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Buhari Yet To Endorse N30,000 Minimum Wage —- Presidency

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The Presidency has frowned at what it termed a misinterpretation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s remarks when he received the report of the Tripartite Committee on the Review of National Minimum Wage from the committee’s Chairman, Ama Pepple, on Tuesday.

A presidential source, who preferred not to be named, said the President did not endorse N30,000 as proposed by the committee as being reported by some sections of the media.

He, however, stated that President Buhari had expressed his commitment to ensuring the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage.

The source said: “But the President’s speech at the event was immediately made available to the media and nowhere indicated that the President endorsed N30,000 minimum wage.

“It is not the duty of the President only to endorse a new National Minimum Wage.
“The process involves the Federal Executive Council, the National Economic Council and the National Assembly.

“It is imperative for us to always avoid misinterpreting a written speech.”

It would be recalled that President Buhari had pledged that the Federal Government would soon transmit an Executive Bill (on National Minimum Wage) to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.

He said: “Our plan is to transmit the Executive Bill to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.

“I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.”

Buhari also expressed delight that the committee had successfully completed its assignment in a peaceful and non-controversial manner.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to recognise the leadership of the organised labour and private sector as well as representatives of State and Federal Governments for all your hard work.

“The fact that we are here today is a notable achievement.

“As the Executive Arm commences its review of your submission, we will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report.

“I, therefore, would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks.”

The President, however, enjoined the leadership of the labour unions as well as the Nigerian workers to avoid being used as political weapons.

“May I, therefore, employ workers and their leaders not to allow themselves to be used as political weapons,” he said.

In her remarks, Pepple explained that the recommendation made by the committee was predicated on the high cost of living, occasioned by the exchange rate as well as the rising inflation rate in the country.

She said the committee also considered micro-economic indicators, including the revenue and expenditure profile of the government.

Pepple expressed the hope that the implementation of the recommended minimum wage would boost the purchasing power of the working class, increase consumption expenditure and stimulate economic growth.

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JUST IN: Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United have announced the sack of manager, Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese was dismissed on Tuesday after a series of poor results.

Manchester United announced this on Twitter, saying, “Manchester United has announced that Jose Mourinho has left the Club.

“We would like to thank him for his work during his time at Manchester United and wish him success in the future.”

Details later…

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Youth Corper Docked Over Alleged £12.5m Internet Fraud, Remanded In Prison Custody

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The Enugu Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned Ogbonna Victor Chibuzor, a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), before Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court, Enugu, on a five-count charge bordering on intent to defraud, and possession of fraudulent documents contrary to Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

Ogbonna’s arrest was sequel to series of raids carried out by operatives over the past one week in which several suspected fraudsters in their early 20s, alleged to be engaging in online fraud, were arrested having been found to be living a flamboyant lifestyle not commensurate to the means of livelihood.

Analysis carried out on the computer of the suspected fraudster revealed certain incriminating documents intended to be used in swindling gullible Nigerians and foreigners alike.

Further investigations disclosed that Ogbonna uses his e-mail address activitygeneral@hotmail.com to send unsolicited emails to his victims using fake or stolen identity to legitimise his nefarious activities.

One of the documents was addressed to one Alan Christopher of BG Group Plc, Thames Valley Park, Reading, RG6, Berkshire, United Kingdom, with a rider “Your attention is needed” and a second paragraph talking about a £12,500,000 (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) unclaimed contract fund.

Another document found with the accused was a purported “Contract Award Certificate” to one Michael Morgan of 101 Brooklyn, New York, United State of America, on “Directing and Fixing of Oil Spillage” in the Niger Delta signed by the Chairman, Contract Tender Board and Chairman, Legal Department of Chevron Nigeria.

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges preferred against him occasioning his counsel E.O. Isiwu to move a motion for bail, which was opposed by prosecuting counsel, Innocent Mbachie.

The presiding judge, however, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N500,000 and one surety in like sum. The surety, he ruled, “must have a landed property in Enugu which must be verified by the Commissioner of Lands”. Ogbonna is to be remanded in prison custody until he fulfils his bail conditions.

The case has been adjourned to January 30, 2019.

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Presidency Writes UK Govt, Calls For Corruption Probe Against Ekweremadu, Uzodinma, Others

Peter Okunoren

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The Nigerian Presidency has said it has written the National Crime Commission of the United Kingdom, UK, to assist in the investigation of five senators with properties in the UK and the British Virgin Islands.

The Senators are Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and Imo state governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hope Uzodinma.

Others are Senators Stella Odua, Peter Nwaoboshi and Albert Bassey Akpan.

Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigative Panel on the Recovery of Public Property SPIP, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, disclosed this yesterday at a news conference in Abuja to highlight some of the activities of the body in 2018.

He said: “The UK has passed a law that will also help us in Nigeria fight corruption and that is the ‘Unexplained Wealth Regulation’ which entails that if you have a property in the UK that is above $50, 000, you have to explain your source of wealth, and property here does not just mean a building but even jewelries.

“So, we have written the National Crime Authority in the UK asking them to investigate some Nigerian senators who have property in the UK and the Virgin Islands,” he said.

Obono-Obla added that if they are found culpable, they would be prosecuted in accordance with extant laws and made to forfeit such properties.

Obono-Obla, who is also the Special Assistant to the President on Public Prosecution, added that five oil companies are also under investigation for tax evasion and refusal to pay royalties to the Nigerian government.

He said: “the companies have not remitted over $1 billion to the government.

“A lot of oil companies are contributing to the economic challenges facing the country, denying Nigeria of royalties and also evading taxes, money that would have been channeled to the development of the country.

“Working with the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS, we discovered that Addax Petroleum has failed to pay tax for five years and so they are owing about N700 million. Then, thanks to a petition we received from Femi Falana SAN, Mobil which purchased an oil bloc in 2001 for $2.5 billion dollars is yet to pay about $1.9 billion of that money to the government. We have commenced our investigations too”, he stated.

He said the panel was also looking at a petition involving a top official of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC as well as against the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN under Govs. Chukwuma Soludo and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi with regards to debt cancellations to banks.

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