N3 Bn Car Loan: Bayelsa government owes us six months salaries, workers insist.

The Bayelsa Government and its workforce have disagreed on the exact outstanding salary arrears owed civil servants in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that workers claimed that they were being owed six months’ salary backlog, while government officials put the arrears at three months.

The Bayelsa House of Assembly on Tuesday, in a closed-door session, approved a N3 billion loan request from the executive arm to purchase cars for legislators and security agencies.

The development attracted criticisms from civil servants in the state, who said that seeking a loan to purchase the cars at a time the state government owed workers six months’ salary arrears was insensitive.

Reacting to the development, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Seriake Dickson denied in a statement that the government was owing workers for six months.

According to him, the government is owing workers only three months salaries.

The statement restated the governor’s commitment to running a transparent system, where the welfare of workers and the citizenry remains a priority.

“It is therefore not true that government is owing six months’ salary of workers, as alleged in some of the media reports.

“Rather, government is making conscious efforts to clear all outstanding salaries and has even gone ahead to pay in full, the salary for the month of January,” Mr. Iworiso-Markson said.

However, labour leaders and civil servants maintained that the government was yet to clear a backlog of the six months salary arrears being owed the state workers.

The Chairman of Bayelsa chapter of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Tari Dounana, and his Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, counterpart, John Ndiomu, insisted that the government is owing the workers six months’ salary.

Mr. Dounana said, “The facts are there and we cannot be lying on issues like this, I can be quoted on this.

“Workers are having salary arrears of six months and we met with government on this issue only last week.

“It is likely that those claiming that we are not being owed do not have the details, we met with the government finance team and they set up a committee to work out the payment plan,” Mr. Dounana said.

A civil servant, Ebi Douye, provided further details on the salary situation in Bayelsa.

“The arrears is six months, we are keeping records, January 2015 salary was paid full in April 2015. February and March 2015 salaries were not paid.

“From April to September, half salaries were paid. December salary has not been paid.

“The three full salaries not yet paid, plus half of the six months makes it six months of unpaid salaries,” Mr. Douye said.


Source: NAN

89 per cent Nigerian workers not on pension scheme – NBS

More than 89 per cent of Nigerian workers are not registered under the contributory pension scheme, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said.

According to a report released by the NBS on Monday, the Retirement Savings Account, RSA, membership distribution data for Q4 2016 reflected that 7,348,028 workers are registered under the pension scheme out of a total working population of 69,470,091 as at Q4 2016.

This, the report said, represents 10.8 per cent of the total working population.

The NBS explained that the trend is not surprising given the largely informal structure of the Nigerian labour force.

It stated further that about 50 per cent of the current workforce are engaged in subsistence agriculture and informal trading, noting that micro businesses for example account for over 90 per cent of total small, micro, and medium scale enterprises, SMEs, in Nigeria.

An analysis of the report shows a total male working population of 36,363,042, with 14.37 per cent representing 5,226,897 registered under the scheme. Similarly, only 2,121,131 representing 6.41 per cent out of a total female working population of 33,107,859 are registered under the scheme.

Also, out of the 7,348,028 RSA members, 71.13 per cent were men and only 28.87 per cent were women. This ratio appears small when compared with the gender split of the working population which has 52.3 per cent and 47.7 per cent men and women respectively.

Meanwhile, the RSA membership is dominated by the private sector.

Analysis shows that the federal government had 1,866,850 registered RSA members under the national pension scheme as at Q4 2016 of which 1,363,266 (representing 73 per cent) were male and 503,584 (representing 27 per cent) were female.

The implication of this, the NBS says, is that there are a lot more male employees in the federal public service than female.

At the state and local government levels, 1,508,471 state public workers are registered under the national pension scheme with 849,493 males representing 56.3 per cent and 658,978 females representing 43.7 per cent. The bureau says this may indicate that the federal public
service is larger than that of all 36 states combined.

Also, similar to the federal service, men dominate with respect to number of employees.

Further analysis of the report shows that private firms had 3,972,707 registered RSA members under the pension scheme as of Q4 2016 of which 3,014,138 representing 75.9 per cent were male and 958,569 representing 24.1 per cent were female.

The NBS said among the three classes of workers registered under the scheme, private firms’ working population dominated the membership distribution and closely followed by the federal and state working population.

Analysis of the age distribution of workers shows that the highest number of registered working population came from the age bracket of 30-39yrs.

It was closely followed by the working population within the age bracket of 40-49yrs and 50-59yrs.

“This is expected considering ages 25-44 account for about 55 per cent of the total working population,” the report stated.

The report also revealed that the least number of registered working population came from above 65yrs and 60-65yrs age bracket.


Source: Premium Times

Buhari Asks States To Clear Workers’ Outstanding Salaries With Paris Club Debt Refund

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state governors to use at least 25 per cent of the refunds made to them from excess deductions for external debt service of Nigeria’s Paris Club debt to clear outstanding workers’ entitlements.

A statement by his media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu revealed that the president approved N552.74bn to be paid in batches to all the states, which were entitled to the refund.

They are, however, expected to get 25 per cent of their approved sums in the first instance before this week ends. About 33 states are affected.

Shehu said that the refunds arose from claims by the states that they had been overcharged in deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.

He said, in a directive through the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the president said the issue of workers’ benefits, particularly salaries and pensions, must not be allowed to continue and should be handled with urgency.

The statement read: “When he assumed office last year, the president declared an emergency on unpaid salaries, following the discovery that 27 out of the 36 states had fallen behind in payments to their workers, in some cases for up to a year.

“Following this, a bailout loan was issued to the states twice, with a first batch of about N300 billion given to them in 2015 in the form of soft loans.

“The administration also got the Debt Management Office to restructure their commercial loans of over N660 billion and extended the life span of the loans.

“Because this did not succeed in pulling many of the states out of distress, the federal government this year gave out a further N90 billion to 22 states as yet another bailout under very stringent conditions.

“President Buhari is of the opinion that the payment of salaries and pensions must be given priority to save both serving and retired workers and their families from distress.”

A recent report by BudgIT showed that of the 36 states in the country, only Lagos, Rivers and Enugu, were capable of meeting their obligation to their workers.

Credit: thisdaylive

Taraba workers protest unpaid salaries

Workers in Taraba State have scheduled Thursday to protest the inability of the state and local governments to pay salaries, gratuity and pension.

The workers, under the aegis of Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, JPSNC, are also aggrieved by the non-implementation of annual increments and promotions by the state and local governments.

In a bulletin titled ‘Notice of Protest’ issued at the end of its meeting on Tuesday, the council directed workers in the state to converge at the state secretariat complex by 7.00 a.m. Thursday for the protest.

According to the bulletin signed by its officials, Tukur Taji, Yildet Bigwan and Alama Pius, the council is also demanding the immediate removal of the state government’s consultants on salary, Starter Point Consultants, alleging gross incompetence of the firm in handling salary issues of the state.

The council said removal of the consultants had become imperative because of the intractable problems and sufferings its one year operation has brought upon workers in the state.

Meanwhile, senior special assistant to the state governor on media and publicity, Sylvanus Giwa, has appealed to the workers to shelve confrontation and engage the state government in dialogue to resolve the issues at stake. He said the government’s door was wide open for dialogue.

Mr. Giwa said the problems on ground were not peculiar to Taraba State, adding that the governor deserves a pat on the back for paying salaries as at when due unlike many other states in the country.

Airfares Rise By 100 Per Cent As Workers Shut Arik

The plight of air passengers in the country worsened yesterday as Arik Air, the largest airline in West Africa, was shut down by protesting workers.

The workers, led by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), among others, embarked on the industrial action in protest against alleged seven-month unpaid salaries and other anti-labour issues.

The crisis in the country’s aviation sector will mount pressure on the already troubled road transport system and increase costs with serious implication on prices of goods and services during the yuletide.

Disrupted services in the air transport business will also cut into the revenue of government and regulatory agencies, which depend on operational charges to sustain oversight functions.

A retired pilot, John Ojikutu said irrespective of the cost on operators and regulators, airlines were overdue for economic auditing, to put them in check and save the country’s airspace.

The passengers that have been battling with the effects of the aviation fuel scarcity in the last one week, had their woes compounded as available aircraft were further reduced by 50 per cent due to the closure of Arik.

While other airlines like Air Peace, First Nation, Med-View, Dana Air, Overland and Azman could not take the spillover from Arik due to low capacity, about 100 per cent hike in ticket fares was noticed by Tuesday afternoon.

At the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) and Murtala Muhammed Airport II terminal, both in Lagos, for instance, an economic class ticket to Abuja that on Monday sold for between N27,500 and N32,000 was yesterday offered for N54,000. The business class equivalent of the ticket was given at N75, 800 to N80,000.

At most of the counters, however, the same flights were declared “fully booked,” with a backlog of passengers waiting due to delays which airlines blamed on “operational reasons.”

The Guardian learnt that the situation was not any different at the major airport terminals in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano as passengers waited endlessly for flights to arrive from Lagos.

It would be recalled that Arik Air and labour unions had been at loggerheads over alleged non-observance of industrial rules in the organisation, with threats to ground the airline to force compliance.

As early as 6:00 a.m. yesterday, Arik Air workers and others in solidarity, embarked on strike, shutting operations nationwide to demand the payment of outstanding salaries and observance of labour laws bordering on the welfare of workers.

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Oyo Sacks 662 Workers For Certificate Forgery

The Oyo State Government has sacked 662 workers for certificate forgery and expunged 2,021 fictitious names from its payroll.

Mr Soji Eniade, the Head of Service (HoS), told newsmen in Ibadan on Wednesday that the dismissed workers were identified after a thorough verification exercise.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 662 affected workers include 305 from the local government service, 152 from MDAs and 149 from the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM).Twenty-eight others are from parastatals, 26 from higher institutions of learning and two from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

Eniade said that the State Executive Council had, at its last meeting, discussed the need to restructure the civil and public service of the state in terms of quality and quantity.

“In terms of quantity, we want to have the right size or figure of civil and public servants in the state institutions, and our intention is to have institutions without ghost workers,” he said.

To achieve the objective, he said that the state government re-engaged the services of a consultant who had earlier and excellently performed the same exercise in 2008.

He stated that the exercise was a normal organisational check aimed at improving the quality of service in the state.

“We cannot continue to allow the influx of people with fictitious certificates into the service of the state,” he said.

The HoS, however, said they exempted the Primary School Certificate in the verification exercise.

“We only reckoned with West African Senior School Certificate (WASSCE), Ordinary National Diploma (OND), Higher National Diploma (HND), Degree certificates and other higher certificates,” he said.

Eniade said that with the utilisation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), 2,021 fictitious names were identified on the state’s payroll.

“Out of the 2,021 identified through the BVN, 1,432 are pensioners from the state, 84 pensioners from the local government, while 505 are from other sectors of the service,” he said.

The HoS said that the 2,021 fictitious names had been expunged from the payroll of the state.

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Yuletide: Governor To Pay Ebonyi Workers13th Month Salary Bonus

The Ebonyi state governor, Chief David Umahi at the weekend promised to pay extra one month salary bonus otherwise called 13th month to workers under the state employ in the spirit of Christmas celebration.

The state governor, Chief Umahi, who made the promise at a one-day official visit to the state owned University permanent site, Ezzamgbo noted that the State House of Assembly had already given approval to that effect. It would be recalled that Gov Umahi had recently announced five percent salary increment to all the workers on October this year.

He explained that junior workers would receive 100 percent bonus whereas senior ones would be payed 50 percent of whatever they receive monthly, boasting that his administration was neither owing workers salaries nor pensions.

He further disclosed his administration’s plan to begin immediate payment of gratuity arrears owed by both local and state governments since 1993 amounting to eight billion naira (N8bn).

The governor who expressed dismay that civil servants found it difficult to pay their retired colleagues their pensions but would

want to be paid when they retired, said the payment would begin payment of gratuities this December with the families of retirees who had already died.

He said,”We are not owing anybody pension in Ebonyi state. Gratuity is owed since 1993 and gratuity for both local and state governments

is over N8bn but the funny thing is that when you seat as a civil servants, you refuse to pay others their gratuities and when you now leave, you start insisting, we should pay gratuity.

“So, for those we have owed gratuity for a very long time;we are expecting a miracle. What we want to do for our brothers and sisters that were not paid gratuities and they are dead, we intend to look at them and see how we can pay off their gratuities through their families and we hope to do it this December.

“We also want to pay everyone that has retired 10 percent of whatever we owe him/her in the name of pension and other allowances”.



NPA denies plan to sack workers, announces recruitment.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, has denied alleged plan by management to sack workers.

She spoke on Thursday during a tour of Warri Port.

Usman said rather than the NPA retrenching staff, management was set to recruit more staff and had tasked the General Manager, Human Resources, to work on succession plan of the organisation.

Usman said the management has introduced performance-based appraisal whereby every personnel would be appraised based on his or her performance.

The managing director said that the management would take remedial measures so as not to allow ships to be grounded at the Escravos breakwaters due to high siltation.

Earlier, Port Manager of Warri Port, Mr Simeon Okeke, had highlighted the dangers posed by the breakwaters and the channels leading to the port due to high siltation.

The port manager also lamented that the right vessels were not coming into Warri Port because of the shallow nature of the berths.

Okeke suggested dredging and mooring of the channels of Warri Port as well as the removal of wrecks.

He said that more manpower should be recruited into the various departments.

Meanwhile, Senate has threatened to revoke the port concession agreement with any terminal operator that fails to keep its own side of the agreement.

FG Pays 81 Months Pension Arrears

The Federal Government has paid 81 months pension arrears which were incurred from 33 per cent pension increment but left 87 months outstanding.

The money was paid to Police, Customs, Immigration, Prisons  and civil service pensioners.

A detailed  breakdown of paid pension arrears and outstanding months were made available to journalists in Abuja, when the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, chaired by Senator Emmanuel Paulker, visited the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate for its oversight functions.

According to the documents, three months of 33 per cent increment were paid to Police Pension Department, leaving outstanding of 39 months to Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Department which had all its 42 months arrears paid off.

The Parastatals Pension Department had its 12 months arrears paid to leave 30 months outstanding.

The Civil Service Pension Department was paid 24 months leaving 18 months outstanding.
Similarly, the 33 percent pension payment came as a fall out of the upward review of the minimum wage to N18,000 in 2010.

NUPENG, PENGASSAN threaten strike over sack of 3,000 members.

Two leading unions in the oil industry, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and National Gas (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have raised the alarm over the sacking of 3, 000 of its members and subsequently issued a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government to put a stop to it.

The National President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, who addressed the media at the end of the Central Working Committee (CWC), meeting of the union in Effurun, Delta state, said government must do something urgently to stop the mass retrenchment of its members to avoid grounding the industry.

Achese disclosed that most of the companies, like Chevron Nigeria Limited, ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, Sapiem, and Hercules oil and gas limited, among others, have terminated the appointment of over 3,000 of their workers apparently over the current economic recession in the country.

“More than 3,000 of our members are affected,” Achese said, adding that “Chevron alone is about 1,500, Mobil is about 1,000 and the entire workers of Hercules Oil & Gas are being asked to go home, Pan Ocean have since closed shop and are gone. Industry-wide everybody is being asked to go.

“We are now asking ourselves where we are heading to with the industry. We have lost so much of Nigerian personnel working in the oil and gas industry. What is happening in Nigeria cannot be compared to what is happening in other African countries. We want government to wake up and address some of these issues.”

Achese said if government failed to act and direct the oil companies to stop this ongoing retrenchment of their members, they would be compelled to act to protect their interest.

Amosun Is Trying To Use Thugs To Intimidate Us – Striking Workers

Yesterday Striking workers in Ogun State alleged that thugs suspected to be loyal to Governor Ibikunle Amosun beat up public servants and labour union leaders

One of those affected, who pleaded anonymity, said, “The thugs came in a Toyota Camry and some others came on motorcycles; they descended on union leaders and some of us who had gathered at the secretariat, beating us blue, black.

“The thugs covered the number plate of the car, in order to shield the identity of the owner from being traced. This is sad.”

Another worker said, “They attacked our members at Laderin Estate, Kuto Roundabout and Oke Ilewo.”

The state NLC chairman, Akeem Ambali, who confirmed the attack on workers and labour leaders, said

“This is the first time in the history of this state that workers will be attacked by the agents of the state. We have heard that some people have hired some thugs to attack us. But we thought it was all a rumour. But we were shocked this morning when some thugs came in a black Toyota Camry with number plate LND 555 BD to the place where the labour leaders were standing at Kuto roundabout.

“They attacked our members at Kuto, Oke Ilewo and Laderin Housing Estate.

“They beat up two labour leaders, Comrade Benco and Comrade Olayemi, among others.

“The NLC office has been sealed off by 30 armed men, but I have gathered that two cultists have been trailing me.

“My life is not safe and I have gone underground. My life is not safe with this government.”

cc:punch newspapers

Atrocities committed against Nigerian workers unimaginable – NLC

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world today to observe a day of mass action against casual and indecent work, and mass action for decent work, Kaduna State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Adamu Ango has said described unimaginable atrocities committed against nigeria workers, stressing that Nigerians will weep if Labour should open up on all constitutional atrocities committed against workers by most State governors in the country.

Ango stated this on Thursday as special guest of honour ahead of today’s global work day for decent work, organised by members of National Union of Textile & Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Ango said most governors have ganged against labour to deny Nigerians employments.

He said the governors do this by engaging consultants to carry out jobs at expensive charges, instead of engaging the services of civil servants whom are being paid a minimum wage of N18,000.00 per month.

He lamented the low value of the minimum wage compared to a price of a bag of rice of over N20,000.00 in the market, adding that workers are being subjected to greater temptation of corruption with such poor take home pay packet.

He said, “These consultants do less far work with huge payment than the actual workers employed by the government, but the same government does not want to employ workers.

“But Nigerians will weep for NLC if we open up on all that government is doing to put the masses into hardship and poverty.

“In some cases, workers dare not ask for their salaries for fear of being sacked, but as an employee, it is your rights to ask for your wages.

“We rise up and work as one family because government is trying to divide us along ethnicity and religious lines. However, this day is for sober reflection because the poor workers of Nigeria are suffering the ongoing recession than our elected leaders who are globetrotting with their families at the expenses of tax payers money”.

Earlier, General Secretary, NUTGTWN, Comrade Issa Aremu, urged trade unions to rise up to defend their members’ rights, and stop treating their members “casually” and look the other way to collude with unscrupulous employers to violate workers’ rights.

“We must kill casualization and precarious work otherwise precarious work will kill our members! Contract and casual employments are no jobs, “but crimes against humanity,” Aremu said.

He stressed that all unionists must be united to stop ongoing divisive leadership tussles, saying if they operate separately precarious work will defeat them collectively.

He further explained, “Precarious or casual work is the work done by workers under terrible conditions of low pay, delayed payment and general insecurity.

“Precarious work is becoming norm in most workplaces in Nigeria with most employers taking advantage of mass unemployment to violate workers’ rights. More and more precarious workers are unable to realize their fundamental rights at work and enjoy essential social rights.

“As we have seen in recent times with serial tragedies involving applicants and extortion of applicants in immigration, police and customs services, recruitment of workforce is also getting precarious in Nigeria.

“Most affected are women and young workers in general. In many commercial banks for instance precarious work takes the form of agency work in which a labour contractor supplies workers to the banks but the workers still remain the employees of the contractor.

“These workers are known as contract workers or temporary workers. Most banks today are mere modern day slave trade terminals reminiscent of the despicable trans-Atlantic slave trade of 15th century in which young girls are employed under corporate prostitution scheme and paid slave wages. Only lucky workers ever get elevated to the permanent status in most banks.

“Auxiliary” workers are nothing but casual workers. Even churches and mosques which should know what Almighty God ordained with respect to dignity of labour offer their workers devilish dirty jobs and pay them peanuts. Many pensioners earn less than N10,000 and statutory minimum wage of N18,000 in the face of massive currency devaluation and inflation.

“Major industries with well known brands run by respectable men and women with advertised Corporate Social Responsibility (CSRs) practice outsource major operations. We therefore call on all our members and allies in civil society to join us in a mass solidarity action for decent work”.

Workers Protest AMCON’s Closure Of Aero Contractors In Other To Save Their Jobs

Hundreds of employees of Aero Contractors Airline on Wednesday staged peaceful protest over the closure of the airline by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protest was organised by the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE).

The workers, who began the protest at about 8.45 a.m., marched round the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, carrying various placards expressing their grievances.

The placards had inscriptions such as, “Don’t Allow Aero to Die“, “Save Aero from AMCON“ and “Aero must not go the way of Nigeria Airways“, among others.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Frances Akinjole, the Secretary, ATSSSAN, condemned the “illegal closure’’ of Aero Contractors by AMCON, adding that they would resist the plan to liquidate the company.

Mrs- Akinjole accused AMCON of running the airline aground after it took over majority shares in 2011 by approving bogus salaries and allowances for its representatives.

“Before AMCON took over, the airline had 11 operational aeroplane. They claim to have injected N12 billion in the company, but today, the airline has only three aircraft.

“This is calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to please come to the aid of Aero at this crucial time in her life.

“Aero should not be allowed to die from the strangle of AMCON,’’ she said.

She said that the threat to liquidate the airline would render its over 800 staff unemployed which would have negative effects on the already sick Nigerian economy.


Indian Man Assaults Female Domestic Staff In Lagos

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested an Indian, Jay Keswani, for allegedly assaulting his wife’s domestic help, Faith Nwaneri, on the Banana Island, Ikoyi area of the state.

Punch Metro learnt that Keswani was apprehended on Tuesday by the Adeniji Adele division after about six weeks he allegedly evaded arrest.

It was gathered that Faith, who worked for the Indian businessman, was hit on the face on Friday, August 12, while in the Keswanis’ apartment on the Banana Island.

She was said to have been assaulted for coming late to work on that day.

It was learnt that Faith sustained a facial injury after which she reported the matter at the Ikoyi Police Division.

Policemen from the division had reportedly gone to the Island to arrest the Indian, but were allegedly prevented from entering the area.

The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the Indian’s arrest, adding that he would be charged to court at the end of investigation.

She said, “The police arrested him on Tuesday. He was nabbed by the Adeniji Adele division. He was tracked to his house. When the suspect discovered that the police were on the lookout for him, he initially fled.

“But when he thought the tension was down, he returned to his house and was arrested. The family support unit of the division is in charge of the case. The Indian has not confessed to the crime, but all the evidences before the police indicate that he assaulted the lady. He will be charged to court.”

Faith’s elder brother, Chukwuka, had narrated that her sister was late to work on that Friday, because the security men delayed to give her a pass.

He said, “Keswani’s wife queried Faith for coming late, and she explained that she was delayed by the security men at the gate for lack of a pass. The Indian’s wife became angry and reported Faith to her husband.

“There was an altercation and my sister was hit on the face; she began to bleed. She fell and became unconscious, but they thought she was pretending.

“When she regained consciousness, she headed for a public hospital at Falomo, and also reported at the Ikoyi Police Station. The police at Ikoyi invited the Indian, but he did not show up.”

Punch gathered that the matter was also reported to the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, Alausa.

The DSVRT Coordinator, Lola Vivour-Adeniyi, said, “The case was brought to our attention on September 14.

“It came to our knowledge that the case was first reported at the Ikoyi division, but the police at that level were unable to invite him.

“The case was transferred to another police section on September 2, but the Indian did not appear to write his statement until September 7.

“When the matter got to us, the DSVRT referred the case to the Adeniji Adele division. The Divisional Police Officer referred the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, and the Commissioner of Police directed that the matter be charged to court.”

A source at the Adeniji Adele division said the Indian, in his statement to the police, insisted that he was not guilty of the offence.

Unity Bank sacks 215 workers in re-positioning strategy

Unity Bank Plc has sacked 215 members of staff. The bank has over 2,000 workforce.

The exercise, it was leant, was to enable the lender realign its operation and pursue a long term growth strategy.

Some of the downsized staff members were said to have opted to resign while management approved severance package for them in line with the bank’s policy.

The lender last May, forged a strategic alliance with Black Trituium, equity and investment fund manager.

Investigation revealed that the affected members of staff were those that achieved less than 40 per cent of their performance target, which affected the lender’s overall profitability in recent years.

The downsizing, which cut across all cadres including junior, middle and top management positions, happened at a time majority of banks are battling with poor profitability over harsh economic conditions and heightened business risks from the plunge in crude oil prices.

The bank is also said to have attracted specialist skills to its workforce since the relocation of its head office from Abuja to Lagos, which was in line with its plan to grow market share in viable clusters of the retail market.

A source close to the bank said the new focus of the business has led to significant enhancement of human capital in its various business units.

This was with a view to injecting fresh ideas, initiatives and energies to strengthen its various departments with capabilities to pursue the attainment of strategic business focus in the Agricultural financing, retail/Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and development of rural economy.

Benue Workers Threaten Strike Over Non-Payment of Salary

The organized labour in Benue state has issued a one week ultimatum to the state government to immediately pay workers the April, 2016 salary or risk industrial action.

In a communique issued at the end their joint meeting in Makurdi signed by the state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Godwin Anya, his Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ordue Tartenger, and the chairman Joint Negotiation Council, Philip Nongo, labour expressed dismay that the April salary was yet to be paid workers two weeks after the state joint account was read.

They wondered why some top government functionaries are out to frustrate Governor Samuel Ortom’s harmonious relationship with labour even when the governor issued a standing directive on an issue.

Aero Contractors Besieged Over Indefinite Leave of Workers

Aviation unions on Thursday besieged the head office of Aero Contractors Airline at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

The action is coming against the background of the suspension of flight operations which the airline announced would commence on Thursday.

Mr Benjamin Okewu, the President, Air Traffic Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN), told newsmen on Thursday that the unions embarked on the measure following the indefinite leave given to the over 1,400 workers.

The other union whose members also stormed the headquarters of Aero Contractors is the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE).

The management of Aero Contractors had in a statement issued on Wednesday in Lagos, announced that the airline would commence indefinite suspension of scheduled flight operations from Sept. 1.

According to the statement, the suspension is part of the strategic business realignment to reposition the airline and return it to the path of profitability.

The management stated that the decision was due to the current economic situation in Nigeria, which had forced some other airlines to suspend operations or outrightly pull out of Nigeria.

Cocoa Institute Reinstates 91 Sacked Workers After Buhari’s Intervention

Ninety one workers sacked in 2013 by the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, resumed work on Thursday.

Welcoming the workers, Acting Executive Director of the institute, Abiodun Okelana, said their reinstatement was ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari after a thorough investigation by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

She assured them that the institute would enrol them into the IPPIS for the payment of their salaries.

Ms. Okelana also said that the institute would ensure that the salaries of union members which were withdrawn by the past administration, were paid back.

“We will still look into the issues of frivolous queries given to staff, by God’s grace every issue will be resolved and CRIN will bounce back,” she said.

The director stressed that the institute has a critical role to play in boosting cocoa and cashew production in the country.

She therefore urged the staff to jettison their personal interest and focus on the corporate interest of the institute and country in general.

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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.

Hotel Workers Kill Boss, Abscond With CCTV, Car

The Niger State Police Command has started investigations into the killing of the owner of Deploo Hotel and Suites, Mr. Lucky Okonkwo, who was murdered in his hotel in Suleja, Niger State.

Punch Metro learnt that 59-year-old Lucky was stabbed to death on Friday by a three-man gang, suspected to be workers at the hotel, shortly after he returned from a trip to Kaduna. He was said to be at the hotel for the purpose of supervision.

It was learnt that after killing the victim, the suspects took away the Closed Circuit Television decoder of the hotel, the victim’s phones and fled in his Peugeot 406 saloon car.
They also took away a file containing certain information about the hotel.

The security men at the hotel, who were the prime suspects, were reported to have fled immediately the incident happened and had since been unreachable on their telephone lines.

They were identified as Frank Anavukko, Victor Anerah and Emmanuel Adeh.

Punch correspondent was told that the incident was discovered on Saturday morning by a housekeeper who saw a pool of blood streaming out from the victim’s office. The matter was reported at the Madalla Police Division and some of the hotel workers were arrested.

Lucky, an indigene of Delta State, was said to be the immediate past Vice-President of the Nigerian Association of Technology Engineering, North-West zone.

The victim’s first son, Paul, told Punch Metro that his father was killed around 7pm. He explained that workers at the hotel claimed not to have known when his father was murdered.

He said, “He just returned from a trip and around 7pm of that day, he went to his office. When his workers didn’t see him and they discovered he was not reachable on his telephone lines, they called my mum the following day.

“She rushed down to the hotel and met him in a pool of blood. The workers claimed they didn’t know when it happened. They said they only saw three people going into his office and the same set of people driving out in his car. They said they also saw those people with the CCTV decoder and when they queried them, they said, ‘Oga asked us to go and repair it’.

“Aside from the CCTV and the car, those men also left with his money and other valuables. We don’t really know the motivation for the murder.”

Paul said the family reported the case to the police at the Madalla division, adding that some of the workers on duty at the time had been arrested. He urged the police to speed up investigations and bring the perpetrators of the crime to book.

A source told Punch Metro that the father of five struggled with his assailants before he was overpowered and killed.

He said, “The man was a retired PHCN worker. He was killed on Friday night. On Saturday morning, a man cleaning the hotel saw a pool of blood coming out of his office and raised the alarm. At the scene, there was a knife with which he was killed. There were also signs of struggle as the office table was broken. He had a deep knife cut in his palm, probably while he was holding the knife from piercing into him. They drove away his grey colour Peugeot 406 saloon car, with number plate KUJ-424 BB. They also made away with a file containing some information about the hotel.”

It was gathered that the case had already been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Minna. A source said the fleeing hotel guards were the prime suspects.

He said, “One of them is already in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. How can something happen on Friday and in less than 24 hours, you have already disappeared to Port Harcourt if not that you are culpable?”

The Police Public Relations Officer, Niger State Police Command, Elkana Bala, said the police were closing in on the suspects, adding that information available to the police showed Lucky was killed by his workers.

He said, “He was suspected to have been murdered by his workers; he was not killed by outsiders. After the incident, those male workers ran away with his Peugeot 406. We are trailing them. The SCIID, Homicide section, has commenced full investigations into the matter.”

Imo Workers Defy Govt’s 3-day Workweek Policy

Workers in Imo State yesterday reported for work in disobedience to a directive by the government that they take off Thursday and Friday every week from their respective offices after working Monday to Wednesday.
Imo State government recently announced the new policy introducing a three-day workweek effective Monday through Wednesday, a policy which officially commenced Monday, August 1st.

Government said it meant the two work-free days, Thursday and Friday, to enable the workers engage in farming.
But yesterday which should have been the workers’ first free day, workers at various ministries and parsstatals were in their usual offices working.
In a response to the development, Governor Rochas Okorocha has appealed to the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state to show understanding over the new policy.
The NLC leaders were reported to have ordered the workers to ignore the directive.
The governor in a statement issued in Owerri by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, urged them to appreciate that the policy was meant to allow workers to use Thursdays and Fridays to farm, except workers on essential duties like teachers, nurses, doctors, political appointees and IGR personnel.
He said the workers were not asked to go home to stay idle but to dutifully engage in farming, which would not only help their individual economies but would also boost the economy of the state.
The governor declared that the development was in the best interest of everyone and would not affect the salaries of the workers.

Credit: DailyTrust

It’s Criminal To Owe LG Workers 18 Months Salaries- Ize-Iyamu

The PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday described as criminal the failure of APC governments to pay council workers for 18 months while the state government is allegedly doling out N120 million to female supporters of Governor Oshiomhole.

Assuring the citizens that their weeping would soon be over, Ize-Iyamu was quoted in a press statement issued by his campaign, in reaction to a peaceful protest by local government workers over non payment of their salaries, yesterday.

“It is only a wicked, insensitive and irresponsible governor that will deny the workers their salaries, especially when Oshiomhole just donated N120 million to some selected market women at the Dr. Osaigbovo Ogbemudia Staduim, Benin-City, thanking them for supporting his administration.

‘’How did he spend the $225 million loan he took from the World Bank, which he said would improve the investment climate and increase the internally generated revenue of the state?

‘’How can the governor justify the N18m he pays to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Channels Television at every rally for live coverage – when workers are being owned salaries?

‘’Is it right and just for Oshiomhole to be giving each local government council N18m anytime he goes for campaign, spends millions of naira hiring touts and hoodlums and yet, the welfare of government workers means nothing to him?”

Credit: Vanguard

Thursdays, Fridays Are Now ‘Farming Days’, Imo State Government Declares.

The Imo state government has reduced the working days of some civil servants in the state. Workers are now to work for three days in a week, while they can spend the remaining two days on their farms.


This was as the government introduced a policy tagged: “Back to Land for Agriculture”, which is meant to enable the state workers engage and invest in agriculture for self-sustenance.


Governor of the State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, made the policy known when traditional rulers from the state, operating under the aegis of Royal fathers in Agriculture, paid him a courtesy call at the Government House Owerri on Monday.


He further explained that the State Executive Council has given approval to the new policy.


A statement by the state governor’s Chief Press secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, however assured that the new policy will not affect the salaries of workers.


The statement reads, “Against the backdrop of the “Back to Land for Agriculture” Programme, the governor directed that public servants in the state would now work from Mondays to Wednesdays, and use Thursdays and Fridays for agriculture (farming) while Saturdays can be used for ceremonies. And the directive takes effect from Monday August 1, 2016.


“However, the governor exempted public servants on essential duties like the teachers, nurses, doctors and people involved in Internally Generated Revenue drive. Political appointees are also exempted from the three-days working periods.


“We shall try this programme for the period of one year, starting from 1st of August 2016 and hopefully this will help. Let me make this emphasis before it is misconstrued or misrepresented, that this does not in any way affect the salaries of the workers.


“Workers will get their full salaries as been the practice. So the policy does not mean that there will be a cut in salary rather let us now find a way for our workers to supplement their salaries”.


He continued, “For this reason the issue of annual leave and casual leave is hereby cancelled. Resumption time for work has changed from 8am to 7.30am in the morning and ends by 4pm. Any worker that is not found on his or her seat between7.30am and 4pm on the days concerned will be summarily dismissed.


“Everybody must go back to agriculture. Every political appointee must own a farm. The youths would also be encouraged to take to agriculture. Schools including Universities, Polytechnics and Secondary schools in the state must own farms. The Community Government Council (CGC) must be strengthened for the sake of this agricultural programme.


“Two billion naira (N2b) has been set aside at the micro-finance bank for the purpose of this Back To Land For Agriculture policy so that those willing can access it. And time is gone again when politicians and some Imolites will come to government in the pretence of farming and collect loans and use it to buy cars and marry new wives.


“Again, the June and July Salaries would be paid this week. We are making sure that our workers are comfortable and our pensioners are happy because this is one area the whole nation is having a serious challenge.


“Our problem is not being unable to pay salaries but paying over-bloated salaries. We are also making effort to pay our pensioners once the harmonization is over.


“I also want to announce that government has appealed to families and those who organize burials on Mondays to Wednesdays to please change and have their burials on Saturdays so that we can concentrate on the government’s work and on the agricultural programme.


“Everything that has to do with agriculture no matter what shape it comes, government will support it. So many countries are going through economic crisis because of the fall in oil.


“Our nation is also going through very difficult moment. We have taken responsibility as leaders and we are not blaming anyone. Wise nations and leaders save for the rainy days.


“There were periods the oil price was in our favour. But those in charge then blew the money. They made no savings. Today the oil price globally has crashed and here we are. And we must fall back to agriculture as the panacea.”

Greedy Politicians Causing Workers’ Hardship– NLC

The Nigerian Labour congress (NLC) on Monday said greed by political office holders has continued to create hardship for workers in the country.

The president of the congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, stated this at the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC-Africa) Regional Conference on “Advancing Decent Work in Global Supply Chain in Africa,” which began  in Abuja, Monday.

The conference was organised by the NLC in collaboration with ITUC-Africa.

He said there was  an urgent need to end corporate greed at all levels of the nation’s governance system.

Wabba also said the ills and inequalities of multinational enterprises have left scars on the people.

“Comrades and friends, on the issue of fighting to halt and ultimately end corporate greed, we are all witnesses to the ills and iniquities of multinational enterprises.

“From 2007 to 2008 when corporate greed and market rascality plunged the world into a financial and later, harrowing economic crisis, working men and women, pensioners and communities suffered immense losses.

“Till date, the miseries and hardship caused by their reckless and greedy actions have left scars on people, households, communities and economies,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the NLC president as saying at the forum.

Wabba blamed politicians for “offensive concessions to businesses and providing them tax havens.”

?“Shockingly, rather than side with their people, constituents and constituencies, politicians and governments have continued to make obscene and offensive concessions to businesses,” he added.

Credit: Nation

Workers Lock Out Minister of Finance, Protest N1.2bn Unpaid Allowances

Staff of the Ministry of Finance, yesterday, prevented  the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, from entering her office following  a protest to  demand the payment of N1.2 billion unpaid  allowance.

As  early as 7am,  the staff had barricaded the gate and chanting  “Adeosun must go. Adeosun must go”. Their placards read: “Staff welfare means nothing to Kemi Adeosun”;  “Adeosun Kemi must stop treating us like foreigners in our country”;  “Mr. President remove Adeosun before she destroys the economy.”

The workers who spoke on condition of anonymity,  said that since the Minister assumed office she has not met with either the workers or the union executives. They alleged that the Minister told them that she was appointed by the President for a specific assignment and not for the staff.

The workers who defied the rains and the presence of armed policemen, vowed to continue the protest until the President removes the Minister.

However, the Director,  Information, in the Ministry of Finance, Salisu Na’nna Dambatta, said the payment known as  a Special Overtime (SOT), was stopped by the last administration in 2014 on the grounds that it was not listed in any extant government Circular, Financial Regulations or the Public Service Rules and the sum of N1.2 billion computed by the staff union for payment could not have been budgeted for in 2016 in the first place, not only because of the paucity of funds but also due to the fact that the SOT allowance was not part of the remuneration in the Federal Public Service. 

The Director also noted that the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning do not individually or collectively owe any of their personnel their salaries.

“In view of the foregone, the management of the Federal Ministry of Finance wishes to categorically state that the protests have no justifiable grounds,” he said.

Credit: Sun

NLC Set To Shut Six Banks For Sacking Workers

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday threatened to shut the six banks that sacked their workers.

  The umbrella union gave the affected banks two weeks’ ultimatum to recall the sacked workers and allow unionisation.

The action has pitched the organised labour against employers of labour, with the umbrella body of the employers, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly, saying the government had no right to tell banks not to sack workers.

Organised labour also threatened to picket the banks, if they did not halt the mass sack of workers, accusing them of disallowing unionisation and reneging on the principles of collective bargaining.

 NLC, in a letter to the management of the banks, which was signed by its Deputy General Secretary, Chris Uyot, said it would be forced to close the banks and their branches, if they failed to recall the affected workers.

The affected banks are: Fidelity Bank, Diamond Bank, First City Monument Bank, First Bank, Ecobank and Skye Bank.

The letter reads: “I have been directed to inform you that it has been brought to our notice by our affiliate union – the National Union of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) – that your bank is one of those that arbitrarily sacked workers recentoy, contrary to laid down procedures and the country’s extant labour laws.

“Also of concern has been that these blatant retrenchments were carried out without recourse to several correspondences, including letters and circulars sent to you by the union to retrace your steps in line with best practices in labour relations and laws of the land…”

Credit: Nation

Oyo State Workers Embark On Indefinite Strike

Oyo state civil servants will today June 7th embark on an indefinite strike. The leadership of the state NLC chapter declared the strike over the planned privatization of public schools in the state. ?Among the demands of the workers include immediate withdrawal of all trump-up charges leveled against the incarcerated labour leaders, Government must rescind its decision to sell-off any public schools in the state,

Proper and adequate funding of the education sector including payment of living wages and other incentive for educational workers and immediate Payment of 6 months outstanding salaries and all
pension arrears? withdrawal of all trump-up charges leveled against the incarcerated labour leaders.”

43,000 Ghost Workers Uncovered In Nigerian Security Agencies

The Head of the Continuous Audit team of the Federal Government, Mohammed Dikwa, on Tuesday said N50 billion was saved so far through the audit of security agencies payroll.

Mr. Dikwa said this in Abuja at a meeting between the Continuous Audit team, Minister of Finance and Heads of Para-Military agencies.

President Mohammadu Buhari had set up the Continuous Audit team to look into the payroll of all Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The team had already embarked on the audit of the Military payroll and enrolling them on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

“Since we started the continuous audit programme, we have saved about N50 billion and over 43,000 ghost workers have been removed from the payroll of the federal government.

“And as we go on, we are very sure that we will continue to reduce the cost of federal government payroll.

“Please note the cost is not related to ghost workers alone but with allowances which we believe have to be trimmed down so that we can manage the cost of governance,’’ he said.

Mr. Dikwa said officers from the account departments of all the para-military agencies were currently undergoing training on IPPIS and the Government Management Information System (GIFMIS)

 He said the plan was to have all the agencies enrolled on the IPPIS and GIFMIS at the end of the month once the training was completed.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Bayelsa Workers Begin Strike Today Over Unpaid Salaries

Civil servants in Bayelsa State will on Thursday (today) proceed on an indefinite strike over months of salary arrears owed by the state government.

This is just as the 21-day ultimatum issued by workers’ unions to the Bayelsa State Government to pay all outstanding salaries and allowances elapsed on Wednesday (yesterday).

The state chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress had issued an ultimatum to the government on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

They had warned that at the end of the ultimatum, they would take an action against the government if it failed to comply with their demands.

State workers are currently owed four months’ salaries with pensioners being owed seven months’ arrears even as local government council workers are being owed 12 months’ unpaid salaries.

The NLC and the TUC, in a joint meeting on Wednesday at their council’s secretariat in Yenagoa, resolved that they could no longer guarantee the existing industrial harmony the state.

The unions said the decision to proceed on strike became imperative as government had refused to yield to their demands to relieve workers of the huge economic pains they were going through.

Bayelsa State NLC Chairman, Ndiomu John-Bipre, and the state TUC Chairman, Tari Dounana, said that the two labour groups in Bayelsa resolved to join the ongoing nationwide strike arising from the hike in the price of fuel and electricity.

A statement by the two groups said, “The council-in-session has also resolved that due to the inability of the state government to measure up to the demands of workers arising from the non-payment of salaries from January till date, workers are directed to proceed immediately on an indefinite strike, taking effect from Thursday, May 19, 2016.

“Workers are by this development advised to stay off their places of work and remain at home as long as the strike may last.”

Credit: Punch

16,532 Oyo Workers Face Probe Over Multiple Salaries


The Oyo State Government has said it will set up a panel to investigate 16,532 workers in the state for various offences which include drawing multiple salaries.

The Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, said on Wednesday that the affected workers included employees and pensioners of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Teaching Service Commission, National Youth Service Corps members, local governments and tertiary institutions.

Alli explained that workers, who should have retired but who were still working, and employees with bank accounts linked to invalid Bank Verification Number or without BVN, would also face the panel.

He said the payment of salaries of the concerned employees would be suspended immediately pending further investigation.

He said, “It is to be noted that the 16,532 employees, identified as having issues in their data, are not automatically thrown out of work nor are they confirmed guilty of any financial illegalities yet.

“That is why the panel is being set up to further evaluate the case of each person on a one-on-one basis.”

The SSG said the workers were exposed by the recent staff verification in the state, which was carried out by a consultant.

He noted that the purpose of the exercise was to eliminate fraud and errors in the payment of salaries, wages and pensions as well as to determine ‘ghost’ workers in the state.

Alli added, “It is to ascertain the actual number of employees in the regular employment of the state by various categories; determine who is a bonafide beneficiary of the salaries/wages/pensions by the government; eliminate fraud in the payroll system by ensuring that only identified, deserving and regular employees receive the salaries being paid by the government.

“The exercise was also conducted to fish out ghost workers, eliminate all forms of duplication and irregularities that may lead to the inflation of the payroll via the nominal roll and ascertain the level of compliance in respect of mode and format of payment of salaries.”

The SSG said after the forensic computerised data audit, the consultants from NIBSS found many instances of inconsistencies, variations and entry details that did not tally.

According to him, a former Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadedesin; a representative of the consultant, Mrs. Tolu Shadipe, representative of labour unions and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, would be members of the panel.

Credit : Punch

Kogi Workers To Resume Strike Over Non-Payment Of Salaries

Organised labour in Kogi said on Monday in Lokoja that it would resume strike to impress it on the state government on the need to pay outstanding five-month salary arrears to workers.


This is contained in a communiqué issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) at the end of an emergency meeting.


The communiqué was jointly signed by Mr Onuh Edoka, the state NLC Chairman; Mr Ojo Ranti Matthew, Chairman of TUC and Mr Aaron Akeji, the Chairman of JNC.

The communiqué stated that previous promises by the state government to pay the salary arrears had not been kept.

It also condemned the payment of salary in piecemeal; adding that salaries for the months of October and November, 2015 were paid three months after each of the month was due.

The communiqué also decried the exclusion of workers employed between January and December, 2015 from receiving the November, 2015 salaries.

It urged the state government to pay those affected because they worked for the month.

According to the communiqué, “the state government is claiming that the employment of the concerned workers was irregular, since there was an embargo on employment in the state.’’

In a reaction, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov.Yahaya Bello, said it would be inappropriate for the workers to blame the government for the failure of the past administrations.

Fanwo said Bello’s administration was able to offset two months’ salary arrears within his 57 days in office.

“Labour was on an indefinite strike before the inauguration of the present administration, but the governor intervened to settle the industrial dispute”, he said.

He said the governor would undertake a holistic appraisal of the situation after the ongoing screening exercise with a view to addressing the salary issue once and for all.

FOREX Crisis: Food, Beverage Sector To Sack 3m Workers

Organised Labour, yesterday, raised alarm that the food, beverage and tobacco sector of the nation’s economy was on the verge of shutting down and that over three million jobs were at risk due to the inability of companies to source foreign exchange to import raw material for operations.


Already, leading companies in the sector, such as Nigerian Flour Mills, Nigerian Breweries Limited, Guinness Plc, Nigerian Bottling Company, 7-UP Bottling Company Plc, Friesland Campina Wamco Plc, among others, have written to labour for discussions on retrenchment of workers.


In the last three months, no fewer than 1,500 workers had been sacked in the sector as employers seek ways of coping with foreign exchange crisis, among other challenges. Workers during an industrial action.


At a briefing in Lagos, leaders of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association, FOBTOB, called on government to intervene to save the industry and over three million jobs.


President of FOBTOB, Quadri Olaleye, claimed that employers in the sector had devised every opportunity to sack workers, adding that between the 2012 and the first half of 2015, over 3,000 workers were sacked in the guise of re-engineering, restructuring, right sizing, downsizing, redundancy and re-organisation.


He lamented that over the years, the same excuse of difficult business terrain, dwindling profit, irregular and insufficient power supply, and so on had been given.


He said: “The current situation has reached a pathetic level, because it seems all the employers in our sector are in competition with each other on who can lay off the most workers.


“Every company is now calling for a downsizing of the workforce, and this time under the guise of lack of foreign exchange due to the Federal Government’s recent policy on foreign exchange.


“We are aware that not all the raw materials used in our industry can be sourced locally. Where they can be found, they are mostly not available in commercial quantity. “That is why it is imperative that the government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, takes a second look at the policy on foreign exchange to avoid shutting down the companies in our industry.”


According to him, companies mostly hit by the crisis are intellectually lazy to engage in research development on alternative sources of raw materials.


Credit : Vanguard

No BVN, No Salaries, Kwara Govt. Tells Workers

Kwara Government says any worker that failed to submit his/her Bank Verification Number (BVN) within seven days will not receive salary.


Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed stated this during a meeting of the Committee on Personnel Database Development in Ilorin on Tuesday.


He said government has no intention of withholding any worker’s salary without justification.


The governor also said affected workers and pensioners will be credited with their salaries and pensions but will not be able to access the money until they obtain BVN.


Ahmed, who is also Chairman of the committee, explained that the unique bank numbers were necessary for preliminary verification of workers and pensioners on the state and local government councils’ payrolls.


He noted that at this stage of the verification, those without valid BVN could not yet be designated as ghost workers.

Ahmed said the intention of the database was to give government accurate picture of state and councils’ payrolls and ensure that those properly employed received salaries/pensions.


Alternate Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, said only 49, 579 out of the 82, 642 workers so screened, had valid BVN.


He added that 124 workers were so far discovered to have fake BVN.


He said that the first level verification also revealed 324 individuals who were linked to 659 multiple accounts.


Gold, who is also the Secretary to the State Government, urged workers and pensioners yet to submit their BVN to do so within seven days or risk having their payments withheld.


He called on workers who were properly recruited by the state and local governments to remain calm, assuring that ongoing verification will not affect their salaries and jobs.



Gov. Okorocha Recalls Suspended Workers, Unions Suspend Strike

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo has agreed with the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), to immediately recall all suspended workers and stop everything about concession in the State.

The National President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, read the statement to the protesting workers shortly after the conclusion of their negotiation with the Imo State Government.

The statement was signed by A. N. Eluwa -Solicitor General of Imo, for the government, Chairman NLC in Imo, Austin Chilakpu, Chairman, TUC, Ezeji Ezeji and eight others for the NLC.

Mr. Wabba directed the workers to suspend the protest and go back to work.

The agreement stated that government would source for funds to pay workers which would be verified by the joint committee of government and labour.

According to the agreement, government would fund its operations with not more than 30 per cent of the verified revenue for the month.

The committee would apply the balance of 70 per cent in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.

Economic and social activities had come to a halt in Owerri following a mass protest organised by the NLC.

The organised labour had shut down the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, all ministries and offices, including the LGAs and the state Secretariat as workers trooped out for the protest.

Imo State Recalls Suspended Workers To End Protests

The Imo State government has recalled workers it suspended in 19 parastatals in the state, ending the disagreement between the government and labour unions on the issue.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after a meeting between the State government officials and some leaders of the labour unions.

In an agreement signed after talks by the ‘Committee on Joint Government-Labour Negotiation in Imo State’, an immediate recall of all suspended workers of Imo State was recommended, “notwithstanding that the parastatals in the opinion of Government should have been more productive”.

One of the other clauses in the agreement is that the gross revenue of the Government from all sources would be verified every month by the joint committee  of Government and Labour.

The agreement read: “That the Government will retain and run all its  affairs with not more than 30% of the verified revenue for the month, while the committee will apply the balance of 70% in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.

“Negotiations will continue with a view to fully accessing the wage bill of every Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) and to determine the funding modalities of parastatals within the agreed percentage sharing framework.

“That a comprehensive agreement will be reached by both parties”.

Both parties were also of the opinion that at a quarterly interval, the position in Imo State on the critical areas would be reviewed and compliance ensured and that all revenue subheads for the month would be fully disclosed by the office of the Accountant General to select Committee of Labour.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Electricity Tariff Hike: Workers Begin Nationwide Protest

Workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have started a nationwide protest against the recent increase in electricity tariffs in the country. The NLC had called for the protest after repeatedly calling on the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission to suspend the recent increase in tariffs.


The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, who described the tariff hike as outrageous, said it was the fifth in a row since 2012 and unacceptable.


In a statement calling for the protest Wabba said, “It is a nationwide protest, meaning that the 36 states of the Federation including Abuja will be involved in this action. Our members have been sufficiently mobilised and are ready to go. If you are an electricity consumer and you are not happy with the bills electricity companies serve you every month, you are invited to join this protest rally.”


Civil society groups and activists also expressed support for the protest and mobilised their members for it.


In Abuja, protesters could be seen carrying placards expressing their disdain for the tariff increase with some bearing such inscriptions as “We won’t pay more for darkness”.


Some of the workers came out as early as 7am for the protest, which started at the Labour House in the Central Business District Abuja. The workers are expected to protest at NERC offices and in the case of Abuja, the protest will extend to the National Assembly.

The NERC had introduced the new power tariff regime in December, outlining the various rates of increase in energy charges for consumers across the country. 

It also announced the removal fixed electricity charges for all classes of electricity consumers and noted that power users would only pay for what they consume.

The new tariffs became effective February 1.

Credit: Punch

Falling Oil Price: Shell To Sack 10,000 Workers

Following the downward slide of oil price in the International market, international oil firm, Royal Dutch Shell says it is cutting down on 10,000 jobs. Chief Executive of the company, Ben van Beurden, said this in a webcast on its 2015 fourth quarter and full year results yesterday Feb. 4th

“We are making substantial changes in the company, as we refocus Shell, and respond to lower oil prices. As we have previously indicated, this will include a reduction of some 10,000 staff and direct contractor positions in 2015-16 across both companies.” he said.

We Have No Choice Than To Sack Workers ? FUTA VC

The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola has declared that the institution had no alternative but to sack teachers of the university’s staff primary school, since the directive came for the federal government.

The staff school teachers who were members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Senior Staff Association of the Nigerian Universities last week protested against the decision of the varsity to disengage their members, alleging that the VC was insensitive to their case and ccording to them, no other varsity had carried out the directive.

Daramola who addressed journalists on Monday at the Senate Building of the institution, stated that he could not help the situation by converting many of the affected teachers to lecturers in the university, saying “if we accommodate them they would be regarded as ghost workers by the federal government.”

The VC said, “We have no choice than to implement the directives of the federal government because the 2016 allocation does not include their salaries, some schools have also implemented it before us, for instance Usman Don Fodio, Sokoto and UNILAG have implemented it.

The FUTA boss, who insisted that there was no going back in the disengagement of the workers, stated that another set of teachers had been employed to take up the jobs in the school, following the refusal of the sacked teachers to re-apply.

“We have held several meetings with the SSANU and NASU in this school, appealing to them to tell the teachers to re-apply but they refused. Many eminent personalities in the state had talked to them, yet they refused to re-apply.

“If they had agreed to re-apply, we were ready to accommodate all of them but it is late now, because we have employed other people,” Daramola explained.

However, in his reaction, the Chairman of NASU, FUTA Chapter, Comrade Adebayo Aladerotohun insisted that no university in the country had implemented the directive of the federal government to sack workers except FUTA.

He said that the institution had recruited another set of teachers without following due process, alleging that the VC made the recruitment to favour his people as he allegedly employed only his relatives.

Workers’ Welfare, Our priority – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Tuesday that the ministry would continue to place emphasis on the welfare of its staff, to boost their morale and enhance their productivity.


Mohammed said this while handing over the keys of two newly-acquired buses to the Joint Staff Union of the ministry in Abuja.



The minister said that the presentation of the vehicles marked the beginning of the numerous welfare packages that would be unveiled for the workers in due course.



“I want to assure you that this is the beginning of our gesture to make the welfare of workers in the Ministry of Information and Culture a priority.


Because without their cooperation, the ministry cannot achieve what we want to achieve.’’


The minister said the ministry had commenced the process of phasing out old staff buses and replacing them with new ones for the convenience of staff.


“A couple of weeks ago, we decided in our meeting that the vehicles in the pool are getting very old and we said that we would be gradually replacing those vehicles as funds are available.


We believe that it is morally wrong of us to expect workers to come early to work when they are using staff buses that are 20 years old.


These vehicles will break down on the way to work and many of our people also live quite far away from the office, so we decided with the management, to look at the best way to relieve the hardship of workers,’’ he said.



The minister, however, cautioned the operators of the staff buses to handle them with care in order to ensure their durability as well as the safety of the staffers.


In his response, the Chairman, Joint Staff Union in the ministry, Mr Adam Agwola, commended the minister for the gesture and promised that workers would reciprocate the gesture by re-dedicating themselves to duty.



Chinese Mine Owner Commits Suicide After Deadly Collapse Of Mine

The owner of Chinese gypsum mine that collapsed Friday, killing one worker and leaving two dozen others trapped, committed suicide early Sunday, China’s state-run news service reported. The news service, Xinhua, identified the owner as Ma Congbo.

Ma was president of Yurong Commerce and Trade Ltd. Co. and owner of the mine in Shangdong Province, south of Bejing, the Associated Press reported.

Ma was working alongside hundreds of rescue workers when, at 2 a.m., he leaped into a well and
drowned, according to the AP and Xinhua.

The cause of the collapse, which occurred just before 8 p.m. Friday, remains under investigation, Xinhua reported. Four workers escaped and seven more were rescued; on Sunday, 17 workers remained trapped as emergency personnel tried to get them water, according to Xinhua.

The collapse came just days after a massive manmadelandslide in Shenzen killed one person and left 75 other people missing. After similar safety disasters, company officials are typically subject to severe punishment.

Why We Must Cut Minimum Wage Or Sack Workers- Nigerian Govs

Nigerian governors will eventually reduce the federal minimum wage of N18,000 or downsize because of the current economic crunch, the chairman of the body of governors has said.

The chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said on Thursday that irrespective of public condemnations of the plan, it would not be economically feasible to retain the same workforce and pay same amount of money.

According to him, funds allocated from the Federation Account could no longer sustain the expenses of the state as the internally generated revenue was still below par in some states.

Governors had two weeks ago declared that they could no longer cope with the N18, 000 minimum wage. The pronouncement caused a stir as Nigerians kicked against it.

The governors of Rivers and Edo rejected the plan.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Workers Threaten Showdown With Governors Over N18,000 Minimum Wage

Governors of the 36 states of the federation may face a major confrontation with Nigerian workers, following Thursday’s declaration that they would no longer be able to pay the N18,000 national minimum wage due to dwindling oil revenue.

The pronouncement has triggered stern objections by various workers’ groups in the country, with organized labour threatening to shut down the country should the governors insist on taking the decision.

The governors, who made the declaration at the end of the meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, in Abuja said the massive drop in global oil prices in recent times had drastically affected their states’ income.

Crude oil prices, which stood at about $62.16 per barrels at the beginning of May 2015, dropped to about $38.52 on Thursday.

The monthly Financial and Operations Report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for September 2015 showed that oil revenue payments to the Federation Accounts had consistently dwindled, from N102.99 billion in May; N101.96 in June; N77.4 billion in July; N76.18 billion in August to N73.25 billion in September.

Leaders of the various labour groups, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have however warned against the ugly consequences the governors’ decision.

The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, spoke in strong terms against the governors’ declaration, saying “Nigerian workers would vehemently and totally reject it.”

Mr. Wabba said the NLC would come out with a formal position at the end of its Central Working Committee, CWC, meeting on Friday.

Another labour leader, Joe Ajaero, dismissed the governors’ resolution as “empty threat that should be ignored.”

“The governors should not start a battle they would not sustain or finish, because Nigerian workers have the capacity to retrench them,” Mr. Ajaero said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

FG Says Workers To Get October Salaries Today

Federal Government workers’ salaries for the month of October, which remained unpaid at end of the month of October, will be paid by Tuesday, November 3, the Presidency has said.

According to a statement issued by the President’s spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, some computers crashed, as the salaries were about being paid last month, making it difficult for workers to get their salaries by the end of October.

Mr Shehu said the President “is seriously concerned about the ordeals of civil servants on account of delayed payment of salaries”.

The statement emphasized that the happiness and welfare of the people were the cardinal objectives of any democratically elected government.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Workers, Students, Others Protest In Ekiti, Ondo, Osun

Protesters deplored the plight of students, workers and other suffering people in Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states yesterday.

At the federal level, reactions, mostly critical, have trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence anniversary speech with Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) frowning at his silence on agitation for the reform of the Nigeria Police Force.

The group, in a statement by its National Co-ordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko, particularly criticised the President’s failure to use the occasion to unveil his government’s programme on comprehensive police reform.

HURIWA said an occasion such as the 55th Independence anniversary should have provided the opportunity for the Nigerian government under the new dispensation to provide clear guidelines and evidence-based programme of police reform given that armed kidnapping has proven to be one of the greatest national security threats after terrorism.

Credit: ngrguardiannews

Cross River Commissioner Nominees To Write Aptitude Test

All nominees for appointment as commissioners in Cross River State are expected to write mandatory integrity and aptitude tests before they can be appointed into office. According to a statement signed by the special assistant on media to Governor Ben Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita and released yesterday September 21st, the nominees would have to undergo integrity and aptitude tests before their names would be forwarded to the state House of Assembly for confirmation.

“His Excellency, Professor Ben Ayade wants all nominees for appointments as commissioners to undergo integrity test. Additionally, the nominees would write an aptitude test,” the statement said.

It added that the governor believes that the prospective appointees must be subjected to ethical measurement to ascertain whether or not they can function with utmost integrity. A selection committee to oversee the process has been constituted which is to be headed by renowned Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Paul Erokoro.

Information Ministry Workers Protest Against Staff Negligence, Fund Misappropriation

Workers of the Ministry of Information have staged a protest against what they described as the ministry’s negligence of staff welfare and gross misappropriation of public funds.

The protesters who gathered at the Radio House in Abuja, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to probe activities of the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, who they accused of mismanagement of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds, non-payment of allowances, refusal to train staff, among others.

Read More: channelstv

Panel Uncovers 991 Sanitation Ghost Workers

A total number of 991 ghost sanitation workers have been uncovered by a committee set up by Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, to screen 2,620 sanitation workers in the state.

The committee also discovered that some former commissioners and serving directors were involved in fraudulent inflation of the number of sanitation workers to feed fat on their stipend.

Reports gathered that suspicion of public funds being siphoned by some officials in the state prompted government to commence verification exercise in order to ascertain the exact number of the sanitation staff.

The committee, headed by the state commissioner for Water Resources, Usman Riruwai, also discovered dead staff and children on the sanitation workers’ payroll.

A credible source in the committee said apart from 991 ghost workers, 402 existing street cleaners never reported to work for over year.

The source, who preferred anonymity, said the screening exercise would save the state government “at least N12 million”, noting that those who accused government of sacking workers would now see the rationale behind the decision.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Increment Of Workers Salary ‘ll Reduce Corruption – NLC

THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has demanded for a review of the present minimum wage paid to workers in accordance with the economic realities.

The Comrade Ayuba Wabba-led faction of NLC yesterday in Abuja after its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting also said that an increment of workers salary would help to reduce corruption in the polity.

He said that it was unacceptable for Nigerians including the labour force to live in abject poverty while few privileged people continue to steal the nation’s resources and starch it in foreign banks.

Comrade Wabba who assured that the labour movement would lead the protest to ensure that the federal government recovered the looted funds said that NLC would organise a symbolic national one day protest to ensure that such funds in the hands of individuals were recovered.

He explained that the NEC would demand from government and the tripartite partners for the review of the minimum wage.

He also noted that the pitiable state of the nation’s economy has become of great concern to the labour union as it has affected the working class and had led to many states not being able to pay salaries as at when due.

While appreciating the efforts of the Council of States for approving the bailout for states that had been unable to pay salaries to workers, he said that NLC was disturbed that despite the federal government gesture, the effect of the bailout was yet to be seen.

According to him, while in some states relative progress had been made, few states had remained chronic, adding that the Central Working Committee, CWC of the union was of the view that payment of salary should be a matter of national priority and that the NEC would not fold arms watching workers not to be paid as at when due.

For the states that had received the bailouts, Wabba called on the Federal Government to also put in place mechanism to monitor how the funds were utilised and also frowned at the development where some banks withheld the bailout fund as a result of the indebtedness of some the states to the banks.

NLC condemned the waiver granted to some establishments in the country which had denied the country money while workers were subjected to pay taxes, and said that nobody should be allowed to evade taxes in any form.

He urged the judiciary to hasten the trials of those indicted for looting the nation’s treasury and other allegation of treasury and also told the anti-corruption agency to always device a process to promptly responding to allegations of corruption.

Akwa Ibom Denies Owing Workers Salaries

The Chief Press Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Ekerette Udoh, has said that the state government does not owe civil servants salaries.

Udoh, who spoke with our correspondent in Uyo on Wednesday, said it was regrettable that the state was mistakenly lumped into the group of states that owe workers salaries in the national dailies.

He said, “Akwa Ibom State does not owe workers salaries at all. The state was mistakenly lumped into states that owe workers salaries in the national dailies.”

Earlier, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, had said that salaries and allowances in the state constitute first line charges.

He stated that by first-line charges, salaries and allowances of workers, irrespective of their levels or grades, were paid first before government attended to any other matters that required money.

“Akwa Ibom State Government does not owe workers salaries. Salary is the first-line charge in Akwa Ibom State,” he said

Read Morepunchng

Workers To Governors: Don’t Blow N713b Bailout Cash

Workers were yesterday in high spirits over President Muhammadu Buhari’s N713.7 billion bailout for states to pay outstanding salaries. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), hailed the president’s action. The NLC urged Buhari to ensure that the governors spend the money on salary arrears.

It warned against “a situation that the governors that could not manage their allocation properly will be rewarded by being given special recognition”.

The General Secretary of the Congress, Dr. Peter Ozon-Eson, said: “Our appeal is that Mr. President should please prevail on the governors to ensure that when they get these sharing they should not
again blow it on other things. The first priority must be defraying the arrears of salaries and pensions of pensioners who have not been paid for 11 to 12 months. ”

Ozon-Esson, who is also the NLC chief economist, said the congress was happy about the Federal Government’s intervention, recalling that the congress presented the debt profile to the Presidential Transition Committee.

In the three-pronged bailout plan is the N413.7billion special intervention fund, the N413.7b ($2.1b) Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) proceeds and a N300b Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention loan.

Federal workers who are being owed are also to benefit from the plan.

But labour officials warned the state governments against misapplying the cash.

Deputy President of the factional NLC Comrade Isah Aremu said: “President Buhari has been very vocal since he assumed office in making a case for workers to be paid as at when due.

“President Buhari once said that it is a disgrace that Nigerian states could not pay salaries. So, what he has done now is that he has commendably walked his talk. He has also shown that if there is a will, there will always be a way.

“Now, the defaulting governors must learn from the President’s approach – that you don’t have any excuse not to pay workers’ salaries. He has shown that no reason can justify why workers are not paid.

“The governors must also prioritise their needs henceforth in a way that workers are given priority and not rely on the President to give them bailout from the Federation Account”.

Aremu said labour was happy that Buhari already living up to his mandate, adding that what is important now is for it to be sustained.

The Nation

APC, PDP At War Over Source Of Bailout Funds

Top members of the APC and the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are reportedly divided over the sources of the N804.7 billion relief package being considered to bail out states who haven’t paid workers salaries.

The PDP said that a very large amount of the bailout funds came from savings left behind by the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, however, the Presidency disagreed, arguing that the money came from proceeds of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).

Upon assumption of office on May 29,  President Muhammadu Buhari said the departing PDP government left an empty treasury and pleaded with Nigerians for patience as they await urgent implementation of his change agenda.
The Presidency also denied some media reports that the presidential relief package was drawn from the Excess Crude Accounts, ECA, stressing that the ECA is intact. This came as state governments, the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and some eminent Nigerians praised President Muhammadu Buhari over the relief package, saying it will help boost the economy.

In a statement by Chief Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, he said that the bailout would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of Nigerian workers in various states of the federation, most of whom haven’t been paid for several months.
He said:

“This development is in clear contradiction to the earlier impression given by President Buhari to Nigerians and the international community that they should not expect much from his administration in its first 100 days because according him, on assumption of office, he met a virtually empty treasury.

“We want to believe that given the President’s release of such huge amount, he may have realized that he was earlier misdirected on the actual financial state of the nation at the time he took over. In this regard, we expect the President, as a respected statesman to do the needful to correct that erroneous impression.

“Furthermore, we expect President Buhari’s APC administration as direct beneficiary of this savings initiated by past PDP administrations to appreciate the strategic importance of always saving for rainy days and as such guarantee prudent and transparent management of the nation’s resources now under its care.”

Metuh said the party therefore charged the APC as a party in government to put its house in order, desist from injecting confusion and distracting the President from settling down to form a government and face the enormous challenges of governance, especially the implementation of his long list of campaign promises to Nigerians.
He said Nigerians are no longer interested in insults, tirades and propaganda but in actions and policies that would move the nation forward, a stance the APC has failed to recognize.

Source: Vanguard 

President Buhari Approves N400 Billion For Workers’ Salaries

President Buhari has approved a comprehensive relief package valued at over N400bn to put an end to the lingering crisis of unpaid workers’ salaries in the country. Vanguard gathered that a three-pronged relief package that will end the workers plight include:

The sharing of about $2.1b (N413.7bn) in fresh allocation between the states and the federal government. The money is sourced from recent LNG proceeds to the federation account, and its release okayed by the president;

A Central Bank-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging from between N250bn to N300bn. This would be a soft loan available to states to access for the purposes of paying backlog of salaries;

And a debt relief program proposed by the Debt Management Office, DMO, which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N660bn, and extend the life span of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.


Chinese Company To Fine Workers Who Get Pregnant Without Permission

A Chinese company plans to demand its employees seek approval to get pregnant and fine those who conceive a child without permission, reports said, provoking a media firestorm Friday.

“Only married female workers who have worked for the company for more than one year can apply for a place on the birth planning schedule,” read a policy distributed by a credit cooperative in Jiaozuo, in the central province of Henan.

“The employee must strictly stick to the birth plan once it is approved,” it added. “Those who get pregnant in violation of the plan such that their work is affected will be fined 1,000 yuan ($161),” it said.

Read More: punchng

Devise Ways Of Paying Workers, Buhari To Governors

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state governors to consider, as a matter of urgency, exploring efficient means of gradually liquidating all unpaid salaries of staff, which have brought untold hardship to thousands of families.

Inaugurating the national economic council  at the presidential villa Monday morning, ?President Buhari also called on the states to also devise ways of increasing their revenue base in order to cushion the effect s of dwindling revenue from the federation account.
The national economic Council  is made up of the 36 state governors, minister?s of Finance and National as well as the Attorney General of the Federation.

Aregbesola Will Not Sell Helicopter To Pay Workers- APC

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Famodun, has reiterated that the governor of the state, Rauf Aregbesola will not sell the state helicopter to pay salaries of public workers.

Public outcry has greeted the inability of Aregbesola to pay workers in the state since 2014 while the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged him to sell the helicopter in order to reduce cost and upset some of the bills.

Read More: vanguardngr

You Can Not Stop Me From Donating My Wardrobe Allowance To Osun Workers, Bruce Tells Aregbesola

Ben Murray-Bruce has insisted that he would give 50% of his wardrobe allowance to workers in Osun State and the State Governor cannot stop him. Osun State workers are yet to receive salaries in 7 months. This comes after Governor Aregbesola of Osun State hit out at Ben Bruce gestures as being ridiculous, telling him to rather give his allowances to PDP states that had similar remuneration problems.

Ben Bruce had this to say on his twitter account, “I’ll take whatever attacks come my way but nothing and nobody can dissuade me from doing what my conscience directs in helping my fellow man,”

On ridiculing the governor, he said: “The month of Ramadan is here. Many unpaid workers will fast. With what will they break their fast? I thought of that and it moved me to act”

“I may not be a Muslim, but I respect Islam and I believe that it is wrong for me to respond to any attack during the Holy month of Ramadan,” he said.

Before The End Of June, Workers Would Get Their Salaries- Aregbesola

Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, said his government is set to pay workers outstanding salaries before the end of June. Aregbesola made the declaration in a statement issued in Osogbo on Sunday through his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon.

Most workers are being owed seven months’ salaries. But the statement was silent on whether the governor would pay the backlog or he would pay part of the salaries.

The governor stated that he had a great dream for the state and that was why he was in a hurry to begin many programmes which had earned him applause even outside the country.

He futhered, “The dream has not gone awry and it is a clear vision that Osun must be on its feet, self-reliant and be a reference point in Nigeria. The race to ensure development within the first term of Aregbesola was informed by the fear of what is happening now.

“Aregbesola wanted an Osun State that is self-reliant. That Osun State, almost two decades after its creation, could not boast of tax-paying companies speak volume about the magnitude of the works that awaited the Aregbesola administration.

“But he did not shy away from this task of industrialisation. Within his first term, his government had caused investors to bring up companies, such as the Omoluabi Garment Factory, Osogbo and Adulawo/RLG Technology Company in Ilesa.

“Just last month, a leading telephone line company, Airtel, came to establish partnership with the Adulawo/RLG Company. These are aside the various agro-allied companies which have benefited from the growth schemes of the Aregbesola administration throughout the state.

“The government has also commenced aggressive drive for the development of the solid mineral sector with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with an Australian mining firm, Andalusia Mining Industry.

“It was in the same vein that the idea of an airport for aircraft maintenance was conceived.

“Only a lazy administration would accept the tag of Osun State as a ‘civil servant’ state as excuse for not developing initiatives for industrialisation.

“To accept that our state must continue to survive on the meagre inflow through what goes to the civil servants alone is to accept that we would continue to depend on external forces for our survival.” He ended


DAAR Communications Workers Protest Again Over Unpaid Salaries, This Time It’s Rivers State

After workers shut down AIT Benin studio on the 4th of this month over unpaid 17 months salaries, Sahara Reporters is reporting now that both the radio and television station of the communication outfit in Rivers State was this morning almost shut down by workers who were also protesting non-payment of their salaries. They stood at the gate with drums and were singing solidarity songs demanding that their salaries be paid because they worked for it. They also sent back customers who were willing to go in for business.

Barri Peremougu, the Southern Director of the station, was almost lynched by the angry workers according to witnesses at the scene.

Non-payment Of Workers’ Salaries: The Situation Is Beyond My Control – Aregbesola

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, Friday explained that the rapid shortfall in the federal allocation accruing to his state negatively affected his budget and led to his inability to pay workers’ salaries.

Speaking when he fielded questions from State House correspondents, shortly after he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Defence House, Abuja, Aregbesola said no head of the family would like to see members of his family go hungry.

“But no matter how sad (I don’t want to use the word ‘depressed), no matter how unhappy I am, the truth is that I will not fail to say that it is a situation absolutely beyond my control.

“I led an administration in receipt of regular allocation in which I do my budget. Unfortunately, this allocation started falling in rapid form that totally disorganised my budget and any other arrangement.

“For those who want to be objective, Osun of November 2010 when I assumed office and Osun of today are not the same. People must give credit to the changes that we have brought about in Osun. The changes were not miracles, they were changes occasioned by application of resources.

“But with the unexpected and sharp decline in our revenue, we had dislocation. The result of that dislocation is this quite sad experience.

“Were it to be Osun alone, probably I would not have an excuse. I pray it does not continue. I am not sure if there will be any state that will actually escape from the biting effect of the absolute sharp drop which I call economic disaster that we are grappling with.

“Since my inauguration on November 27, 2010, I had made it a duty to pay salary on or before 25th of every month up until January 2014 when that became practically impossible.”

“I have been giving the same staff who today are, regrettably and painfully, not being paid annual bonus that we call 13th month salary. There was no demand for it. I just felt that workers must be encouraged, they must be inspired.

“I did that religiously and faithfully from 2010 to 2013. The development that led to this began precisely in July when we received the June allocation and it was short by 40 per cent.

“Since then, what we have been receiving from the Federation Account is less than the wages, personnel cost. It is far and not mildly less.

“We struggled with it till October 2014. By that time, there was nothing we could do. Add to it is that we could not even go to bank to borrow to pay the wages commitment.

“It is a sad development. I am struggling to reduce the pain as much as possible and I am almost at the end of the efforts I am making to ensure that by the end of this month, I will have enough to at least meet to a large extent the salary needs of the workers,” Aregbesola said.

Workers in Osun State are currently on strike after they endured working without pay for six months. The government has not paid them for seven months now.

Presidential Villa Workers Await Buhari, Osinbajo

Workers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, reported for duties early on Monday in readiness to formally receive President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Having been inaugurated on Friday, the duo are expected to be in their offices for the first time on Monday (today). There were fears that with his disciplined posture, Buhari might want to take workers unawares by reporting to work early.

Olalekan Adetayo

But at the time of filing this report, at 11am, Buhari and Osinbajo have yet to arrive the Presidential Villa. Both of them have yet to relocate to their official residence in the villa.

Credit: punchng

CCECC Staff Protest Against The Chinese Construction Company’s Treatment Of Its Nigerian Workers

Nigerian workers of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) at the ongoing N29 billion Ikorodu Road reconstruction project, yesterday, protested alleged anti-labour practices by the company and unwillingness of the company to pay disengaged employees their entitlements.

The aggrieved workers, who carried placards, chanted protest songs in front of the CCECC office at Majidun area of Ikorodu, Lagos, as early as 10:00 am, yesterday.

“CCECC stop cheating us, pay us our pay-offs,” “CCECC, we are not slaves, pay us,” and “We need our pay-off, it is our right,” read some of the placards.

According to Vanguard, one of the affected workers, Thaddus Akaa, said the protest was to seek their due compensations from CCECC, stressing that workers had been tolerating the alleged abuse because of fear of being sacked.

“I started working with them since, 2011 and we worked across Nigeria tirelessly from Sunday to Monday without any break till the end of the month; no weekend, no holidays.

“They called us all sorts of names, treat us like slaves and drove many of us out of the company without any notice or compensation. Most of us have been sent out without any plan of payment and our fear is that the project is nearing completion and it will be handed over to Lagos State government on May 13 without them giving us our pay-offs,” Akaa lamented.

Also speaking to Vanguard, a forklift operator, Ope Adako said the workers had to protest in order to let the world know how CCECC had been treating Nigerians.

“They have no respect for their labour; we beg our government to quickly come to our aid.

“In times of redundancy, it is understandable that companies can lay off workers, but compensations must be given to such staff.

“Most of those they have sacked have not received any word on how the company intends to compensate them. The company’s management ignored us totally and they have turned our union to a mere puppet, who speaks for the management’s cause,” he added.

Adako also said that many of his colleagues, who had been working with CCECC for over 10 years were among those who were indiscriminately laid-off by the company.

Workers Protest Against Chinese Construction Firm In Lagos

Workers of the Chinese Construction giant, Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation, CCECC,  who handled the reconstruction of the Mile 12-Ikorodu road are protesting  what they called the unlawful sack by the company.

Over 300 staff of the construction firm besieged its Majidun-Ikorodu office displaying placards and calling for reinstatement of their sacked colleagues.

Reconstruction work on the over 50-year-old road  which began in 2012 has reached completion stages as workers were laid off. The aggrieved workers however bemoaned the alleged arbitrary disengagement without compensation.

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PDP Demands Payment For Rivers Workers Before Handover

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has demanded that the outgoing administration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi pay all outstanding salaries and allowances of civil servants before it handed over power on May 29.

State Chairman, Felix Obuah, said PDP expressed shock at the comments credited to the outgoing Information Commissioner, Ibim Semenitari in which she claimed that the outgoing All Progressives Congress (APC) government was not indebted to workers in the state.

“The comments by the outgoing Information Commissioner portrayed her as not just a professional liar but also a stranger who is not on ground with the goings-on in the State.”

Obuah said for the avoidance of doubts, the PDP drewthe attention of. Semenitari to the plight of workers at the Rivers State Polytechnics, Bori, who for the past three months are reportedly yet to get their salaries.

“The Party tasks the Information Commissioner to go and ask workers at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science (RIVCAS), who have been praying and fasting for months over government’s refusal to pay their salaries,” he said.

PDP recalled that only on Monday, athletes who would be representing Rivers State in the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Calabar, staged a protest to the Government House to demand the payment of allowances of several months.

“The story is not different at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt where, according to the PDP, workers are languishing in penury owing to months of unpaid salaries.”

Obuah said Semenitari should talk to lecturers and teachers in the employ of the State government, workers at the Ministries, as well as their counterparts at the parastatals, institutions and agencies of government and hear about the last time they got paid by the Rivers State Government under the Governor RotimiAmaechi led government.

“The PDP Chairman therefore, calls on Semenitari to hide her face in shame and publicly apologize to Rivers people and workers for deliberately lying to them,” Obuah said.

Credit: CAJ News

Fashola Wants FG To Reduce Workers’ Expenditure

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Friday urged the Federal Government to provide essential amenities like electricity so as to reduce workers’ expenditure on them.

“As a government, we must provide the basic infrastructure that will give a better life to workers,” Fashola said this during the 2015 Workers Day Commemoration in Lagos.

“We must look at the things that take away the disposable incomes of the Nigerian workers,” he added.

According to him workers are expending much of their salaries to enjoy some services that government are supposed to provide them cheaply.

“Every worker that generates his own electricity is spending money that could have been used for something else,” he said, stressing that the power sector was a viable source of reducing unemployment in the country.

On salary parity, the governor noted that some workers in certain government-owned enterprises receive better remuneration than others. “It is not in all cases that Nigerian workers are underpaid.

“There are some sections of Nigerian workmen that receive very competitive wages even more that what their contemporaries get in other parts of the world,” Fashola said.

Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos Council in an interview with NAN, urged workers to cooperate with their employers.

“We believe that things will be better for workers and that government should know that it cannot solve our problems alone.

“We promise to give our support to them too,” said Agbede, who is also the Lagos State Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers.

Mrs Dominga Odebunmi, Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, urged workers employers of labour to imbibe safety measures in work places in order to forestall hazards.

Odebunmi said employers of labour needed to allocate more funds toward workers’ safety in their work places.

“There is the need to increase expertise, human and financial resources to improve safety of workers.

“It is also pertinent that our national lawmakers pass the National Occupation Bill,” she said.


Workers Shut Down Akwa Ibom Assembly Complex

Workers in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Thursday started a three-day warning strike. The strike followed the alleged refusal of the state government to honour the agreement it reached with the workers’ union on the payment and implementation of a new consolidated salary structure.

The aggrieved workers blocked the assembly gates with plantain leaves and other objects, preventing visitors from gaining access to the assembly complex.

The workers also chanted protest songs in front of the assembly complex.


PDP Workers On Strike For Non Payment Of Salary

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) workers at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, have gone on strike following the non-payment of their salaries which they said are for three months.

Our Correspondent gathered that the workers, who are mostly youths working as cleaners and messengers, commenced the strike on Tuesday, after all other means to get their pay failed to yield positive results. The party’s national secretariat was very dirty when our reporter visited it as the striking workers refused to perform their duties.

Some of them who came to the secretariat were seen sitting idle, wearing sad look on their faces and complaining that they had been spending their monies on transportation to the secretariat for the past three months without payment.

Read More: www.naijaloaded.com.ng

Ebonyi Workers Embark on Indefinite Strike

Ebonyi State workers have embarked on an indefinite strike with effect from today to press home their demand for payment of September 2011 salaries withheld by the government and the implementation of 2011 minimum wage.

The Chairman of Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC) in the state, Ikechukwu Nwafor, said the union had earlier on December 23, 2014 given the state government 21-day ultimatum after which it embarked on another three-day warning strike on January 21, 2015 to meet their demands but to no avail.

He said: “Following Ebonyi State Government’s unwillingness to meet with the demands of the organized labour with respect to implementation of the submitted report of the committee that revisited the table of the Ebonyi state Civil/Public Salary Structure and September 2011 withheld salaries, the organized labour in Ebonyi State hereby declares an indefinite strike effective from Tuesday, March 10, 2015.”

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Benue Must Borrow To Pay Salaries – Gov Suswam

Benue State governor Gabriel Suswam yesterday said the state is left with no option than to borrow money to clear the salary arrears owed workers in the agrarian state.

The governor, however, condemned in strong terms the politicisation of the issue of non-payment of salaries by the opposition, saying their campaign is not issues-based but mere propaganda and cheap blackmail.

Suswam who stated this at Adikpo in Kwande local government area of the state said his administration would not be indebted to workers by the end of his tenure. He said the non-payment of salaries is a national problem propelled by the global economic crunch.

Wondering why the opposition APC would not base their local government campaigns on development-driven issues, Suswam said such unguarded utterances are targetted at smearing the image of his administration and advised the party to consider modern democratic tenets.

Read More: leadership.ng