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Minimum Wage: NLC Begins Indefinite Strike January 8

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Following the inability of the Federal Government to urgently transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has set Jan. 8 as date for the commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike.

NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba said the strike would be inevitable if nothing happened before the set date.

He appealed to workers across the nation to support the action to succeed in the interest of their social and economic prosperity.

Wabba called on Federal Government to urgently transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly for a speedy passage.

He said: “It is unfortunate that the Federal Government is yet to transmit to the National Assembly an executive bill for the enactment of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

“Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue has strained Government-Labour relations with a potential for a major national strike which could just be days away.

“I want to appeal to the government to do the needful by urgently transmitting the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.

“We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilise for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right.”

Explaining the strike becomes inevitable the last option for labour, the NLC president called on all Nigerians and businesses to understand and support it.

He however assured workers that their labour, patience and diligence would not be in vain.

Wabba said the NLC leadership remains committed to giving all it takes to ensure workers get just and fair wages in a decent work environment appropriate to their well-being.

He added that the NLC leadership is similarly committed to social protection for workers.

“The new year presents great opportunities for workers, pensioners, civil society allies and their friends and families to put their numbers to good use.

“This is by voting out, not on the basis of tribe or religion but purely policy, any candidate that cannot serve their interest.

“In the year that is ahead of us, the NLC remains unequivocally committed to the national and workers’ goals which include the campaign for industrialisation, against selective enforcement of “No Work, No Pay” policy of government, among others,” he said.

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BIG STORY

Nigerian Girl Tobechukwu Phillips Shatters American School’s 125-year Academic History, Earns 6.9 GPA

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A Nigerian-born teenager, Tobechukwu Phillips has shattered the 125 academic history of her high school in Texas, US.

Phillips, a student of Alvin High School boasted a 6.9 GPA, after she earned A’s throughout her stay in the school. She emerged the first Black valedictorian in the school’s history.

Alvin High School was originally established in 1894. African-American students were allowed to join the school in 1965.

Speaking to Because of Them We Can, Phillips said, “Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is a difficult task. It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself.”

Phillips had a word of advice for other students. She said, “My biggest advice to other scholars of colour is to truly adopt the mindset of Rosa Parks — ‘No.’ Do not conform to the stereotypes that have held us under thumbs for so long,” she explained. “Do not be discouraged when someone speaks out against you, simply allow what they say to fuel your fire. But more than anything, do not remain tight-lipped. Stand up for what you believe in and take it upon yourself to be the change you’ve always wanted. Say ‘No’ to the ways of the world and stick out.”

Phillips will attend the Nursing School at the University of Texas on full scholarship later in the year. Her plan is to one day own her own clinic as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

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Minimum Wage: FG Increases NYSC Allowance To N30,000

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The allowance of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been increased to N30,000 by the federal government.

The disclosure was made by the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, who however, noted that the federal government is still working out modalities before the implementation of the new allowance for corps member, The Nation reports.

PorscheClassy News gathers that the minister made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, May 16, during a press conference where she added that the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.

She said: “The other aspect that should be clear is that there is an increase for the NYSC as well because NYSC, by its Act, is designed that they earn the minimum wage.”

“So, NYSC allowance also has to increase to N30, 000. So, I cannot give you projections right now because the negotiations are not yet concluded.”

Recall that we had previously reported that the former director general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Major General Suleiman Kazaure, said that the increment of allowances for corps members would be considered as soon as the minimum wage increment was approved.

Kazaure stated this in Abuja on Friday, March 29, during the swearing-in ceremony of 3,022 Batch A corps members into the FCT orientation camp.

The NYSC ex-DG said all hope was not lost as the scheme was waiting for the federal government to sign the minimum wage into law.

He urged the newly sworn in corps members to conduct themselves properly while in camp and shun drug abuse.

The NYSC ex-boss advised them to remain patriotic after being posted to their communities of primary assignments and ensure that impacts were made in their host communities.

Declaring the orientation camp exercise open, the minister of the FCT, Alhaji Muhammad Bello, who was represented by the director of administration and finance of the ministry, Hajiya Safiya Umar, also urged the new batch of corps members to be hard working.

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Stop Eating Foreign Rice, It’s Poisonous — Customs Comptroller-General Warns Nigerians

Peter Okunoren

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Col. Hameed Ali (Retd), the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has urged Nigerians to stop consuming foreign rice because it is poisonous.

He said this on Thursday in Abuja at a news conference organised by the Ministry of Finance.

Ali said that the Federal Government had not issued license for the importation of rice and that any rice seen on the streets that was not produced in Nigeria was smuggled, NAN reports.

He said that the imported rice was poisonous because before coming into the country, it must have spent a minimum of five years in the silos.

“A chemical must have been added to sustain its freshness and that chemical is harmful.

“Also, it has been re-bagged with a new date given as the production and expiry date and that is what we consume here which causes diseases.

“So, I appeal to Nigerians to please patronise our own rice, it is available, more nutritious and if you do that you will assist customs by making sure these people are put out of business.”

The Customs boss said that rice importation was one of the biggest challenges the NCS was encountering, adding that it still happens because Nigerians consume the imported rice.

He added that Nigerians were not helping matters as they help the smugglers bring in the product.

According to him, if Nigerians stop buying the imported rice, smugglers will go out of business and there will be no need to bring it in.

“We always ask for assistance from Nigerians to apprehend these smugglers but up till now there is no private citizen that has walked up to us to give us information, the only people giving us information are the rice millers.

“We are working very closely with them to make sure that the rice that comes into this country is validly processed.”

According to him, there is no smuggler that is too big to be arrested, and that the NCS has in custody three big rice smugglers.

He said because of the smugglers, the NCS enlarged its task force specifically to fight the rice problem, especially in the season of fasting, a celebration period which smugglers would try to import rice.

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