FG To Increase Salaries Next Year– Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has assured Nigerian workers of a pay rise next year.

Ngige stated this in Awka, the Anambra State capital, in an interactive session with journalists on Tuesday.

He said the various committees handling the minimum wage issue were working to arrive at something.

He said the minimum wage under Buhari would not be like any pay rise in the country.

The Minister said, “minimum wage is a constitutional issue and is in the exclusive list.

“The Nigerian workers are entitled to a review of their pay under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The various committees handling this matter are all working hard to realise the objective. Some are at the final stages of their work.”

He said the kind of minimum wage being worked out by the Buhari administration, would be enforceable by workers in both private and public sectors.

Ngige said that the new minimum wage would be couched in such a way that any employer of Labour in the country who would pay his workers below the minimum wage would be held liable.



FG to Provide 490,000 Jobs — Minister of Labour and Employment

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, weekend in Lagos said no fewer than 490,000 jobs will be created by the Federal Government through the recently launched Smart Farmers ICT platform.

The minister insisted that the government had resolved to fight unemployment and urged Nigerians to embrace positive attitudinal change towards jobs creation to turn around the fortunes of the country and record significant success in employment generation.

Speaking at the 30th Lagos International Trade Fair, with the theme: ”Positioning the Nigerian Economy for Diversification and Sustainable Growth”, Ngige recalled that a few weeks ago in Abuja, the ministry launched the Smart Farmers ICT platform creatively designed to promote and maximize productivity in the agricultural value chain. According to him: “Prior to the discovery of oil in Nigeria, the bedrock of the economy was agriculture.

At independence, agricultural accounted for 70 percent of GDP. 25 years after independence, we experienced an ugly reversal with food items accounting for over 50 per cent of imports. When we say agriculture holds the key to effective, functional and sustainable economic diversification, we are sure of our convictions.”

On his part, the Director General, National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Mr. Olakunle Obayan, who was represented by the Director Special Public Works, Engr. Monday Dalung, said the Federal Government was vigorously pursuing a sincere multi-faceted agenda meant to effect a shift from over dependence on oil and gas as a major revenue earner.

Suspend Planned Strike – Ngige Begs NUPENG, PENGASSAN

The Federal Government has advised the National Union Of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria to shelve their planned strike over the alleged sacking of 3,000 of its members by oil companies.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, made the appeal when speaking with newsmen on Friday in Abuja.

The unions on October 26 gave a 21-day ultimatum to the government.

The unions called on the federal government to intervene on the matter by putting a stop to the sacking of its members.

Ngige said that the ministry had earlier in the year had several meetings with the employers, leadership of the unions and employees in which an agreement was reached.

He said, “We all had an agreement and the agreement was that instead of retrenchment, they should focus on reducing some of their top most positions of the establishments.

“We also agreed that some allowances should be shielded up, while some offices of directors and top management staff should be pegged.

“They all agreed and that is what they have been doing, we also formed a kind of forum between the employers, employees and unions with my ministry.

“The forum is supposed to be meeting to fashion out oil and gas labour relations which will guide whatever is happening there.

“I do not know if NUPGENG is dissatisfied with what is coming out from that forum.’’

The minister recalled that two months ago NUPGENG and PENGASSAN had submitted petitions against the oil and gas companies, and there were marathon meetings held with the employers.

He said the ministry had then convened series of meetings where issues were looked into on companies’ basis to understand why they should not retrench.

Ngige said he had then directed the companies to recall their retrenched workers as the right procedures and due process as stipulated in Section 20 of the Redundancy Law was not followed.

He said, “I will find out why NUPGENG is issuing the 21-day ultimatum and also call for a meeting to look at the developing issues.

“If there are particular companies that have deviated from the agreement we have reached, we will call those companies and ask them to comply.”

Labour Minister, Ngige Warns Governors Not To Cut Salaries, Work Hours

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has warned state governors against reduction in remunerations and hours of work of workers.

In a statement issued by Mr Samuel Olowokere, Deputy Director Press in the ministry, Ngige said the warning was necessary to restore industrial harmony and forestall breakdown of law and order.
He said the warning followed protracted industrial crisis involving the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nasarawa State Government.

The minister said the step was pursuant to the powers invested on him by section 5(1) and (2) of the Trade Dispute Act, Laws of Nigeria, 2004.
He said this was also predicated on a letter to the him by Gov. Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State for labour conciliation by the ministry.
The minister said all parties had been invited for a crucial meeting on Wednesday by 2 p.m. at the Ministry of labour.
He said “sequel to this, I hereby direct the unions to suspend the proposed picketing of government offices and demonstrations.

“I enjoin all parties to maintain the status quo ante pending the outcome of the meeting intended to resolve the issues in dispute.
`Similarly, to avoid further escalation of disputes of this type all over the states of the federation, state governments are hereby advised to always negotiate any issue that touches on the salaries and wages of workers.

“This is in order to ensure that they obtain a Collective Bargaining Agreement (BCA) before these remunerations are tampered with.
“I wish to add for the avoidance of doubt that the issue of minimum wage flows out from the Minimum Wage Act, 2011, ” he said. Ngige said the law of the land must be respected by all in both public and private institutions.

He, however, said the issue of arbitrary reduction in the hours of work was against the International Labour Organisation (ILO) regulation; Convention 1, which had been adopted and domesticated by Nigeria.
He said the law prescribes eight hours of work in a day and not more than 40 hours in a week.

Ngige added that the caution had become necessary to draw the attention of all concerned to these issues in order to avoid unnecessary industrial relations disputes that could be averted through proactive dialogue.

Lead Campaign For Diversification Of ECOWAS Economy, FG Tells OTUWA

The Federal Government on Wednesday in Abuja urged the Organisation of Trade Union of West Africa (OTUWA) to lead the campaign for the diversification of the economy of the ECOWAS sub-region.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the call when he declared open a three-day workshop of OTUWA.

Ngige said the diversification of the economy of the ECOWAS sub-region was imperative because of the adverse effects of the global economic downturn.

He said the mono-economic bases of West African countries were largely responsible for their current economic woes.

“ There is a big threat to the economy of the ECOWAS sub-region because of our largely mono-economic base.

“I am happy that your organisation has been able to live down its challenges.

“ The revived OTUWA must, therefore, help the governments and employers in the sub-region to look elsewhere.

“In Nigeria, we must look for other sources of revenue and the most easily identifiable one is agriculture and of course, mining.

“We are also diversifying in trade and services. And because of the availability of fertile land in West Africa, the same thing goes to sister countries.

“OTUWA, which is our regional component of the World Union of Trade Unions, must, hence, lead this campaign for the diversification of the West African economy, ” the minister said.

Ngige called on the union to help the governments in the region develop the requisite skills for the full maximization of the utility of their cash crops.

He said this would enhance local processing of the raw forms into finished products.

He urged the workshop to be the starting point of this line of thought by getting the people to move from the area of white collar jobs to blue collar jobs in agriculture and mining.

Ngige urged OTUWA to be “ the catalysts in entrenching decent work environment in line with the ILO Convention which all are signatory to.”

Earlier, the President of OTUWA, Mr Mademba Sock, listed challenges facing labour in the sub-region and said the organisation was revived to fight the cause of the workers.

Also, Mr Dennis Zulu, ILO Country Director in Nigeria, said ILO had asked member states to organise national dialogues to come up with suggestions that would be useful for its development initiatives .

Zulu said that the initiatives would focus on work and society, decent jobs, the orgnisation of work and production as well as governance of work.

He called on social partners in the respective countries to contribute to the ILO Future of Work Initiative.




‘Nigerians Complaining Of Hardship Are PDP Loyalists’ – Ngige

Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, says Nigerians who are complaining of hardship in this present administration are PDP loyalists. According to Ngige, this government which will be marking it’s first anniversary on May 29th, is working towards the betterment of Nigerians. He said this in a recent interview with The Sun:

“I don’t know what you mean by hardship and those you call Nigerians. Are they the federal civil servants getting their monthly salaries as and when due? We don’t owe them, not even allowances and there is no reason they should be unhappy with the APC govern­ment. Are the okada riders among those complaining when they are making brisk businesses or the gradu­ates we will soon address their problem of unemploy­ment after the passage of the budget? Unemployment is the harbinger of Boko Haramism, harbinger of IPO­Bism, OPCism and militancy in the Niger Delta. It is a scourge and serious disease condition that we must fight and that is why we are in this ministry and government. We have job creation programmes under the supervision of the Vice President and other inter-ministerial ones that will be rolled out very soon. By the time we roll out, more funds will be put into the economy. Let us warn that the funds are not for stealing. The only difference between APC and PDP is the stealing of the lots of floating funds. Many of the elite were grabbing these floating funds and they are the ones protesting that they are not happy with the present government. Those complaining especially the elite are members or loyalists of the PDP. We are not bothered because we are going to continue with our common-people’s programme and I want to assure that the tide will soon change. So, we are waiting for the budget. Don’t forget that we are not the ones that appropriate funds but the National Assembly. We have given them budget, done some alterations and amendments as needs be in areas where some people try to mutilate and we are waiting for now. Once they approve the budget as proposed, we roll out our programmes”he said.

Source- Kevdjakporblog.com

FG Votes N500bn To Tackle Unemployment– Ngige

Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, said the Federal Government voted N500 billion to tackle unemployment and provide care for the vulnerable.

The minister said this during a courtesy visit by the Rwanda High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Stanislas Kamanzi in Abuja.

He said the Federal Government was determined to face the menace of unemployment squarely, especially among youths in the country.

Ngige said the government would fight spiritedly to solve the unemployment problem totally in the country.

Ngige said the government was also poised to engage the over 500,000 that graduate yearly from the nation’s institutions, adding that this would prevent them from engaging in untoward activities.

Credit: Nation

Ministerial list: Fashola, Amaechi, Ngige, Onu, Aisha Alhassan, Fayemi, Malami Abubakar, Kachikwu, 12 others make list

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday received the ministerial nominees list at about 4:56pm from the Presidency but said the content of the presidential communication would be read during plenary next week Tuesday.

The Senate had adjourned plenary at 2:00pm on Wednesday till Tuesday, October 6.

21 names were contained in the list, according to a report by Punch Newspaper which read:

“The PUNCH learnt that a former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola; and a former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, made the list.

Also said to be on the list are Kayode Fayemi, a former governor of Ekiti State; a former Governor of Anambra State, Chris Ngige; and a one-time Governor of Abia State, Ogbonaya Onu.

Malami Abubakar, SAN, a former National Legal Adviser to the defunct Congress for Progressives Change; Aisha Alhassan, a former governorship candidate of the APC in Taraba State; and Amina Mohammed, a special adviser to the Secretary-General of the United nations, Ban Ki-Moon, also made the ministerial list. Same for a former finance commissioner in Ogun State, Kunle Adeosun.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Ibe Kachikwu, is said to be on the list, perhaps to combine his headship of the NNPC with junior petroleum minister. portfolio. Buhari has already announced himself as the substantive Minister of Petroleum.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, in company with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, delivered the list in a sealed envelope to the Senate President in his office.”

Power Sharing Not Threatening APC, Says Ngige

Senator Chris Ngige on Thursday in Abuja denied reports that issues of power sharing was threatening the stability of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-East.

He said that it was untrue that the Igbos were divided over the position of the Secretary to the General of the Federation (SGF).

Ngige made this known while interacting with newsmen at the sidelines of the visit of a delegation of Ohaneze Ndigbo to the President-elect, retired Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

“We cannot say for now that our party has zoned the position of the SGF to the South-East because we have a standing committee that is still working on distribution of party offices.

“The import of what is happening, like you said, is that in the executive branch now the South-East is not represented at all and in the legislature, we will not be represented because we have no senator from the South-East of Nigeria.

“We have two House of Representatives members who are not ranking and might not get any meaningful position in the end.

“It is in that wise that the people you saw here last week and today again have been consistently asking for position of SGF to come to the South-East,” he said.

Reiterating that there was no rancour in their camp, Ngige said, “you can see we are a disciplined people in the South-East, forget about what people are saying in the newspapers.”

“We have a caucus and that caucus has met on that position; we are only waiting for the party to officially tell us this is your position and we will submit the name.

“We have come to a decision but when we get to the bridge we will cross it; let the party say South-East this is your position then we will not waste even one hour in submitting a name,” he said.

Also speaking to newsmen, Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Raph Obioha, said there was a feeling among the Igbos of political imbalance in the polity.

“There is a creation and a feeling of an imbalance in the political equation; there must be a tripod in the political equation of Nigeria but that tripod seems to be missing one leg.

“If it is not truly harnessed well, it cannot stand but Buhari gave the assurance that he would treat the entire nation as his constituency for all and we believed him,” he said.

Senator Ngige Blasts The Igbos Over Greed And Love Of Money

Former Anambra State governor Chris Ngige has castigated Igbo leaders for standing by the PDP despite the fact that most Nigerians wanted change, pointing out that Ndigbo sell themselves for short term gains.

Senator Ngige said it was unfortunate that Ndigbo went with the status quo when the rest of the country was yearning for change. Last Saturday, the southeast was the only zone that returned all its senators from one party, delivering all its seats to the PDP.

Dr Ngige said: “I must thank all those who remained steadfast in APC because playing opposition can be frustrating and tempting. Although I was receiving overtures from the ruling party, the PDP, I rejected them because the principles on which we formed that party were jettisoned and bastardised.”

A senior member of the APC, Ngige had been tipped to become senate president but this cannot happen now that he lost his seat. Prior to the elections, the APC had zoned the senate presidency to the southeast but the zone will now lose out as all of its 15 senators are from the new opposition PDP.

Ngige added that it had not been easy playing the politics of opposition in Nigeria, in view of the domineering attitude by those in government, pointing out that he had been in opposition for 10 years and knew how the shoe pinched.

Recall that Ngige ran for governor last year as an APC candidate but lost.