As the National Assembly continues deliberation on the new National Minimum Wage bill, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said that it is absurd to have two national minimum wages, explaining that what is obtainable in other places is one National Minimum Wage.
Over the weekend, the Director-General of NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale, said that what the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage submitted to the president upon conclusion of its assignment was a recommendation, and there was nothing in the National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Council of State examining it.
“It is alien and an aberration to have two national minimum wages. It is usually one national minimum wage and we hope this would be corrected by the National Assembly.”
NECA’s declaration came against the backdrop of approval of two separate minimum wage figures, including N30,000 for Federal workers and N27,000 for states and the private sector.
Meanwhile, the National Council of states has approved the N27,000 minimum wage, even though the members of the House of Representatives is against the figure because the initial amount reached by the Government, organised labour, and the private sector was N30,000.
The minimum amount NECA is recommending
Before speaking against the double National minimum wage figures, NECA had already welcomed the idea of N27,000 as the new minimum wage. In Olawale’s opinion, it would help lift the weight of the micro scale, little and medium scale companies in the nation.
“The figure recommended which is N3,000 less than the recommended figure by the Tripartite Committee comes with its own positives. The reduction will go a long way to lighten the burden of the micro, small and medium scale employers, which had been our concern hitherto. Granted too, that the exclusion threshold of 25 employees is expected to also take care of them.”
If put in a situation to choose between both figures, the Federal Government would probably go for N27,000 as the new minimum wage, because its lesser and save costs.
Price Watch: Consumers paid more for diesel and less for petrol in December
The December 2020 NBS report shows that consumers paid more for diesel and less for petrol than they did in November 2020.
The Price Watch report released by Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the month of December 2020 revealed that consumers paid more for Diesel (Automotive Gas Oil) and less for Petrol (Premium Motor Spirit), compared to that of November 2020.
The average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 0.28%, from N223.74 in November 2020 to N224.37 in December 2020, while the average price paid by consumers for petrol decreased by 0.94% from N167.27 in November 2020 to N165.70 in December 2020.
Key highlights of the report
- Consumers in Taraba (N266.00), Adamawa (N262.50) and Zamfara (N257.50) paid the highest average price for Diesel.
- While consumers in Kwara (N195.00), Gombe (N197.50) and Osun (N201.09) paid the lowest average price for Diesel.
- Overall, consumers in North West (N240.57), North East (N238.88) and North Central (N226.37) paid the highest average price for Diesel, while consumers in South West (N209.27), South East (N209.35) and South South (N216.25) paid the lowest average price.
- Consumers in Abia (N176.19), Kwara (N172.43) and Kebbi (N169.92) paid the highest average price for petrol.
- While consumers in Kaduna (N155.00), Katsina (N160.25) and Bauchi (N162.57) paid the lowest average price for petrol.
- Overall, consumers in South East (N168.04), North Central (N166.94) and South South (N166.53) paid the highest average price for petrol, while consumers in North West (N163.79), North East (N164.47) and South West (N164.92) paid the lowest average price.
Since a lot of manufacturing companies rely heavily on diesel to power their machinery and equipment, the increase would have added to their cost of operations, culminating in consumers paying more for goods and services.
Also, one would have expected that the reduced price of fuel in December 2020 would lead to lower transport fares for commuters during the festive season, but that was not the case.
COVID-19: FG to disburse N10 billion for local vaccine production
The Minister of Health has disclosed that Nigeria is exploring options for the licensed production of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, has announced the sum of N10billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at the daily Covid-19 briefing by the Presidential Task Force on Monday in Abuja.
- “The Ministry of Finance has released N10billion to support domestic vaccine production. While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production, in collaboration with recognised institutions. We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country.”
He also warned Nigerians to ignore news about vaccines being for sale in Nigeria, as the procedures to acquire vaccines have to pass through due process.
- “I advise all citizens to disregard these claims, as they are criminal. There are procedures for vaccine acquisition and use, which include appropriate regulations and certification by National Agency for Food and Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
- “I advise against fake vaccines, as there is no one approved for use in the country. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is the only authorised vaccine administrator in Nigeria.”
He also stated that as Nigeria is experiencing the second wave, the FG needs to change its response procedures through infection mitigations and vaccines.
- “There is no doubting the fact that we are deeply into the second wave of the pandemic which requires that PTF and FMoH review our strategies to respond to the challenge. The Federal Ministry of Health has outlined three approaches to confront the pandemic – Infection mitigation, Therapeutics and Vaccines.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that the Health Minister announced Nigeria’s plans to set up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 18th of January 2021, 1,617 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 112,004 confirmed cases.
On the 18th of January 2021, 1,617 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 112,004 cases have been confirmed, 89,939 cases have been discharged and 1,449 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.17 million tests have been carried out as of January 17th, 2021 compared to 1.15 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 18th January 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 112,004
- Total Number Discharged – 89,939
- Total Deaths – 1,449
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,172,234
According to the NCDC, the 1,617 new cases were reported from 18 states- Lagos (776), Kaduna (147) Kwara (131), FCT (102), Plateau (78), Edo (59), Ogun (53), Osun (45), Rivers (37), Taraba (36), Nasarawa (34), Adamawa (33), Kano (26), Delta (20), Ebonyi (16), Bayelsa (11), Gombe(11) and Borno (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 41,400, followed by Abuja (14,700), Plateau (6,831), Kaduna (6,325), Oyo (4,695), Rivers (4,429), Edo (3,320), Ogun (2,912), Kano (2,617), Delta (2,122), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Kwara (1,697), Enugu (1,583), Gombe (1,500), Nasarawa (1,335), Ebonyi (1,275), Osun (1,260), Abia (1,134), and Bauchi (1,107).
Borno State has recorded 867 cases, Imo (857), Sokoto (677), Akwa Ibom (667), Benue (657), Bayelsa (619), Adamawa (573), Niger (547), Anambra (515), Ekiti (473), Jigawa (425), Taraba (294), Kebbi (251), Yobe (211), Cross River (169), Zamfara (162), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.