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NLC declares strike in 18 states over minimum wage



The Nigeria Labour Congress on Thursday directed workers in 18 states to proceed on strike over nonpayment of N30,000 minimum wage by their state governments.

The NLC, which said about half the 36 states of the federation were yet to conclude negotiations on payment of the minimum wage, however, did not name the affected states.

Sources at the NLC gave the affected states as Kwara, Imo, Osun, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Gombe, Rivers and Ogun.

The NLC also demanded a downward review of the template used in determining the pump price of petrol to stave off an imminent hike in the cost of the commodity following the rising price of crude oil in the international market.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC), the union urged the federal government to reduce the cost of gas sold to electricity generating companies to $1.5 cents as a means of driving down electricity tariffs.

NLC resolved to issue a 14-day ultimatum to the management of Turkish Airline and Caverton Helicopter to reinstate all sacked trade union executives and desist from further anti-union actions.

NLC warned that it would take drastic action against state governments that have refused to pay the new national minimum wage and minimum pension, whose benefits have been eroded by the escalating inflation in the country.

A communiqué jointly signed by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Mr Emma Ugboaja, stated, “The NEC also resolved to view the refusal to pay the new national minimum wage by state governments as demanded by the law as an act of criminality, betrayal of the oath of office sworn by state chief executives and a dangerous adventure in anarchy.

“The NEC-in-Session directed all states where the national minimum wage of N30,000 is yet to be paid to immediately proceed on industrial action.”

The union rejected deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry as long as it is import driven, saying that it negatively impact on the welfare of the working-class family and the masses.

It called on the federal government to rehabilitate local refineries as a sustainable solution to incessant increases in the pump price of petrol.

On the report on electricity tariffs, the NLC urged the federal government to immediately address the conditions within its control that are driving up electricity tariff.

It demanded a review of the power sector privatisation programme, since the law provides for one every two years.

“The NEC also calls for the reduction of the cost of gas to $1.5 cents and also the scrapping of the use of US and Nigeria inflation rates to determine the cost of gas to Gencos,” it stated.

In the case of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), accused of trampling on workers’ rights, the NLC resolved to mobilise workers to picket the national headquarters of the CAC for three days.

The NEC also resolved to issue a 14-day ultimatum to the management of Turkish Airline and Caverton Helicopter to reinstate all sacked trade union executives and desist from further anti-union actions.

It called on banks to desist from imposing unrealistic revenue targets on their employees.

It also tasked the federal government to live up to its constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property.

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs



Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…





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Southern govs okay VAT collection by state governments



Governors of the southern states have agreed that collection of value-added tax (VAT) should be undertaken by state governments.

Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Thursday while reading a communique at the end of a meeting of the governors in Enugu.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and some state governments are currently in court over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws empowering their respective states to collect the tax (VAT).

Last week, the Court of Appeal directed states to maintain status quo on VAT collection pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

Akeredolu said that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

“We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state,” he said.

He also said, “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”

Akeredolu urged states in the south to leverage the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the national assembly to pursue the goal.

He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria.

He said, “The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.

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“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region.”

The meeting was attended by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi), Ude Oko-Chukwu (Abia), Philip Shuaibu (Edo), Prof. Ivara Esu (Cross River) and Placid Njoku (Imo).

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Land Rover to expand Defender with eight-seater 130, showstopper models  



Land Rover is preparing to expand the Defender lineup, turning it into a family of vehicles similar to what it did with the Range Rover nameplate.

The expansion will specifically cover a long-wheelbase variant, an eight-seater 130, due next year to a posh, six-figure model in 2025, reports.

According to a report from Autocar, the first variant to arrive will be the 130, an extended-wheelbase version with eight seats and it is due in 2022.

An opulent range-topper is also expected by 2025, and will ride on the MLA platform that will also underpin the next generation Range Rover.

Land Rover already sells multiple versions of the Defender—the stubby but charming two-door 90, the standard four-door 110, and the burly supercharged V8 model.

The 130 should be at least 10 inches longer than the 110, with most of that length added to the rear overhang.

The Defender 130 is expected to only come in higher trim levels and should feature both the six and eight-cylinder engine options.

The US and China will be the stretched Defender’s primary markets, says the report.

The fancier model coming in 2025 will be based on the MLA platform that will underpin the next Range Rover. The MLA platform will support combustion engines, plug-in-hybrid setups, and electric powertrains, and will also form the basis for the next Range Rover Sport, Velar, and Discovery.

This would make a Defender EV possible, but the Range Rover and Velar are expected to have priority for all-electric versions.

The high-end Defender’s interior will be the major distinction, and Autocar says it will feature more vibrant colours and upscale materials.

Although the powertrain landscape will have shifted even further towards EVs by 2025, the luxe-Defender will likely still be powered by the six-cylinder engine.

A plug-in hybrid is also currently sold in Europe, and an evolution of this setup could come to the US as well.

An entry-level Defender 80 had also been rumoured to debut by 2025. It would have been based on the EMA (Electric Modular Architecture) platform, but Autocar reports that this model has been cancelled. That platform will be found in the next Evoque and Discovery Sport, but Land Rover has apparently decided to not move the Defender name down market, as a baby Defender likely wouldn’t have the higher profit margins that should make the 130 and luxury Defender worth the investment.




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