Connect with us

BIG STORY

FAAN Shuts KFC For Discriminating Against Physically-Challenged Ex-Gov Gbenga Daniel’s Son

Published

on

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has shut down a branch of a popular food outlet, KFC, at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos State.

FAAN stated this on Thursday in a statement signed by its Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Mrs Obiageli Orah.

The statement, titled, ‘FAAN shuts down KFC outlet at MMIA,’ noted that the food outlet violated the Lagos State law on People with Special Needs, Part C, Section 55 of General Provisions on Discrimination.

The statement added that the directive followed a social media report by a Passenger with Reduced Mobility who alleged discriminatory treatment he received at the airport.

So This Happened (239) | Punch0.00 / 0.00

It read, “In line with Lagos State law on People with Special Needs, Part C, section 55 of General Provisions on Discrimination which states that “A person shall not deprive another person of access to any place, vehicle or facility that members of the public are entitled to enter or use on the basis of the disability of that person”, the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has closed the KFC facility at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos with effect from March 28, 2024.

“This is as a result of a social media report by a Passenger with Reduced Mobility (PRM), alleging discriminatory treatment he received at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

“The MD/CE of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi, Kuku intervened swiftly by deploying a management team comprising the Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Mrs Obiageli Orah; the Regional Manager South West, Mr. Sunday Ayodele; Ag. General Manager Public Affairs, Mrs Ijeoma Nwosu-Igbo and the International Terminal Manager, Mr. Kerri, to investigate the allegation.”

FAAN said, “It is based on the findings of the team that FAAN has shut down the KFC facility at the MMA, where the incident occurred.

“The authority has instructed that the KFC Management should tender an unreserved apology, in writing, to the affected PRM and a policy statement of non-discrimination be written and pasted conspicuously at the door post of their facility at MMIA before it resumes operation.

“FAAN uses this medium to express our unreserved apology to the affected Passenger with Reduced Mobility and assures all airport users that we shall continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the rights of every passenger are not infringed upon.”

The victim of the maltreatment, Adebola Daniel, son of former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, recounted his experience at the KFC outlet of the airport in a series of tweets posted on Wednesday via his X handle, @DebolaDaniel.

Daniel, a wheelchair user, described his ordeal as “the worst sort of public humiliation” he ever had.

The Ogun State-born noted that it all started during his planned trip to London from Lagos via a Virgin Atlantic airline.

He stated that in years past, while he was quite familiar with security and immigration processes, being a frequent traveller, he would visit the Oasis lounge of the airport to wait for his flight.

However, because “the lift to the lounge has been out of service,” for the past three years, he decided to find “solace” at the KFC outlet in the airport, alongside his wife and his three brothers, whom they were travelling together.

“Today I chose KFC – what a colossal mistake,” he bemoaned.

His tweets partly read, “Being disabled often rolls over my spirit, leaving behind a trail of shattered dignity and forgotten humanity. Nowhere more so than in Nigeria.

“I have never been the type of person to make a fuss or complain about my disability. My approach has always been ‘laissez-faire.’ Ultimately, it is what it is. It is a part of my identity and like everyone else, I have my days of self-doubt and confusion as to how/if I fit in society.

“To be disabled in Nigeria is to be undesirable, unwelcome, and unaccepted. As I’ve said before, it’s a lonely, scary and isolated place.

“Never has this been more true than it has ever been today when I faced the worst sort of public humiliation that I have ever experienced. To think that this happened at an international brand @kfc @kfcnigeria at an international airport – Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos – is unthinkable.”

Daniel stated that he “arrived at the airport as normal for my Virgin Atlantic flight to London. I’m a frequent flyer and I’m extremely familiar with all due processes at Murtala Muhammed Airport. Years ago, after all security and immigration formalities had been completed, I would normally go to the Oasis lounge to wait for my flight.

“For the past three years, the lift to the lounge has been out of service so I’ve often found solace in other establishments, sometimes lounges, sometimes restaurants such as @kfc @kfcnigeria.”

Daniel stated that as they were about to sit, a lady who is “apparently the manager” called out loudly, “No wheelchairs allowed.”

He added that upon hearing what she said, one of his brothers, Taiwo, asked what the lady meant, but “she refused to listen to reason and stood her ground that at @kfc @kfcnigeria Murtala Muhammed branch, wheelchairs and wheelchair users of all shapes and sizes were not permitted in the premises and we should leave immediately.

“My siblings and wife became instantly irate and proceeded to debate her position with her, ultimately cumulating in raised voices and strong verbal protests. If there’s one thing I hate more than anything in this life is to create a scene. I detest it. I do not like to draw attention to myself and as such I began pleading with my people that we should just leave.

“My wife took some video footage and my brothers took some pictures. There were at least five other witnesses at the scene, who tried to intervene as things unfolded. Eventually, our party departed to another lounge upset and quite frankly pissed off.”

Daniel stated that he wouldn’t let such an incident slide, adding that as another of his brothers alongside his wife met the lady at another time, she stressed “that the business does not allow wheelchairs into their premises,” while they took an audio record of her statement.

He recalled the lady saying that “she recently just transferred to that branch, it is something that has been drummed into them.

“It harkens back to dark periods in recent history… No wheelchairs allowed… No coloureds allowed…. No blacks allowed…,” saying, “Today, I felt less than human, like a guard dog not allowed into the house. Lonely and isolated.”

Daniel noted that he would “continue to escalate the matter “until I get a reasonable resolution and there’s no stopping me. You cannot treat people this way.

“There are approximately 27 million Nigerians living with some form of disability. That’s over 13% of the country. One in six people on the planet are disabled. You must not treat people this way.

“So my question to @kfc @kfcnigeria is simple. Does this represent your approach to disabled customers or will you be looking into this? Am I not human enough for KFC?”

He added an audio record of the conversation between his wife and the lady.

“Audio clip from my wife. I’m trying to get all the evidence up on here,” he wrote.

In response to the allegation before the outlet’s shutdown by the FAAN, KFC tweeted via its official X handle on Thursday morning, stating, “KFC is unwavering in our stance against bias or discrimination in any form, with inclusivity and respect as non-negotiable pillars of our values.

“However, this recent incident has underscored the pressing need for immediate action. We have embarked on efforts to address the situation and extend apologies and deeply regret the frustration and distress experienced by our guest.”

The food outlet added that it’s “urgently implementing sensitivity training for all our employees. This incident is not reflective of our standards, and we will act swiftly to rectify it.

“We are actively exploring solutions to equip our team members and establishments better to ensure that every guest feels genuinely welcomed and that we deliver empathetic customer service that proactively addresses the diverse needs of each guest.”

On Thursday, the General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs, Mrs Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal, stated in a statement that the attention of her office “has been drawn to a viral story about the discrimination against Mr. Debola Daniel, a person with a disability in a wheelchair. This incident happened on 27th of March 2024, at a KFC restaurant located at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.”

The LASODA GM noted that “it frowns upon any form of discrimination, particularly against persons with disabilities. Every individual, regardless of their disability, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

“The agency is committed to ensuring that the rights of persons with disabilities are protected and upheld in Lagos State. Discriminatory actions, such as those alleged in this incident, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“LASODA, therefore, encouraged anyone who has experienced discrimination based on their disability to report such incidents to [email protected] We are committed to working towards a society that is inclusive and accessible to all.”

 

BIG STORY

Report Excessive Price Increases, Unscrupulous Exploitation Of Consumers — FCCPC Urges Nigerians

Published

on

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said that business that engage in price-fixing will face swift legal action.

It called attention to the burden that this practice places on the financial security and well-being of consumers and exhorted them to denounce such acts.

This was revealed by the FCCPC in a statement that was published on its official X (formerly known as Twitter) handle on Sunday.

The statement read, “The FCCPC acknowledges that the rising cost of essential goods impacts consumers’ well-being and economic stability.

“While we recognise that the commission cannot directly control prices, we are committed to safeguarding consumers’ interests and ensuring fair market practices, necessitating fair pricing.

“Arbitrary price increases stemming from untoward practices like price gouging and conspiracy to manipulate supply violate existing laws.

“The commission will not hesitate to invoke Section 17(s) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 against any perpetrator of such acts. This section prohibits obnoxious trade practices and unscrupulous exploitation of consumers.”

The statement urged Nigerians to stay vigilant and report any unfair trade practices they encounter.

It added, “We encourage consumers to remain vigilant and report unfair trade practices to the FCCPC.

“Consumers can provide details, including the conduct, location of perpetrators, and other relevant information for investigation, through [email protected].

“The FCCPC remains committed to promoting fair competition, protecting consumers, and fostering a regulated marketplace. We appreciate citizens’ vigilance and encourage active participation in reporting any violations.”

Earlier report in February had it that FCCPC closed a popular supermarket in the Garki area of Abuja, Sahad Store, for lack of transparency in products pricing.

Similarly, it also encouraged electricity consumers to report distribution companies that failed to comply with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

NLC, TUC Demand N615,000 Minimum Wage For Workers In Fresh Proposal

Published

on

Organised labour, comprising the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), has made a fresh demand of N615,000 as the new minimum wage for workers in the country.

According to The Punch, an impeccable source, who is an executive of organised labour, under anonymity, said that the new wage of N615,000 monthly was reached after consultations by the NLC and TUC.

The source, who was a member of one of the sub-committees set up by the government to work on getting a new minimum wage for the country, however, said the wage might still increase, following the recent hike in electricity tariff.

Furthermore, the source said, “We (NLC and TUC) have given our figures to the government (on the minimum wage), and it is N615,000. That is the position of the NLC and TUC on the matter. The government has been informed as well.”

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, through Vice President Kashim Shettima, had on January 30, set up a 37-member panel at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja.

With its membership cutting across federal and state governments, the private sector, and organised labour, the panel was tasked with recommending a new national minimum wage.

At the inaugural meeting of the panel, Shettima urged members to ‘speedily’ arrive at a resolution, and submit their reports early as the current N30,000 minimum wage expired at the end of March 2024.

Chairing the panel is a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Aji, who, at the inauguration ceremony, affirmed that its members would come up with a ‘fair, practical, implementable and sustainable’ minimum wage.

The inauguration followed months of agitation from organised labour over the FG’s failure to inaugurate the new national minimum wage committee as promised during negotiations last October.

From the government’s side, members include the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, representing the Minister of Labour and Employment; Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, who was represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Lydia Jafiya; the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu; Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Yemi Esan; and Permanent Secretary, GSO/OSGF, Dr Nnamdi Mbaeri, among others.

Representing the Nigeria Governors Forum are Mohammed Bago of Niger State, representing the North Central; Senator Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, representing the North East; Umar Radda of Katsina State, representing the North West; Charles Soludo of Anambra State, representing the South East; Senator Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, for the South West; and Otu Bassey of Cross River State, on behalf of the South-South.

From the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association is the Director-General of the association, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde; Chuma Nwankwo, Thompson Akpabio; as well as members from the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, including Michael Olawale-Cole, Ahmed Rabiu, and Humphrey Ngonadi.

From organised labour, the Nigeria Labour Congress is represented by its president, Joe Ajaero; as well as President of the TUC, Festus Osifo; and his deputy, Tommy Etim-Okon, among others.

Ajaero had announced N1m as the new minimum wage, owing to the rising inflation in the country which, according to him, had pushed many of his members into poverty.

This led to several controversies, with some experts stating that the wage was unrealisable or sustainable.

However, in an interview with one of our correspondents, another labour leader stated that the NLC and TUC had pegged the new wage at N615,000 tentatively.

Asked if the May 1 deadline was still on course, the labour leader said, “What I want you to know is that we are doing our best. Both the TUC and NLC have harmonised, and they have sent their position to the government.

“We are in the process. Be assured that once anything happens, I will, as usual, inform you. That is all I can tell you for now, because we have not met; even though we have submitted our unified positions to the Federal Government. We will be speaking with one voice.

“But, let me also hint you that with the removal of the electricity tariff subsidy, we are going to have another round of serious conversations with the government. Mind you, the tariff increase is also very good for us, because they (the government) did it when the new minimum wage process had not been concluded. So, it is going to be a good ground for us to ask for more.

“Our position will be defended based on the new price of N225 per kWh of electricity. Although we (the government and Labour) are not in agreement, we are waiting to meet and decide on the next point of action.”

The source added, “This is because if you look at the Electricity Act, it canvassed a position that before any increase at all, there must be stakeholders’ engagement. However, the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission unilaterally imposed the removal of the electricity tariff on the consumers, without recourse to stakeholders. That is in total defiance to the provisions of the Act.

“These are the issues that will be in the front burner of our next negotiation with the Federal Government.

“The new tariff will also give us another strategy to press the government on the need to move the minimum wage upward. This is because the government has not announced any new minimum wage yet, as we are still negotiating.

“As I said, the NLC and TUC have harmonised positions, which we have sent to the government. It is even now that the negotiation will start properly. All that we have done so far was to try to lay the foundation, and now that we have come up with our positions, the government will also come up with their own. We will then start a fresh negotiation.”

  • Economists Differ

Reacting, a professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Sheriffdeen Tella, said, “If internationally, they say there is poverty in Nigeria, what they mean is that Nigerians are earning less than two dollars per day. If you want to fix the minimum wage to end poverty, what you should do is fix the minimum wage above that.

“Whatever the labour unions have presented to the Federal Government is for negotiation and to serve as a benchmark. It is left for the Federal Government to negotiate.

“There is a law that has been established to make them comply. But, they (state governments) decide to flout the law. When it is agreed as minimum wage, that is what the private and public sectors should pay. If they don’t pay, they should be taken to court.”

A professor of Microeconomics at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Adeola Adenikinju, noted that while the Federal Government would bear a significant burden, it was imperative to recognise the involvement of state governments and the private sector in the implementation of the new minimum wage.

Adenikinju, who is also the President of the Nigerian Economic Society, harped on the importance of acknowledging the diverse economic landscapes across states, suggesting that a uniform minimum wage might not be feasible, due to varying levels of affordability.

He said, “The proposed minimum wage by the NLC should be looked at. It is not only the Federal Government that is going to pay this. The state government and private sector are also involved.

“It must be noted that the minimum wage varies by state, as some states are richer than others.”

In a similar vein, another economist, Paul Alaje, explained that there was a high possibility of President Bola Tinubu declaring between N100,000 and N200,000 as the minimum wages for both the private and public sectors if the exchange rate of naira improved to N1,000 per dollar by May.

He added that 30 out of the 36 states would struggle and might not align with the payment of the new minimum wage if it was pegged at N615,000.

According to him, getting special assistance from the Federal Government and intervention funds from international communities should be tied to states having zero clearance of previous salaries.

He also stated while the proposed minimum wage might not be so much of a challenge for the Federal Government and six states, the other 30 states will struggle to pay that amount.”

 

Credit: The Punch

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

New National ID Card To Be Issued Through Banks — FG

Published

on

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) states that applicants’ banks will provide them with the anticipated national ID card.

In order to provide the cards to applicants, NIMC stated that it is collaborating with the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).

“The card will be issued through the applicants’ respective banks in line with existing protocols with the issuance of the Debit/Credit cards,” the agency said in a Friday update on its official X (formerly known as Twitter) handle.

It said applicants need to request their cards with their NIN “through the self-service online portal, NIMC offices, or their respective banks”.

“The card will be powered by the AFRIGO card scheme, an indigenous scheme powered by NIBSS,” NIMC said.

“The card can be picked up by holders at the designated center or delivered to the applicants at the requested location at an extra cost to be borne by the applicants,” the update read.

Continue Reading

Most Popular