NLC President Responds To Ongoing Scarcity

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in response to the ongoing fuel scarcity, said yesterday in Abuja that the various excuses given by government, as reasons for the fuel scarcity are not acceptable.

He said: “The NLC considers this scarcity as an act of cruelty and sabotage from which a few privileged are benefitting. The timing of this artificial scarcity is not lost on us, as it is intended to maximise pain and profit, since it is a well-known fact that the Christmas season witnesses the biggest movement of people, goods and services.”

Ayuba reiterated that the congress equally considers the scarcity as an insult to the collective pride of all good Nigerians. Also, NLC General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, said that the confusion in the downstream sub-sector of the Nigerian oil and gas sector was established when the price modulation based on petroleum products import regime was introduced.

“Nigerians will be bear us witness that we canvassed against the introduction of price modulation; we said it was going to fail. Our argument then was that there was no way a price modulation regime can work in an environment that is import dependent. It would be recalled that the NLC staged protests against the move, but we were ignored. Today, we are back to the same turf. The scarcity we are witnessing now is not new. It started two years ago technically.”

The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Abdukadir Umar, said there are no plans to increase fuel price.

“We want to use this medium to assure all Nigerians that there is no need for apprehension or panic buying. We are confident that the NNPC, being a major supplier of petroleum products into the system and the supplier of last resort, can ensure uninterrupted supply of petroleum products into the market and the corporation has given assurances in that regard.”

EDITORIAL: Workers And Paris Club Refunds

At a time several states are nearly at a tipping point financially, the prospect of an imminent cash rain ought to stoke some excitement. So it was on Monday when President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Economic Planning and Budget, Udoma Udo Udoma and Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun to negotiate with the governors, with a view to settling their outstanding Paris Club refunds. For long-suffering workers across the states of the federation and the governors most of who have been (sometimes) needlessly maligned over a crisis that was not their making, it comes as a soothing balm to their pains.

Yet again, it is a season of great expectations – and potentially one of restiveness, particularly of workers and pensioners. Indeed, there are, already, countless proposals on what the funds should be used for. A somewhat preponderant position would appear to suggest that the refunds should be deployed to clear the arrears of wages and pensions in the states – as if that is all there is to the business of governance.

Just like the last previous interventions, we must again warn at the temptation to substitute a palliative or placebo for therapy. Clearly, if there are any lessons to be taken from the earlier interventions, it is the fact that the problems facing the states as a whole are far deeper, in fact, more complex, than any superficial interventions – no matter how many multiple times – can solve.

Fact is – the states aren’t getting anything that they should not ordinarily be entitled to were to be a truly functional federation. Whether it is the so-called bailout or refund of the overpayment on the Paris Club loans, the states should ordinarily be able to enjoy such fiscal leeway as befitting their status as federating entities – drawing upon the federal support only in situations of grave emergencies. To the extent that the latest crisis is itself a derivative of dysfunctions of our federalism, it seems only inevitable that the federal government will be called up when necessary to solve the structural mess – until such a time the basis of the problem is dealt with.

This of course takes us to the perennial restiveness of the workers.

Clearly, while the workers in particular may have been badly hit by the current crisis, the idea that the entire cash be handed out to them to clear the arrears of wages seems, quite frankly, ludicrous. Agreed, the workers deserve their due; but so does the rest of the citizens – farmers, artisans, market men and women and non-wage workers – deserve to be served from the same pot not just because their welfare also depend on that, but because the ability of the state to renew itself as a way to guarantee its future prosperity is assured only when portion of that cash is invested in physical infrastructure. That is the way to go.

What the times therefore call for is proper understanding. Neither the time to raise unnecessary expectations nor should it be an occasion for blackmail or needless stoking of tensions. With good faith on the side of the workers and the state governments, it should be possible to forge necessary compromises to ensure that the states move forward. To the extent that the current challenges tug at the heart of the lopsided federal practice which deny the states of their just dues as one would expect in a true federation, it has become inevitable to re-balance the Nigerian federation by devolving both economic and political powers to the states, to ensure that they are less beholden to the centre, and to make them truly productive as against sharing entities.

We Won’t Succumb To Your Blackmail, NLC Tells El-Rufai

The Kaduna state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has said that the union will not be intimidated by the cheap blackmail employed by the government over the group’s peaceful protest against Governor Nasiru el-Rufai’s anticipated sacking of the 21,000 teachers in the state.

In a statement signed by the Kaduna NLC Chairman, Comrade Adamu Ango affirmed that the union has resolved to stand against any act of suppression from the government to its members.

The statement read: “We, therefore, affirm that the Labour Movement will never be intimidated and it will indeed continue to play its historical role of the conscience of society and protector of workers’ rights using all means available to it within the confines of the law,”

“The allusion to violence on the part of our members is a deliberate attempt by the Kaduna State Government to deploy its usual tactics of blackmail which is now known to all and sundry.

“The outdated strategy of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it will not work in the circumstance, as the Labour Movement cannot be cowed and will indeed deploy all lawful and legitimate arsenals as its disposal to resist the unholy attempt to impose the will of an individual against the consensus of an overwhelming majority of Kaduna State citizens (members of the Labour Movement).

“The Kaduna state government as usual, instead of addressing the core issues relative to the impasse between it and the labour movement has resorted to crude propaganda and diversionary tactics by trying to depict a rally organized and attended by the leadership of the entire labour movement in Nigeria as an agitation by 21,000 unqualified teachers.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the rally held in Kaduna on 8th November, 2017 was peaceful and same was held in exercise of our members constitutional rights as guaranteed under section 35(1) and 40 of the 1999 constitution which is the grundnorm and all other laws drives their potency there from. Fortunately, in Kaduna State, similar rights have been exercised in support of the state government’s decision to take external loan without let or hindrance.”

Ango reprimanded governor El-rufai for not heeding to NLC advice, saying, “recent events in the educational sector have vindicated the labour movement whose advice to government to utilize the over N10billion expended in the school feeding programme in the development of infrastructures and teachers education/retraining was ignored.”

“The events at the Kaduna state House of Assembly after the rally by the Labour Movement cannot be attributed to the NLC, and same is a replica of the sad events at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, secretariat, Kaduna where supporters of the state government openly attacked law abiding citizens who were there to address a press conference and unfortunately nobody has been prosecuted or is being prosecuted for their participation in the dastardly act,” he lamented.

Ango was emphatic of the fact that the demonstration staged on the streets of kaduna by pupils in public schools was not orchestrated by the Labour Movement.

We Are Not Happy Paying Modulated Salary To Workers –Aregbesola

The State Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has expressed his grief over the inability of the state government to pay full salary to the workers in the civil service and political appointees.

Aregbesola said he was unhappy on the payment of modulated salary to the workers, just as he explained that not all the civil servants in the state are affected by the modulated salary.

He stated this at the weekend while addressing a team of Federal Government on the Digital Switch Over who was on advocacy visit to the state, led to his office by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa.

According to the governor, economic downturn induced by the brazen corruption, wanton theft of crude oil and mismanagement of the country’s resources by the PDP Democratic Party (PDP) led Federal Government forced the state to what it is witnessing today.

Aregbesola said no reasonable person or government would be happy not being incapacitated to perform his/its required responsibility.

The governor said: “We are not happy paying modulated salary to our workers in the civil service and political appointees, we are compelled by the financial reality; we are constrained.
“Contrary to the lies you are being fed, it is not all our workers that receive half salary. Workers on level 1-7, being the most vulnerable and the largest chunk of the workforce are being paid full salary. Workers on level 8-11 showed understanding with the government to accept 75% of their salary.

“It is only workers on grade level 12 upward that receive 50% of their salary. The workers have shown maturity, support and understanding. We acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifice and support of the workers.”

Aregbesola said the financial burden on the government was incurred to provide massive infrastructure to transform the state and develop it economically, noting that Osogbo desired infrastructure development to have a look of a state capital.

He said: “Before our government, Osogbo roads were very narrow and since there was no development, there was no heavy traffic and the roads accommodated the users. However, there was influx of people to the state since our administration came on board. There was heavy traffic on the Osogbo roads and they could not accommodate the traffic anymore.

“We started construction of new roads and rehabilitation of some existing ones to ease traffic. As a visionary government, we know that by the time our economic plan begins to grow, the Osogbo roads would become busier, so we come up with the construction of Osogbo East Bypass road.

“The Osogbo east bypass road has four big bridges. Anybody that does not have business in Osogbo will take the road to their various destinations. This will reduce traffic on Osogbo township roads. We constructed the road for economic purposes. People that are narrow in thinking do not know that.

“We know that things are hard and the state is passing through financial difficulty. But we are undeterred by the challenges. Our credo is to see that our people explore their freedom for economic prosperity.

“Our joy is in the fact that we will leave a legacy that will transform into economic prosperity for the people and the state. Like the credo of our mentor, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, we want freedom for all, life more abundant.”

In his address, Baderiwa, the commissioner for Information and Strategy, said he was in support of the Digital Switch Over, saying that it will provide for young and talented men and women and as well throw challenges to the lazy and unproductive workers in the media industry.

NLC, Aviation Unions To Picket Airlines

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will on Thursday picket some domestic airlines at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, over alleged casualization of workers and refusal to recognize unions in the sector.

Mr. Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), confirmed the development to newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday. Abioye said the airlines to be picketed were Med-View Airline, Air Peace, Azman Air and FirstNation Airways. He said:

“Oct. 7 every year has been declared World Day For Decent Work by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and this campaign is geared towards that. “It is not only about welfare issues but it is about the refusal of the employers to

“It is not only about welfare issues but it is about the refusal of the employers to recognize registered trade unions, in order to allow them to have access to the workers for the purpose of unionizing them.

“The other critical aspect is that given the sensitive nature of the aviation industry, it is the fact that some of these airlines today have the majority of the people working for them as a contract or casual staff.

“That is a very dangerous thing to happen in our industry and we cannot tolerate it.” Abioye added that a list of the airlines involved had not only been submitted to the NLC but also to the government and the National Assembly.

He said NUATE would be joined in the protest by the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).




Source: Vanguard

Civil Servant Commits Suicide After Attending To Sick Child

Mr Oludare Buraimoh, a Director in Lagos State Ministry of Youths, has committed suicide by hanging in his room.

Buraimoh, who lives at Unity Estate, Phase II, Gbonagun, Abeokuta, took his life at about 4.00 p.m. on Monday after attending to his son Dotun, who was sick.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that many sympathisers, who spoke in silent tones about the ugly incident, were seen in the compound.

Dotun told NAN that the incident happened around 4.00 p.m. after his father gave him a drug to treat malaria.

“We were both at home; he came to give me a drug and left me thinking he was going to retire to his room. But when I did not hear his voice I called him, but no response came.

“I, thereafter, went to his room only to find him hanging on the ceiling with a traditional Aso Oke tied to his neck and a stool with which he committed the suicide.

“I then alerted the neighbours, who in turn, told me to alert the police, which I did,” Dotun said.

The wife of the deceased said she was yet to come to terms with her husband’s despicable act.

“I don’t know what came over him, it is inexplicable.

“We have been surviving through the thick and thin and now that we ought to sit down and enjoy after all the years of toiling, he decided to take his life.

“He did not show any sign of depression at the time he committed suicide.

“He was in high spirit, what led him to this remained a riddle,” she said.

The Obantoko Police Station, where the incident was reported, confirmed the suicide.

DSP Rasheed Olaleye of the station confirmed the incident, but declined to give further comments, saying that the DPO would be in the best position to handle the case.

The body of the deceased has been deposited at General Hospital, Abeokuta, after clearance from the police.

How States Utilised Paris Club Refund – Survey

Many state governments across the federation have utilised the second tranche of the Paris Club refund they received to clear the arrears of their serving and retired workers’ entitlements.

However, in most states where the arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities have been paid, some civil servants and retirees, especially those in the council areas, are still being owed.

A survey by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, indicated that some of the workers and pensioners were owed salaries and pensions for periods ranging between two and 11 months.

The Federal Government in July released about N243.79 billion to the states as the second tranche of the refund, having earlier released N388.30 billion to them in December 2016.

The funds were released following protests by the states against over-deductions from their allocations for external debt services between 1995 and 2002.

The federal government had advised the state governments to use between 50 and 75 per cent of their shares of the refund to clear the arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities they owed.

NAN reports that 15 of the 22 (68.1 per cent) states surveyed so far, have utilised the money in settling the arrears of the entitlements while seven have not.

Those that paid are: Jigawa, Yobe and Adamawa in the North-east; Kwara in the North- central; all states in the South-south except Cross River; Abia in the South-east; and all states in the South-west.

Bauchi, Gombe and Borno in the North-east; Cross River in the South-south; as well as Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi in the South-east are yet to pay the arrears.

In Jigawa, for instance, Suleiman Kiyawa, Executive Secretary, Jigawa State and Local Government Contributory Pension Scheme, said the state government had cleared the arrears.

Mr. Kiyawa said the state government paid about N461.4 million as terminal benefits to 339 retirees in the state.

Muhammad Ali, a staff of the state Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, said no retired or serving worker in the state was being owed any entitlement.

Abubakar Musa, a retired civil servant in the state, said that each time a civil servant retired, he/she collected the entitlements without delay.

In Yobe, Baba Malam-Wali, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, said the state had been paying salaries of workers as and at when due and would continue to do so.

The SSG spoke through his Press Secretary, Shuaibu Abdullahi, in Damaturu.

However, payment of the entitlements of the council workers in the state had been delayed due to an internal conflict among members of the state Local Government Retiree Screening Committee.

Kachallah Goni, the state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, commended the state government for the prompt payment and urged it to intervene in the matter to pave way for hitch-free settlement of the arrears.

On its part, the Borno Government said it approved N6 billion for the clearing of the outstanding retired workers’ gratuities and pensions in the state.

NAN reports, however, that the concerned workers and retirees are yet to receive the payments.

Yakubu Bukar, Head of Service and Usman Zanna, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs respectively, said in a statement in Maiduguri that a committee had been constituted to handle it.

In Gombe, Haruna Kamara, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, said the state government had not settled the arrears of gratuities of some retired civil servants.

He said that government did not inform the NLC in the state about the release of the second tranche, but that the organised labour only read it on the internet.

“The truth of the matter is that nobody from the government of Gombe State consulted us about the fund and how they are going to use it,” he said.

Abubakar Umar, a pensioner in the state, appealed to the state government to pay the outstanding gratuities.

All efforts to get the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, James Phisagi, speak on the matter proved abortive.

In Yola, Governor Muhamadu Bindow of Adamawa, acknowledged receipt of N6.11 billion as the state’s share of the refund.

“So far, we have settled six months inherited outstanding workers’ salaries.

“It remains only one-month salary arrears which I have directed the Commissioner of Finance to pay,” he said.

However, some primary school teachers, primary healthcare workers and pensioners complained of non-payment of their outstanding salaries and pensions.

Speaking to NAN on the condition of anonymity, some primary healthcare workers said they were owed three months salaries.

“As I am talking with you, we have not received even the July salary let alone the three months arrears. We are suffering,” said one of them.

Checks by NAN at the state Pension Board indicated outstanding arrears of N11 billion owed to the state government pensioners and N8 billion owed to the local government pensioners.

The Bauchi State Chairman of NUP, Abu Gar, said the state government owed the retirees N26 billion as arrears of gratuities.

Mr. Gar who lamented what he called “poor handling of issues relating to pensioners” in the state, said 43 members of the union had died because of hardship.

The Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Ministry of Finance, Abdullahi Dori, confirmed the state government’s receipt of its share of the second tranche of the refund.

In Ilorin, North-central, Muideen Akorede, Senior Special Assistant on Media to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, said N2 billion of the N5.1billion received, was released to the 16 local government councils.

He also said that the state government released N312 million to the state-owned tertiary institutions for the payment of salary arrears.

A pensioner, Ibrahim Salmanu, however, said most local government retirees in the state were owed up to 11 months arrears of pension.

According to him, payment of gratuities to state pensioners had been stopped since March 2014.

All the states in the South-west said they utilised the fund in settling the salary and pension arrears they owed their serving and retired workers.

In Ibadan, Bimbo Adekanmbi, the Oyo Commissioner for Finance and Budget, said the state spent over 60 percent of the first and second tranches of the refund on clearing the arrears.

Ms Adekanmbi said the N7.9 billion it received as the second tranche was used to pay the arrears of April and May salaries as well as pensions.

Waheed Olojede, state NLC Chairman, confirmed the payment, but Bayo Titola-Sodo, President, Nigeria Union of Local Government, NULGE, Oyo State chapter, said council workers were still owed salary arrears.

In Abeokuta, the Ogun Commissioner for Finance, Wale Osinowo, said the government had committed N4.5 billion to the payment of arrears of cooperative deductions owed workers in the state.

He said the payment represented 79 per cent of the N5.7 billion received.

The NLC Chairman in Ogun, Akeem Ambali, however, said that the 12 months arrears of cooperative and check-off due deductions made this year had not been paid.

In Osogbo, the Osun Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa, said the state government spent N5.10 billion of the N6.31 billion it received to clear the arrears.

Mr. Baderinwa said the payment schedule was recommended by the State Revenue Allocation Committee chaired by Hassan Sunmonu.

“The only outstanding payment owed pensioners here is the gratuity and this is because some who retired in 2011 and 2012 chose not to participate in the contributory pension scheme,’’ he said.

The state Chairman of the NLC, Jacob Adekomi, however, claimed that some workers and pensioners were still being owed.

The labour leader said that civil servants in the state ‘had been receiving modulated salaries’ since July 2015.

“A modulated salary scheme means workers on grade one to seven receiving 100 per cent of their salaries, and workers on grade level 8 to 12 being paid 75 percent of theirs, for instance,” he said.

In Akure, the Ondo State Government said that it received N6.38 billion as the second tranche of the Paris club refund.

Olusegun Ajiboye, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said 32.68 percent of the amount was allocated to the local government councils while the state government got 67.32 per cent.

He said that the federal government had advised state governments to use between 50 and 75 per cent of their shares for payment of salary and pension arrears.

“That is why Ondo state government used 75 per cent of its share to settle the salary and pension arrears,” Mr. Ajiboye said.

He said that the 75 per cent of the fund could pay only 80 per cent of the workers’ salary and pension arrears across board.

But Bosede Daramola, the NLC Chairman in the state, described fractional payment template adopted in the state as a breach of contract, saying it was unacceptable to the workers.

The Ekiti Government, on its part, said it received N4.7 billion as the second tranche of the refund.

The Commissioner for Finance, Toyin Ojo, told NAN in Ado Ekiti that local government councils in the state got N1.8 billion of the N4.7 billion.

He disclosed that the state government sought for additional funding in order to pay one-month salary and leave bonus to all workers.

The NLC Chairman, Ade Adesanmi, and his TUC counterpart, Odunayo Adesoye, said they were involved in the disbursement of the refund.

His NUT and NULGE counterparts, Segun Olugbesan and Bunmi Ajimoko respectively, also confirmed their involvement.

Meanwhile some retirees in the South-south region have decried the non-payment of the pension and gratuity arrears owed them.

For instance, Amadin Okoro, the spokesperson, NUP, Edo chapter, lamented that the state government had yet to offset the arrears of pensions and gratuities owed in the state.

Mr. Okoro said pensioners in the state were owed arrears of their entitlements, ranging between six and 42 months.

However, the Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said the State Government had released N212.87 billion of the state’s share to the local government councils in the state “for the month of August.”

He tasked local governments to be creative in harnessing the huge human and natural resources that abound in the state for the good of the people.

The Akwa Ibom Government received N10 billion as its own share of the refund.

The Finance Commissioner, Linus Nkan, said: “the governor has given a directive that we use the fund to pay salaries and to the extent that it can cover, pay pensions too.”

According to him, the refund was barely enough to settle indebtedness and commitments of government which include salaries, arrears of pensions and gratuities and contract fees.

In Delta, Titus Okotie, Chairman, Nigerian Union of Teacher, NUT, claimed the local government council got N2.1 billion of N10 billion the state received.

Mr. Okotie, said the amount was used in paying the April salaries of primary school teachers and local government council workers in the state.

The chairman said that the teachers were still owed May, June July and August salaries.

But Robert Chukwunyem, state Chairman, NUP, said the pension arrears paid to the 11,000 retirees in the state did not reflect the 33 per cent pension increment of 2010.

However, Charles Aniagwu, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, said the 25 local government councils in the state got N2.1 billion of the N10 billion the state received.

Mr Aniagwu said the state government took N7.9 billion due to it, adding that N4.4 billion of it was spent on paying the entitlement arrears owed its retirees and augmenting the councils’ June salaries.

He said the remaining N3.5 billion would be used for capital and recurrent expenditures.

Also in Bayelsa, Jonathan Obuebite, the Information and Orientation Commissioner, said part of the N10 billion the state got was used to pay one and half month salaries owed the workers.

According to him, the state expected N14 billion which would enough for it to pay two months arrears of salaries but got only N10 billion.

The state Chairman of TUC, Tari Dounana, however, said that over four months’ salary arrears were yet to be settled.

He said that the state government paid only one and half months of the six months salary arrears owed workers.

Mr. Dounana said that local government staff and teachers in the state were owed between eight months and one-year arrears of salaries.

Landy Erez, a pensioner, told NAN that the state government owed workers over 10 months arrears of salaries.

Most civil servants and pensioners in Rivers said the state government was up to date in the payment of their salaries and pensions except for the pension increment.

One of them, Rogers Ogan, a primary school teacher, confirmed that his salary had been paid up to date.

Edward Abibo, the Chairman of NUP in Rivers, also said that the state government did not owe pensioners any arrears of pension.

He, however, explained that about 2000 persons who retired in 2014 whose biometrics had yet to be captured into the state payroll had not been paid.

Mr. Abibo said also that the state government had not paid the arrears of the 2003, 2007 and 2010 pension increments.

“Those that have not been receiving their monthly pensions are undergoing biometric verification; I believe after the exercise, they will be put on the payroll,” he said.

NAN reports that the Cross River Government was yet to settle the arrears of retirees’ gratuities in the state.

One of them, Andem Antigha, said that since 2015 when he retired, he had not been paid his gratuity.

Investigation showed that the state government’s UBA account into which the refund was paid was frozen on the order of an Abuja High Court.

This followed a dispute between it and a consulting firm over the payment of the Paris club refund.

The court adjourned the case till September 7, for further deliberations.

NAN survey showed that only one of the five states in the South-east had utilised the refund to clear the arrears of pension and salaries owed to its workers.

The Commissioner for Finance in Abia, Obinna Oriaku, said that the state government utilised the two tranches of the refund in clearing part of the arrears.

Mr. Oriaku said that the state received N5.7 while it expected N16 billion and regretted that the amount could not bring the state out of the woods.

He said that the state government constituted a committee comprising representatives of organised labour and government to handle the disbursement of the fund transparently.

He said that the state had cleared the arrears of salaries of civil servants in some ministries, departments and agencies.

Mr. Oriaku, however, said that the state was still battling with the settlement of arrears of salaries of primary and secondary school teachers as well as those of local government workers.

He said salaries of workers in some organisations, including the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, had not been paid.

The commissioner blamed the backlog of salary arrears in the state on bloated workforce and padding of salaries in the civil service during the past administration.

The state chairman of the NLC, Uchenna Obigwe, confirmed that the state government was transparent in the disbursement of the state’s share of the refund.

He said that the state’s first and second shares of the refund, totalling N16.3 billion, was a far cry from what was required to offset the outstanding payments.

NAN reports that council workers, primary and secondary school teachers as well as staff in some organisations were still owed salary arrears, ranging from two to eight months.

In Enugu State, Virginus Nwobodo, the Chairman of NLC, said that the refund had yet to be shared between the state and the local governments.

He, however, said that the stakeholders had met to decide on the sharing formula.

According to him, the first tranche of the refund was disbursed equitably, without any complaint.

“Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had been transparent and open with every kobo from the refund and has given us the stakeholders, free hand to decide the sharing formula.

Meanwhile, Abel Ologu, a pensioner in Abakaliki, has urged the Ebonyi Government to utilise the refund in clearing salary and pension arrears owed in the state.

Mr. Ologu said that the state government had not disbursed the fund accordingly.

The Chairman of NLC in Anambra, Jerry Nubia, also made a similar appeal to the state government in Awka.

Mr. Nubia said Anambra government owed retirees of the councils, pension arrears from 2015 to date, adding that their number had continued to rise.

He said, however, that the state government workforce and pensioners got their salaries and pensions as and when due.

“The NLC in the state is commending the effort of the state government in ensuring regular payment of salaries and pensions,’’ he said.

Anthony Ugozor, the state Chairman of NUJ, who said the state received about N6.12 billion as its share, corroborated Nubia assertion.

A civil servant, Uchechi Ilechukwu, said that the state government workers received their salaries regularly.

“Anambra state civil servants have been receiving their salaries on the 24th of every month since the inception of Gov. Willie Obiano’s administration,” she said.

Source: NAN

Reshuffle Your Cabinet Now, NLC Tells Buhari

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reshuffle his cabinet, saying time is running out and most Nigerians are yet to experience the change promised by the administration.

Wabba who spoke at the weekend said after two years in the saddle, most ministers have not lived up to expectation, stressing that there was need for the president to bring in fresh minds with new ideas.

The NLC president who did not specify which of the ministers to be removed also said President Buhari’s absence has slowed down the implementation of the new minimum wage.

He said now that Buhari is back from his medical vacation, Nigerian workers are expecting a speedy process of implementing the new minimum wage.

He said, “We join other Nigerians in welcoming President Buhari back from the over 100 days medical vacation abroad. There are a lot of expectations from Nigerians and that is why the anxiety is high when he was actually billed to return.

“This arose from the fact that the process has not been fast as expected. Most of the processes have been very slow. This I think was due to the fact that consultation has to go on. Even the then Acting President at a point needed to consult, especially when looking at the challenges in the economy and also considering that as workers, we have lots of expectation.

“You are aware that the issue of minimum wage is very topical while there was a pronouncement to constitute the committee, they have requested for our list which we have sent. Therefore, the committee needs to be inaugurated so that the process can go on.

On the need to reshuffle the cabinet, Wahab said, “I think also there is high expectation in how to rejuvenate the machinery of government, especially looking at the performance of the ministers and some political appointees. I think usually in the life of any administration, halfway down the line will be enough time to assess their performance and then assess the impact that they put into the system.

“Most Nigerians expect that there is the need to add impetus to governance and looking at key sectors and ministries. There are some that have done well, but some have not done well so there is expectation that the cabinet be reshuffle and be able to inject new ideas”.

Source: Leadership Newspaper

Osun Government Will Pay Outstanding Salaries – Comrade Sunmonu

By Israel Afolabi

The assurance that the government of the State of Osun was committed to the payment of the outstanding parts of workers salaries was re-echoed last week, as the Chairman of the Fund Allocation Committee, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu assured that the government would pay their outstanding salaries.

The Fund Allocation Committee, was set up by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the state, comprises of Labour leaders, government representatives and other stakeholders to allocate the government available fund to the payment of salaries, pension, allowances and other obligations.

Comrade Sunmonu who gave this assurance recently while appearing on the OSBC Television current affairs Yoruba programme, Kabenko commended the state government for using the funds available judiciously to take care of workers welfare and enumerations.

The labour leaders who commended the state government for the transparency brought into the system said, “there is no hidden agenda in government negotiation, if the money is available we are ready to pay all”.

Osun Government Will Pay Outstanding Salaries – Comrade Sunmonu

By Israel Afolabi

The assurance that the government of the State of Osun was committed to the payment of the outstanding parts of workers salaries was re-echoed last week, as the Chairman of the Fund Allocation Committee, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu assured that the government would pay their outstanding salaries.

The Fund Allocation Committee, was set up by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the state, comprises of Labour leaders, government representatives and other stakeholders to allocate the government available fund to the payment of salaries, pension, allowances and other obligations.

Comrade Sunmonu who gave this assurance recently while appearing on the OSBC Television current affairs Yoruba programme, Kabenko commended the state government for using the funds available judiciously to take care of workers welfare and enumerations.

The labour leaders who commended the state government for the transparency brought into the system said, “there is no hidden agenda in government negotiation, if the money is available we are ready to pay all”.

Aregbesola Will Never Play Politics With Workers Welfare – Kolapo Alimi

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barrister Kolapo Alimi said that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola will never play politics with workers welfare.

Barrister Kolapo Alimi made this known today while interacting with the management and staff of Odo-Otin Local Government, Okuku.

The Commissioner explained that welfare of the workers is very dear to the present administration in the state saying that it was the economic recession that necessitated the current modulated salary.

Barrister Alimi enjoined workers to continue to support the programmes and policies of government. He prayed for economic recovery as better time awaits the entire workforce in the state

The commissioner reiterated the fact that power and positions are transient hence we should be conscious that we hold whatever post we found ourselves in trust and be of good conduct.

The Executive Secretary of Odo-Otin Local Government, Hon. Samson Oduoye appreciated the visit of the Commissioner to the Council and used the opportunity to itemize some of the projects he had executed which include provision of free eye glasses, renovation of health facilities among others.

The Council Manager of the Council, Mrs Fola Owolola pledged the continuous support of the workers in the Council to the present administration in the state.