As organised labour prepares to go on strike over minimum wage, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has stated that the demand of the Nigerian Labour Congress would force the Federal Government to sack workers.
Ngige said the demand of the organised labour would cost the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari additional N580 million annually. According to Ngige, the amount is not sustainable as the “Government cannot afford that kind of money.”
Labour has urged the government to fully implement the new minimum wage or it will embark on a strike. The union also informed the government to review old laws and compel the private sector to as well implement the N30,000 new labour wage.
The Minister said President Buhari was more interested in the lowest cadre of workers, arguing that they were the ones in need of the new minimum wage of N30,000. Ngige asserted that if the government accepts the consequential adjustment demand of labour for salary increment from levels 1 to 17, the organised labour is indirectly asking government to sack workers.
“There is no problem with disagreement in the labour system, when can sometimes disagree to later agree, on the national minimum wage, it will translate to an additional N580 billion if government agrees to the consequential adjustment labour is proposing.
“Government cannot afford that kind of money now, besides the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is more interested in the lowest cadre of workers which are those on grade level 1 step 1 and level 6 step 1, these are the ones who the N30,000 will have greater impact on.
“Government has done their own homework and brought out what they can use to defend this consequential adjustment. Grade 1 to 6 does not have any problem, but 7 to 14 band and 15 to 17 band this is where we have the problem.
“Once you finish a minimum wage and go into consequential adjustment you are trying to reach a collective bargaining agreement and once you are trying to reach and once you are the principle of ability to pay comes in.
“So if you push the government to go and accede to an increment which its resources cannot accommodate, you are indirectly asking them to retrench workers so that the few that are remaining will get this big money.
“We don’t want that, from 2015 the president has made it clear that he is not out to inflict pains on Nigerians and that he does not want to create unemployment but even at that our increase in population is galloping and our resources are not consequentially increasing to meet up that is why we have a lot of unemployed youths on the street today.
“We need to arrive at an agreement as soon as possible so that we can use the 2019 budget allocation to defame this consequential adjustment because it will be bad if we are unable to do it and we finish this financial year by December because the budget circle is going to return to January/December 2020 so we have three months only before this recurrent funds as well are swept back into government treasury, that is the law.”
Note: Labour planned to embark on strike on October 16, 2019.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 billion investment plan for water supply
The local governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the LG.
The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde announced the proposal of a N3 billion investment plan dedicated to water supply in rural and urban areas of the state.
Speaking through the Chairman of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Najeem Omirinde in Ibadan on Monday, he added that N500 million of the N3 billion would be used for repairing broken and faulty state-owned boreholes.
All Chairmen of each of the Local Governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the Local governments.
The Oyo State governor also ordered that all new boreholes must be compliant with solar-powered pumps, to enable their longevity and save costs.
Urging residents to patronize the agency if they need to dig up boreholes for water, citing that it would be cheaper if done through the state agency than with private drilling companies.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed stated last year that Nigeria needs an estimated N36 trillion annually for the next 30 years to solve Nigeria’s infrastructure problem. The investment, although a tiny fraction of what Nigeria needs is a bold step by the Oyo State government.
FG asks UK court for more time to appeal $9.6 billion arbitration judgement
Malami stated that the Evidence of P&ID’s highly orchestrated scam had only recently come to light.
The Federal Government has approached a UK court to appeal for more time to appeal the $9.6 billion arbitration award against it over the breach of contract with Process & Industrial Development (P&ID) Ltd.
Nigeria has said that it needs more time to pursue its argument that the 2010 gas supply contract with Process & Industrial Development Ltd was a sham.
The legal dispute with P&ID is coming against the backdrop of the huge drop in the country’s revenue due to the collapse in oil prices globally. Nigeria had applied to US courts in March seeking for documents from 10 banks which includes Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co, in a bid to prove its corruption allegations.
P&ID, however, has denied any wrongdoing in the whole transaction, arguing that Nigeria missed its opportunity to appeal.
The Nigerian Lawyer, Mark Howard, on Monday, the first morning of a 2-day hearing, said ‘’It is very unusual in a fraud case to discover a single smoking gun. By its very nature, fraud is conducted in secret, which makes it hard to detect and justifies an extension.’’
The legal representatives for Nigeria are seeking another hearing for the judge to decide whether any misconduct has taken place and whether it justifies overturning the contract
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami in a statement said, ‘’Evidence of P&ID’s highly orchestrated scam had only recently come to light.’’
It can be recalled that last year, a UK judge upheld an earlier arbitration award to P&ID, which had accumulated to about $9.6 billion. The arbitration decision was over a failed contract to build a gas processing plant in the Southern city of Calabar.
The Nigerian lawyers disclosed that they have uncovered alleged bribes to government officials and their family members dating back to 2009.
Malami in his court filing on March 24, submitted that ‘’There is good reason to believe that ministers at the highest level were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria.’’
Delay in passing PIB creating uncertainties in Petroleum Industry – WEIN
Ogbue said the bill will ensure a new future of legislation in the sector.
The President of the Women in Energy Network (WEIN), Mrs Funmi Ogbue, announced on Monday that the delaying the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has led to uncertainties in Nigeria’s Oil and gas industry.
She said that the current sector framework is ineffective, citing regulatory overlaps in responsibilities, according to NAN. She said, “The expedient passage of and purposeful implementation of the PIB is critical to addressing most of the loopholes in the management and governance of the sector.
“The PIB when passed into law will improve governance of the sector by strengthening institutions in the areas of clarity of structures, roles, accountability, transparency, and overall efficiency and effectiveness.”
She added that passing of the bill will ensure a new future of legislation in the sector. She urged the National Assembly to apply regulatory oversight on the necessary agencies and impact policies that affect the deregulation of the downstream sector that support women.
“WIEN will be willing to support the NASS in this review and also in proffering practical strategies and programmes that can improve these programmes and others that can improve the lives and livelihoods of poor women,” she said.
It will be recalled that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that the PIB currently with the Executive will be sent to the National Assembly in two weeks time.
Mrs Ogbue called for more women to be involved in the sector, especially in board and leadership positions of the MDA’s in the oil and gas sector, and said her organization lobbies for gender equality in the Petroleum Industry.