Barely twenty-four hours after the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday, embarked on a 7-day warning strike, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, has made known the negative implication this could have.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by Mr Idris, he explained that the strike has also affected Government workers whose job it is to ensure the early release of funds for September salaries.
As a result of this, early payment of workers’ salaries cannot be guaranteed because those in charge of the process are locked out of their offices.
He narrated how he got to work on Thursday only to discover that his office was under lock and keys. He and his staff had been denied access to their workplace.
He said he had to plead with the protesting union members before they could grant access to him and some others. Afterwards, the entrance remained locked even as most of his staff remained shut out of their offices.
“I must explain that salary payment involves a number of processes that do not begin and end with the OAGF. There are other critical stakeholders like the Cash Management Department in the Ministry of Finance and others, who are supposed to do their beat before we can finalise.
“On coming to the office this morning, we met the gates of the office locked and wondered how we could keep this promise if we are being locked out of the office.
“We are all working for the same system and we should do nothing that can threaten the economy and lead to the collapse of the same system.” – Idris
Mr Idris, therefore, called on Labour to call off the warning strike to enable his office to fulfil a mandate given to them by President Muhammadu Buhari to always pay salaries on time.
As we reported, national leaders of the Nigerian Labour Congress came to an agreement to proceed on the warning strike, with the intention of pressing home their demand for a minimum wage increase. The industrial action eventually commenced yesterday, affecting many establishments including those in the public and private sectors.
LNG boss tasks FG to begin the monetization of Nigeria’s gas
Mr Attah has urged the FG to take the gas sector more seriously as the future of Nigeria’s energy lies with it.
The MD and CEO of Nigeria LNG Limited Mr. Tony Attah has tasked the Federal Government to begin the revamping and monetization of the Gas sector in Nigeria.
He made this statement while making his presentation at the 2nd virtual Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) Industry Multilogues, with the theme: “Powering Forward, Enabling Nigeria’s Industrialization via Gas.”
Mr. Tony Attah drew the attention of the audience to the hidden treasure in the Nigerian Gas industry which he believes is not getting enough attention from the government.
On the future of gas as an alternative energy source, Mr. Attah stated that the developed world is already keying into gas as an alternative to crude oil. Gas has proven to be a cleaner and more sustainable alternative.
He exclaimed that Nigeria is very rich in gas and yet poor in energy. Nigeria is the 9th country with the largest gas reserves in the world but makes very little use of it.
Mr. Attah went further to paint a clear picture of the promise of investing in gas using the success achieved by Qatar. Qatar is currently the largest LNG exporter in the world.
“We just touched on a quick case study of Qatar. Someone mentioned Qatar already from a poor fishing country to a gas giant and it took just 10 years, which is why we, as Nigeria LNG, firmly believe in the conversation and the narrative about the declaration of the decade of gas.
“We believe it is possible. If you look at Qatar from 1995, when they really went into gas development, we were just two years behind Qatar. So, Qatar’s first LNG was in 1997.
“Nigeria’s first LNG was in 1999, just two years behind. But then, within 10 years, because of the deliberateness of the government and focus on gas, they have gone to 77 million tonnes and we are at best, 22 million tonnes,” Attah said.
Mr. Attah stressed further the importance of the gas sector in Nigeria’s future. He recalled that the Nigerian Government declared 2021-2030 as the decade of gas. He pleaded with the government to take the sector more seriously as the future of Nigeria’s energy lies with it.
“Gas is the future. That future is now, and just as the Minister of State has made us to realize, gas is food in fertilizer. Gas is transport as you saw in the Auto gas project that was declared.
“Gas is life, as a matter of fact, for cooking, for heating, for existence. Gas is development in manufacturing, gas is power. Gas is everything. “We think it’s time for gas. It’s time for Nigeria to diversify and that is why we fully support the decade of gas,” he said.
What you should know
- Early last year, the director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Mr Sarki Auwalu confirmed that Nigeria’s proven gas reserve stood at 203.16 trillion cubic feet.
- Nigeria has the 9th largest gas reserves in the world. It is also the 6th largest exporter of gas.
- The Federal Government declared the year 2021–2030 as the “Year of the Gas“. It pledged to finally kick start the development and commercialization of Nigeria’s huge gas reserves.
Ex-Diamond Bank chairman, Seyi Bickersteth is dead
The death has been announced of Seyi Bickersteth, a former chairman of Diamond Bank Board of Directors.
Erstwhile chairman of Diamond Bank Board of Directors, Mr. Seyi Bickersteth is dead.
According to multiple sources, Mr Bickersteth was found dead in his Ikoyi apartment. The cause of his death is yet to be unravelled as at the time of reporting this.
Until his death, Mr Bickersteth was a Regional Managing Partner and Chairman of Andersen Tax, Africa. According to his LinkedIn profile, he started his career at Arthur Andersen as a partner and rose through the echelons to his most recent position, in a career that spanned over forty years.
Mr Bickersteth is an alumnus of the famous University of Ibadan and York University, Canada where he obtained a Bachelor`s and Masters’ degrees in Economics respectively. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (FCTI).
Mr Bickersteth was most remembered for his pioneering role as a team leader of Arthur Anderson team in the 1988 International Merchant Bank (IMB) restructuring exercise. He served in various leadership positions and Boards in top firms like; KPMG, ARM and the defunct Diamond Bank.
Nairametrics had earlier reported the resignation of Mr Bickersteth from the Board of Diamond Bank in 2018.
Details of his burial and other relevant information will be subsequently communicated.
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