum products.

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“To cushion the impacts of the downstream sector deregulation and electricity tariffs adjustment on the Nigerian masses, the federal government is among others implementing palliatives which can be easily assessed by Nigerian workers and financed from the Economic Sustainability Programme Intervention Fund with subsequent provision for 240,000 under the auspices of NLC and TUC for participation in agricultural ventures through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Also, agreed is the removal of tax on minimum wage to cushion the impacts of the policy on the vulnerable; immediate provision to organized labour of 133 CNG/LPG driven mass transit buses; 10% housing allocation to Nigerian workers under the ongoing Ministry of Housing and Finance initiative through the NLC and TUC, among others.

“The President Buhari government has made solid commitments to rechannel saved national resources from the stopped fuel subsidy and deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector to other critical sectors such as infrastructure, health and education. The APC calls on all well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders to cooperate, partner and monitor the implementation of these commitments and agreements reached by the federal government and organised labour,” the statement read in part.

The party welcomed President Buhari’s transmission of the ‘much-awaited’ Petroleum Industry Bill 2020 to the National Assembly.

According to the party, there is no doubt, the PIB will provide the necessary legal framework to the long-sought reforms and ongoing deregulation of the petroleum sector in the country.

Osun Assembly To Begin Probe Of Aregbesola Over 34.5bn Naira Bailout Fund

Osun-State-House-of-AssemblyThe Osun State House of Assembly has directed some officials of the state government and organisations to appear before it on Wednesday for questioning on how the 34.5 billion Naira bailout fund given to state by the Federal Government was used.

The planned probe followed the decision of the Senate to commence similar probe.

There have been allegations of misappropriation against the Governor of the south-west Nigerian State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.

Those invited to appear before the Osun State House of Assembly are the Accountant-General, Permanent Secretaries Ministry of Finance, Office of Budget Planning and Ministry of Local Government.

Others are the Director-General of Debt Management Office and officials of Wema Bank, Zenith Bank and First Bank.

Also invite to be part of the proceeding are Chairmen, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE), Market Women, as well as representative of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).

A statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, urged the invitees to arm themselves with all the necessary information and document on the bailout fund given to the state.

Mr Oyintiloye explained that the exercise had become very necessary in line with its constitutional powers, as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

He said those invited were expected to appear before the House with useful documents and necessary information concerning the bailout fund given to the state government.

The federal Government had given bailout funds to states to enable them meet some financial obligations, especially payment of workers salaries.

TUC Issues Ajimobi 5-Day Ultimatum Over Unpaid Salaries, Pensions

Ajimobi, Oyo State, Unpaid Salaries, TUCThe Oyo State chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a five day ultimatum to the state government to immediately offset a backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions and other arrears for 8 months.

Chairman of the TUC in Oyo State, Comrade Emelieze Andrew, issued this warning in Ibadan during a chat with journalists following the expiration of a grace period of 15 days.

The Union noted that the recent agreement between Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Oyo State Government is unacceptable, describing the alliance as unholy.

Comrade Emelieze further emphasized that the agreement to end the 7-week old strike was not a true reflection of the yearnings of the various unions involved in the struggle.

The TUC therefore stated that it would mobilise its people to begin an indefinite mass action if government remains adamant.

This 2nd ultimatum is coming barely a week after the NLC suspended a 7-week industrial action across the state over unpaid wages and related issues.

TUC Gives Oyo Govt. 15-Day Ultimatum To Pay Workers

Oyo-Students-Traders-Protest
FILE: Students and traders protesting in Oyo State.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Oyo State Government and all governors owing workers to pay up or face mass action in affected states.

Members of TUC at the national level joined their counterparts from Oyo state to protest the non-payment of their salaries for over 6 months.

They called on the Governor of the state, Mr Abiola Ajimobi to urgently find a solution to the lingering crisis.

The Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade, while addressing the protesters, appealed for calm and assured that the committee to be inaugurated between labour and government will come up with a lasting solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, all public primary and secondary schools in Oyo State remain closed despite the order to re-open the schools by the governor.

In an interview with Channels Television, TUC Chairman, Oyo State chapter, Comrade Niyi Akano, maintained that teachers are not resuming until their demands are met.

A visit round schools by Channels Television Correspondent on Monday, revealed that no school was functional despite the order and labour insists it will remain so until issues at stake are resolved.

In the meantime, the Oyo State Government insists that the proposed participatory management of public schools will happen and to be sure of government’s seriousness, a 31 member Education Reform Initiative Committee has been set up to widen the scope of consultations on the project.

Members of the committee were drawn from the University of Ibadan, commissioners from relevant ministries, community and religious leaders, and private sector education practitioners while the NUT, NLC, Ancopps and NANs are expected to submit 2 representatives each for the committee.

FG Inaugurates Committee To Look Into Lingering Labour Issues

Chris Ngige, Labour Minister, NLC Strike
Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, will Chair the 16-man committee.

The Federal Government has set up a 16-man Technical Committee to look into the grievances and other labour issues arising from the recent increase in the pump price of petrol.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ingige, who is also the Chairman of the Committee told journalists at the inauguration that the committee will take decisions over the issues of a new minimum wage and palliative measures of the federal government to cushion the effects of the pump price increase.

Members of the committee are drawn from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and representatives of the federal government.

Edo NLC Join National Strike Despite Government’s No Work, No Pay Threat

oshiomholeThe Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Wednesday said all member unions are fully committed to the compliance of a nationwide strike directive from the national body.

Chairman of the chapter, Comrade Emma Ademokun, stated this in his address during a rally organised by labour at the King’s Square in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as most private establishments in Edo State opted out of the industrial action.

Meanwhile, the Edo State government has directed workers in the state public service to shun the strike and stay at their duty posts, warning that any worker who shuns work under the guise of strike will forfeit his or her pay.

The government in a statement by the Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor said “all public schools and institutions are expected to remain open as school is in session.

The statement further said Heads of Departments and Parastatals are directed to keep records of workers’ attendance for further action.

It added that workers in Edo State Public Service should be aware that the current strike is “illegal” as the National Industrial Court had issued a restraining order on the strike.

Nasarawa NLC Complies With National Strike Directive

nasarawa-Al-makuraThe Nasarawa State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and it’s affiliates on Wednesday complied with the directive of the national body to embark on a strike action.

This is following the decision by the federal government to increase the price of petrol.

Speaking to journalist at the Labour House in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, the NLC Chairman, Mr Abdullahi Adeka, said the intended internal strike action in the state has been resolved after reaching an agreement with the state government.

Meanwhile, the state Trade Union Congress (TUC) has refused to partake in the ongoing industrial action instructing members to go about their normal businesses.

NNPC GMD Stresses Need To Fine-Tune PIB

Emmanuel-Ibe-KachikwuThe Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Tuesday explained that the Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been pending before the National Assembly in the last seven years, requires extensive engagements with all stakeholders to iron out all grey areas.

Dr. Kachikwu, who chaired a special session on the proposed law at the ongoing 55th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja titled: Legal and Regulatory Framework of the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria: Review of existing Laws and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), described the bill “as an essential legislation which must be approached with all the seriousness and thoroughness it deserves.

“PIB is a serious affair, it is an essential piece of legislation but as we all know a lot of engagement is required to address all the issues because the oil and gas environment has changed. There are issues of cost, with oil going down to $40 per barrel, the PIB cannot be the same,’’ Dr. Kachikwu said.

The NNPC GMD explained that because of the volume of extensive consultation and time required to make the bill a workable document, it is only natural to kick start the reforms in the industry with the existing laws while waiting for the eventual passage of the proposed law.

“The reform of the petroleum industry is key and it is an area where we are going to put a lot of focus. Transparency is key. Restructuring is key. Sometimes people don’t realize that the problem hasn’t been NNPC, it is a problem of political will to go forward and implement the outcome of researches and reports that had been done but fortunately for us this time around that is what the President has brought to the table. He has strong political will to see this through,’’ he said.

Commenting on what the Federal Government intends to do with the draft legislation, Dr. Kachikwu informed that PIB has come to stay though it would take a bit of time to perfect the draft.

“PIB is important, but we need to x-ray the issues. We need at least one year to get it back on track. The reality is that we cannot afford to wait any longer for change in the petroleum sector because of the delay in the passage of PIB, things have got to start happening and that’s exactly what we are doing,’’ the GMD stated.

Echoing Dr. Kachikwu’s position, Comrade Peter Esele, former President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), who was also President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), noted that though PIB is key, the industry can make do with existing laws to activate essential reforms in the sector.

TUC Stages Protest Over Xenophobic Attacks

XenophobiaThe Trade Union Congress (TUC) have condemned the xenophobic attacks in South Africa which has led to the death of some foreigners and the destruction of properties belonging to non-South Africans.

Leading a protest to a major telecommunications outfit having links with South Africa, the Federal Capital Territory Coordinator of TUC, Comrade Aliyu Musa, said the attacks on foreigners in South Africa must come to a stop.

A representative of the South African company however condemned the attacks saying the company has never been in support of such attacks or any form of man’s inhumanity to a fellow man.

The TUC expressed concerns over the ongoing xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa and called on the Jacob Zuma-led government to live up to its responsibilities by taking all necessary steps to stop the dastardly act of steal¬ing, killing and taking over of people’s properties in Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria, adding the act at this time and age is appalling, abysmal and beastly.