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Fed Govt, Labour Seal New Minimum Wage Agreement

Peter Okunoren

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Nigeria Labour Congress and the Federal Government last night reached an agreement on the consequential adjustment to the salaries of senior civil servants towards the full implementation of the new minimum wage.

The agreement, after two days of talks, ended the strike threat.

In addition to Federal Government workers on Levels 1-6, who already enjoy the N30,000 minimum wage, Grade Level 07 workers, will now have 23% addition to their pay.

The other categories of federal workers will get the following increment: 20 per cent for GL 08; 19 per cent for GL 09; 16 per cent for GL 10 to 14 and 14 per cent for workers on GL 15 to 17.

At yesterday’s meeting on the side of organised Labour were: Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ayuba Wabba, Trade Union Congress (TUC) General-Secretary Musa Lawal Ozigi; NLC’s General Secretary Emmanuel Ugbaoja; Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) Chairman Simon Achaver; JNPSNC Secretary Alade Lawal; Nigeria Union of Civil Service President Amaechi Lawrence (JNPSNC member) and General Secretary Issa Aremu.

The government team was led by the Head of Service of the Federation (HoCSF) Mrs. Folashade Yemi- Esan; Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Employment Festus Keyamo; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Williams Alo and the Acting Chairman, National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta.

The TUC confirmed the agreement in a statement by its President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, and Secretary-General, Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi.

They said: “We commend the Head of Service of the federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan and her team for their sincerity.

“Though they argued that government cannot afford to meet our earlier demand of N30, 000 minimum wage across the board because of the economic situation in the country, we made them understand that some people cannot be more Nigerian than others.

“If we are tightening our belts, the government should also do so.

“By the agreement reached, the core civil servants:- GL 7 (23.2%), GL 8 -(20%), GL 9 – (19%), GL 10-14 – (16%) and GL 15-17 (14%).

“Others, GL -7 (23.2%) like above; 8-14 shall earn (16%) and 15-17 (10.5).

“As an organization and a major stakeholder in the Nigerian project, we believe that the parties have done well. We shifted grounds and that is why we were able to resolve things without major injuries. It is a win-win situation.

“This is a unique agreement and we promise to build on that by God’s grace.”

Speaking before the resumption of talks yesterday, Ngige urged both parties to conclude negotiations on the consequential adjustment for the full implementation of N30, 000 minimum wage to workers.

He urged them to fast track discussions and put an end to the minimum wage discussion.

The minister addressed reporters before the meeting started at about 8: 30pm.

Ngige said: “We have often repeated that the essence of that law was for the President to lift the vulnerable working force both in the private and public service.

“This is a national law and it must be obeyed by all, state government, local government and all persons concerned that employ more than 25 per cent in their organisation.

“We have decided to fast track discussions. We are fast-tracking it because we need to put an end to the issue of minimum wage till the next five year when it will come up again.

“We need to finalise this today (yesterday). The suspense is too much for the people. Even your constituency- workers, if we don’t conclude today, they will be thinking otherwise. They will start thinking that you have been compromised. Even on the government side, if we don’t conclude today, they will start saying you people are influencing us.

“This negotiation should be, in the spirit of give and take, in the spirit of one nation, end this thing. If we decide to empty the purse so that the nation will go broke, it will affect all of us. If we do give and take, look at government purse and know that this purse has been badly depleted, make some concession, it will be in the interest of Nigeria.”

Wabba said organised labour was ready to ensure that the negotiation on the consequential adjustment came to an end.

He said: “We are trying to see how we can conclude what we started yesterday. We on this side of the table we are ready to ensure that we bring the entire process to a conclusion.

“In the normal practice of collective bargaining, you look at issues from both sides, you look at the situation with workers, vis a viz their pockets and what will make the workers happy and very productive.

“If wishes were horses, we would have wished that this entire negotiation was concluded yesterday.”

BIG STORY

SAD! Taxify Driver Awaiting Youth Service Loses Sight To Lagos Traffic Robbers

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A graduate of Physics from the Kogi State University, Tomi Waziri, 27, has lost his eyesight to an armed robbery attack while in traffic in the Apongbon area of Lagos.

Waziri, who was waiting for his call up letter from the National Youth Service Corps for the mandatory one year service, was said to have approached his sister’s husband to engage him as a Taxify ride-hailing service driver until he would be mobilized for the scheme.

It was learnt that on September 12, two armed robbers attacked him while in traffic and shot him in the face.

Waziri was said to be conveying a female passenger to the Papa Ajao area of Mushin around 8.00 p.m., when the robbers attacked him.

They were said to have left immediately they shot him.

The victim narrated his experience, “I live at No. 35 Daudu Street, Mafoluku, Oshodi. I was robbed in traffic on the Apongbon Bridge, Lagos, on September 12, 2019, by two young men around 8pm. I was a Taxify (now Bolt) driver and I had a female passenger in the car. We were going to Papa Ajao, Mushin.

“One of the robbers pointed a gun at me; I was about giving him my phone, when he shot me in the face and collected the phone. The pellets shattered the window and hit me in my two eyes.

“The robbers ran away immediately I was shot. My passenger became scared and panicky. The next thing I noticed was that she disembarked from the vehicle and began calling for help as she was running away.

“I was bleeding profusely without help. I came down from the vehicle and shouted for help; nobody answered. After about five minutes, two policemen showed up.

“They were the ones who took me to the Military Hospital, Yaba, in my vehicle. One of the policemen drove us to the hospital. While driving, the other was busy holding me and saying kind words to me so that I wouldn’t give up.

“When we got there, I was given first aid to stabilise my condition.

“I lost vision immediately I was shot. After treatment, it is still the same, we are only hoping for God’s intervention. The vehicle belongs to my sister’s husband. I used to remit money to him pending when I would get the NYSC call-up letter.”

According to him, his brother-in-law has been supportive and is always around for him.

Waziri noted that the doctors at the Eye Foundation, Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA, told him that if he had been treated earlier, he would have regained sight in his right eye.

He added, “I went for surgery at the Eye Foundation. Before then, I was being treated at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, and I was about to do the surgery at LASUTH, but there were delays there.

“It was through God’s help that we were able to do it at the Eye Foundation. And when we got there, we were told that if we had come for the surgery earlier, I would have been seeing with at least my right eye. LASUTH was just negligent and wasting time.

“What the doctors are saying now is that we can only hope for the best; what I know is that there is no vision now.”

Waziri noted that his nose was treated at LASUTH, adding that there were still pellets in his face and two teeth, as there were pellets logged in the gum.

He said the doctors told him that if he wanted to get permanent treatment for his damaged teeth, he would have to pay N350,000 for each.

Concerning the pellets in his face, he said the doctors advised him that any attempt to remove them would result in more damage, adding that his body would expel them naturally.

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BIG STORY

Makinde vs Adelabu: Confusion As APC, PDP Celebrate Appeal Court Ruling In Oyo

Peter Okunoren

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There was wild jubilation in Oyo State following the Monday ruling of the Appeal Court on the application filed by the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the last elections, Adebayo Adelabu, against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan held that there was a miscarriage of justice at the Oyo State Election Petition Tribunal because they should have considered every document submitted to prove its case and not lump it together and consider it as one, it did not give any consequential order to that effect.

The Appellate Court in its ruling resolved the four issues filed by Adelabu in favour of Makinde and dismissed the four reasons. The court had noted that it allowed the appeal because there were issues of a miscarriage of justice at the lower court but added that a judgement must be given after considering a situation in its entirety.

The four-man panel further noted that in this situation the 180 days mandated for the tribunal to operate had lapsed and there was consequently no reason to touch the ruling of the lower court.

Adelabu had filed an appeal through his counsel, Yusuf Alli (SAN), against the judgement of the tribunal upholding the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr Seyi Makinde, praying the court to dismiss the judgment of the lower court and order a fresh election while counsel to Seyi Makinde urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgement of the case.

While the camps of the APC has started jubilating, the PDP camp has also started jubilating in reaction to the judgement.

APC United Kingdom as at 1:07 PM via his verified Twitter handle @APCUKingdom tweeted that “[BREAKING NEWS] Appeal court rules in favour of APC Gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, as his appeal was upheld. More Details shortly! #NextLevel @OfficialAPCNg @apcghanachapter @apcyouthomoodua.”

Appeal court rules in favour of APC Gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Adebayo Adelabu, as his appeal was upheld.

More Details shortly!#NextLevel @OfficialAPCNg @apcghanachapter @apcyouthomoodua pic.twitter.com/pHnxg7L5GC

— APC United Kingdom (@APCUKingdom) November 11, 2019

The PDP via G.S.M Media @MakindeMedia, an independent media campaign team for Makinde said: “Congratulations Gov. Seyi Makinde. People’s choice!”

Congratulations Gov. Seyi Makinde.

People’s choice! pic.twitter.com/P2xHZEMAt2

— G.S.M Media (@MakindeMedia) November 11, 2019

A copy of the image accompanying the tweet was also posted by Oyo State PDP via @PDPOyoState.

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BIG STORY

Great News! 12-Year-Old Nigerian Boy, Chika Ofili, Bags Award In UK For Discovering A New Formula In Mathematics

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Master Chika Ofili, a 12-year-old Nigerian boy based in the UK, has bagged a special award for recognition after making a shocking new discovery in mathematics.

He is said to have discovered a new formula for divisibility by 7 in mathematics.

His new formula for divisibility of 7 is to multiply the last digit in the figure and then add everything together, then check if the new figure is a multiple of 7.

For example, to check if 7 can divide 532, the process is illustrated below:

53 + 2 x 5= 63

63, is a multiple of 7; hence 7 can divide it. Amazing isn’t it??? Nigeria to the World!!!

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