‘We Begged To Apply’, Governor Makinde Vows To Serve Oyo People

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.


Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has vowed to serve the people of the state, saying that he begged to apply.

He stated this during an interfaith prayer session which held in his honour at his Office in Ibadan, the state capital.

When the bishop was preaching, he said we should rule with the fear of God. Well, there is nothing like ruling here.

We came to Oyo State people, we begged to apply, and they gave us the opportunity. So, it is a service. I am here to serve the people of Oyo State. So, we will serve with the fear of God, he stated.

While addressing residents of the state, the governor noted that the progress and development of the state are not negotiable.

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He, therefore, called on the workers to cooperate with the new administration, adding that the bulk of all responsibility rests on his table as such he will govern with equity.

Makinde, who took over the helm of affairs of the state yesterday, also recalled his commitment to plug loopholes in governance.

In doing this, he called on the people to hold his government responsible for any decision making, adding that the people also will be responsible for their actions.

As I said yesterday during my inaugural address, I want you to hold me accountable for all decisions that this administration will be taken henceforth.

At the same time, I will also hold you accountable as we work as partners to lift Oyo State to its predestined position.

This translates to our determination to plug all holes and weak areas that allow the enterprise of the bad ones, he stated.

Speaking on the welfare of workers, the governor stated that the government will train the civil servants both locally and internationally for better efficiency in service delivery.

Thousands May Lose Their Jobs As British Steel Collapses

Employees of Saint-Saulve former Ascoval steel mill, recently bought by British steel are gathered outside their plant on May 22, 2019 in Saint-Saulve, following the announcement of the collapse of British Steel after last-ditch talks with the UK government failed to secure a financial rescue.


British Steel collapsed on Wednesday after the government said last-ditch talks with its owners failed to secure a financial rescue.

The High Court in London ordered British Steel Limited into compulsory liquidation, a statement said.

“British Steel Limited was wound-up in the High Court” on Wednesday, meaning its assets would be sold to help pay debts.

“The government has worked tirelessly with British Steel, its owner Greybull Capital, and lenders to explore all potential options to secure a solution for British Steel,” said Business Secretary Greg Clark.

“We have shown our willingness to act, having already provided the company” recently with funds.

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Tim Roache, general secretary of the GMB union, described the collapse of Britain’s second-biggest steelmaker as “devastating news for the thousands of workers” in the UK.

Some 5,000 people are employed by British Steel and an estimated 20,000 more have links to the firm’s supply chain.

Greybull has blamed Brexit strains for its financial collapse, while the steel sector faces other uncertainties.

“While Greybull cannot be allowed to walk away scot-free and must be held to account for its stewardship of Britain’s second-largest steelmaker, ministers cannot wash their hands of the Brexit farce and ongoing uncertainty that has placed the company in difficulty,” Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of the Unite union, said Wednesday.

“To do so would be a betrayal of a loyal workforce that has made great sacrifices to make British Steel a success and send economic shockwaves throughout the steel industry, UK manufacturing and the households of 20,000 workers in the supply chain who rely on the steelmaker for their livelihoods.”

There are clouds also over the future of Tata Steel’s main European operations based in the UK after German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp recently scrapped merger plans with the Indian giant.

A deal was seen as positive for Tata’s Port Talbot plant in Wales that employs more than 4,000 staff.

Following the merger collapse, ThyssenKrupp said it would slash 6,000 jobs worldwide in a structural shakeup.

British Steel is owned by investment firm Greybull Capital, who founded the long steel products maker in 2016 after snapping up assets from Tata Steel.

Long steel products include plates, rails for railways, sections used in construction, and wire rod. The latter can be used as steel rope for infrastructures like suspension bridges or filaments for car tyres to give rigidity.


States Can Pay New Minimum Wage, Says TUC


The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Bobboi Kaigama, has reacted to the new minimum wage recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kaigama who appeared on Lunchtime Politics which aired on Channels Television on Friday said that states can meet up with the N30,000 monthly payment for the Nigerian workers if the right priorities are placed.

“We are pretty sure (that) they (states) have the political, economic will except for the fact that corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the state systems.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Buhari Signs N30,000 Minimum Wage Bill Into Law

“So it will interest you to know that pin the just concluded governorship elections, so many of these states had reserved money to go out, buy voters, compromise electoral officers, compromise security (personnel) and that is why in most of the states now, they cannot pay salaries,” he stated.

President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Bobboi Kaigama.

He also decried a situation whereby some governors said to be owing workers’ salaries would still source for loans, hence plunging the states into more debts.

When asked if the increase in the minimum wage would not lead to inflation and further devaluation of the nation’s currency, the TUC president stated that prices of commodities were already on the increase.

He, however, noted that if the situation deteriorates to the point that the workers cannot meet his basic needs, agitations would come up for another salary review.

“We already have inflation; we already have a devaluation of our naira. So it’s already taking a toll on the worker’s take home.

“Unless we allow it to go to the extent of the worker not even taking a single square meal, otherwise where we have inflation, devalued naira, the worker has the right to demand a corresponding increase in his salaries,” he stated.

Pope Issues New Child Abuse Legislation For Workers

Pope Francis speaks as as Prefect of the papal household Georg Gaenswein (L) looks on during an audience with participants in the Course on the Internal Forum, on March 29, 2019 at Paul-VI hall in the Vatican. Andreas SOLARO / AFP


Pope Francis issued stringent child abuse legislation for Vatican City employees on Friday, as part of the Church’s bid to address a wave of sex abuse allegations against priests.

The legislation requires officials and employees in the Vatican City State as well the Roman Curia, the central administration of the Catholic Church, to immediately report any abuse against minors and vulnerable people or face fines or a prison sentence.

Anyone convicted of abuse must be “removed from office” under the new rules, which set a statute of limitations for such crimes at 20 years from the date victims turn 18.

Francis said in a letter released with his “motu proprio” decree that it was the duty of everyone “to generously welcome children and vulnerable persons, and to create a safe environment for them”.

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Previous church guidelines on handling sexual abuse cases did not cover officials and employees in Vatican City or the Curia.

The new legislation also mandates increased training for the affected staff on how to prevent abuse.

A new service will also be set up to provide victims and their families with medical, psychological and social support.

The Church is moving to tackle a series of recent scandals in Europe, North America, Latin America and Australia involving widespread claims of abuse — and cover-ups — by clergymen and lay members.


Hundreds Of Travellers Stranded In Kenyan Airport As Workers Strike

Passengers are blocked from entering Kenya Airways’s departure terminal due to a strike by the airline workers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on March 6, 2019.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP


Hundreds of travellers were stranded at Nairobi’s international airport Wednesday as riot police deployed and teargas was fired to disperse striking workers.

With flights grounded since midnight, passengers were advised Wednesday morning not to come to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) — East Africa’s busiest according to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) — until further notice.

“Kenya Airways regrettably wishes to inform its customers and the general public that due to the illegal strike by Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KUWA), the airline will be experiencing disruptions in normal flight operations,” a company statement said.

Inside the terminals, strikers faced off with police who fired teargas as they moved in to arrest union officials they accused of inciting workers.

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Passengers waiting for flights, some for hours, were asked to leave the airport and gathered in parking and waiting areas outside the building.

“I have been here since 3:00 am, and there is no flight, there is no information, we have just been told now to wait for communication,” stranded passenger Mercy Mwai told AFP.

Another, Christine, questioned: “why are police using unnecessary force with teargas at an airport?”

Some passengers received medical treatment on-site for tear gas inhalation, according to an AFP journalist at the airport.

The workers, who had not announced their labour action beforehand, are angry about the planned takeover of the airport, operated by the state-run KAA, by national carrier Kenya Airways.

But Transport Minister James Macharia said workers need not worry.

“What they were fearing is that the proposed merger between KQ (the acronym for Kenya Airways) and KAA will result in job losses but we gave assurances that that will not happen,” he told journalists at the airport, and promised flights will resume shortly.

“So this (strike) is completely uncalled for because the deal has not happened.”

According to the KAA, more than 7.6 million passengers and 313,000 tons of cargo passed through JKIA in more than 111,000 aircraft movements in 2017.

The airport contributes just over five percent to Kenya’s gross domestic product.

Kenya Airways chief executive Sebastian Mikosz said 24 departing flights, and two arrivals, were affected by the strike, but “we expect the situation to normalise during the day.”

“We are set to resume operations, although the process is a bit slow,” he said. “Our flights to London, Dubai, and Mumbai will be departing shortly.”


Tunisian Workers Kidnapped In Libya



Militiamen have kidnapped a group of Tunisian workers near the Libyan capital Tripoli, demanding Tunis release a comrade, the foreign ministry and a rights activist said.

“The foreign ministry is following the case of the Tunisian citizens… kidnapped by armed Libyan elements near Zawiya”, the ministry said on its Facebook page late Friday.

Rights activist Mustapha Abdelkebir said the armed group behind Thursday’s kidnappings was demanding the release of one of its members held in Tunisia.

The kidnap victims were workers at Zawiya oil refinery, Tunisian media said. A diplomatic source told AFP that 14 workers had been taken hostage.

“The minister has spoken to his Libyan counterpart to insist on the protection of the detainees, accelerate their release and ensure that they return safe and sound”, the ministry said in a statement.

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Tunisia reopened a consulate in Libya in 2018, after shutting it three years earlier due to the kidnapping of 10 Tunisian diplomats.

The Libyan militia which carried out the 2015 kidnapping had demanded the release of one of its leaders, Walid Glib, detained in Tunisia as part of a counter-terrorism investigation.

The diplomats were released after several days and Walid Glib was later deported to Tripoli.

Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord said it had no information on Thursday’s abduction and that it was looking into the matter.

The country has been mired in chaos since the fall of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising, as two rival administrations and numerous militias grapple for power.


Vodafone To Sack 1,200 Workers In Spain

The logo of British telecom giant Vodafone atop the Spanish headquarters in Madrid. 


Vodafone said Thursday it planned to cut up to 1,200 jobs in Spain as it streamlines its organisation to cope with a drop in revenue and profits in a fiercely competitive telecommunications market.

In a statement, the group said it would kick off consultations with worker representatives at the end of January with a view of cutting “a maximum of 1,200” posts out of around 5,100 in Spain.

“In the current market context, demand for services is increasing exponentially but prices aren’t: close to 50 percent of… memberships are associated with ‘low and medium cost’ offers,” the statement read.

It added that had caused a drop in revenues and profits “in the first six months of the current tax year.”

The group also said it needed to streamline the organisation.

The news comes after the British telecoms giant in November launched a new 1.2-billion-euro cost-cutting plan as it faced heavy losses.

Newly-installed chief executive Nick Read had said at the time that there were “challenging competitive conditions in Italy and Spain.”

Vodafone launched recently discount brand Bit into the Spanish market and cut prices at its low-cost operation in Italy, as the operator stepped up efforts to address stiff price competition in the two markets.

This will be Vodafone’s third redundancy plan in Spain in seven years, said Diego Gallart, a telecoms representative with Spain’s second largest union UGT.

“There are other ways to manage a telecoms company than carrying out a redundancy plan every three years,” he told AFP.

“Instead it is changing in the management of Vodafone Spain which are needed,” he added.

Vodafone workers in Spain already work a lot of overtime and suffer from work stress while management has made “strategic errors” such as only recently getting into audiovisual content creation, Gallart said.

Vodafone Spain announced in November that it would focus on cinema and TV series after deciding not to offer more football since according to the company this was not profitable.

Also on Thursday, Belgian telecoms operator, Proximus announced it planned to cut 1,900 jobs over the next three years but pledged to recruit 1,250 other people over that period specialised in digital technology.

Proximus boss Dominique Leroy cited “aggressive market conditions… that leaves us no choice.”


Abducted Ekiti LG Workers Regain Freedom


The two local government workers abducted in Ekiti State have regained their freedom.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed this to Channels Television on Saturday.

He also said the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Amba Asuquo, visited the two officials at their homes after they were released by their abductors.

Ikechukwu, however, could not confirm if any ransom was paid.

He explained that the captives were released when it became obvious to the abductors that the police were trailing them.

The gunmen had killed one Abayomi Ajayi, an accounting officer working at Emure Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The victim was shot dead by the gunmen on Wednesday along Ikere-Ise Road while returning from work and, thereafter, abducted the two men who were released after three days.

Meanwhile, the state government stated that it was stepping up its fight against criminal elements in the state.

NLC To Hold Nationwide Protest Over Minimum Wage



The Nigeria Labour Congress has declared January 8, 2019, a national day of protest over the delay in processing a new minimum wage for the country.

NLC leaders took the decision at its National Executive Council meeting, according to a statement by the union’s President, Ayuba Wabba, and General Secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson, on Friday.

“The NEC-in-Session approved that the protests should hold in all state capitals and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja on January 8, 2019. The NEC mandates all industrial unions and state councils to fully mobilise workers and coordinate with other labour unions for this mother-of-all protest,” the statement read in part.

The labour leaders are dissatisfied with the progress made since November 6, when the Tripartite Committee on Review of National Minimum Wage submitted a report to the President, recommending N30,000 as the new minimum wage.

They expected that the Federal Government would have sent a bill on a new minimum wage to the National Assembly long before now.

On Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari had said he would send a bill on the implementation of the new minimum wage to the National Assembly soon.

The President, who disclosed this while presenting the 2019 budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly, added that he had given a directive that a technical committee should be set up to look at the mode of implementation of the new wage.

The NLC, however, accused the Federal Government of adopting a “leisurely conduct” in dealing with serious national affairs, especially as the House of Representatives had asked the President to transmit the report of the tripartite committee to the National Assembly for action, two weeks earlier.

“The NEC expressed total dissatisfaction with the consequential delay and unacceptable lethargy in the process of regularising and implementing the new national minimum wage of N30,000,” it said.

“The calculated inaction of the Federal Government is a demonstration of acute insensitivity to the plight of Nigerian workers, their families and ordinary citizens.”

Workers Ground Activities At National Assembly In Protest


Members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) on Monday took to the National Assembly in Abuja, in a protest over unpaid salaries. 

The protesting workers barricaded the NASS complex thereby preventing anyone from gaining access.

This development follows the issuance of a four-day warning strike and nearly two weeks after a previous protest where they almost shut down legislative activities.

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One of the leaders, Mr. Odo Chris told the protesting members to stick to their agreement with the police to embark on a strike action and not a protest that will prevent other people from gaining access to the National Assembly complex.

The strike is coming two days before President Muhammadu Buhari’s presentation of the 2019 appropriation to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The grievances of PASAN include a new condition of service for members, promotion, and payment of 28 percent increment in salary captured as contained in the 2018 budget.

See photos below:

South Korean Workers In Nationwide Strike Over Labour Policies

Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions attend a rally calling for pro-labour reform near the National Assembly in Seoul on November 21, 2018. Tens of thousand workers launched a half-day strike across South Korea on November 21, accusing the government of rolling back pro-labour policies in the face of deepening economic woes. Jung Yeon-je / AFP

Tens of thousands of workers launched a half-day strike across South Korea on Wednesday, accusing the government of rolling back pro-labor policies in the face of deepening economic woes.

Some 40,000 of those who put down tools — including some in the auto industry — rallied in Seoul and 13 other cities, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), a major labor umbrella group, said.

An AFP journalist in the capital said a crowd of around 10,000 workers gathered outside the country’s parliament wearing red headbands, chanting slogans and waving banners, as hundreds of riot police took positions nearby.

The KCTU estimated 160,000 affiliated workers would join the walkout nationwide.

A government moves to introduce greater flexibility to the country’s maximum 52-hour work week — to adjust to fluctuations in demand — has particularly angered workers. 

They are also calling for liberal president Moon Jae-in’s government to deliver on election promises to raise the minimum wage from 7,530 won (US$6.66) to 10,000 won (US$8.85) by 2020.

Earlier this month, Moon sacked his top two economic officials, as the world’s 11th-largest economy struggles with slowing growth, rising unemployment, and persistent income gaps.

These difficulties have hit the president’s approval ratings, now at 52 percent — a drop of 13 percentage points over five weeks, according to Gallup Korea.


Minimum Wage: FG Rejects N22,500 Governors’ Proposal

ICYMI: Why Nigerian Workers 'Should Be Clapping' For Us – FG


The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Chris Ngige, says the Federal Government has rejected the N22,500 minimum wage proposal by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

Ngige stated this on Wednesday during a phone interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“The governors have not even done enough. I told them that this N22,500 is even rejected by the Federal Government,” he said.

Ngige’s comments come 24 hours after NGF unanimously agreed to pay Nigerian workers N22,500 as the new minimum wage as against the current N18,000.

Chairman of the Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari, said that the decision of the governors was based on the current realities on the ground.

But Ngige criticised the governors for the figure saying N22,500 is even below the N24, 000 agreement by the Federal Government.

He, however, said that all parties on the ground would resume back on negotiations to see that the welfare of the workers is met.

Ngige added, “The national minimum wage is a national legislation being driven by the Federal Government of Nigeria in pursuance to item 34 of the Exclusive Legislative list.

“But you don’t go and make a law which people will disobey at the initial.

“If you make a law and hoax a figure that is not agreeable, which people don’t have the capacity or ability to pay because the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says in those negotiations, the principle is the ability to pay.”

The minister, however, decried that the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee, Ms. Amal Pepple is not in the country.

Ngige explained that despite her absence for two weeks for a medical check-up, the Federal Government would convene partners involved in the minimum wage to deliberate on the issue and arrive on the same page.

Although workers are demanding N30,000 as minimum wage, the minister said that any industrial action being embarked on the aggrieved workers would not resolve the issues at stake.