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N30,000 minimum wage binding on all employers – FG

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The N30,000 national minimum wage is binding on all employers of labour, including state governments and the private sector, the Federal Government has said.

President Muhammadu Buhari stated this on Saturday in Abuja during the Workers’ Day celebrations.

He spoke through Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stressing that the minimum wage law signed in 2019 was a national law that everyone must obey.

Buhari said, “Private sector and state governors are bound by the laws, because we have workers as prescribed in that law. So, it is not a question of pick and choose. We moved the national minimum wage from N18, 000 per month to N30,000. It is an irreducible plus. Therefore, we expect them and the people in the private sector to comply.”

He also told the workers that the FG was against any attempt to remove the national minimum wage from the exclusive list, adding that the issue of pension minimum wage was backed by the constitution, and every employer was bound by it. The FG, he said, would pay all minimum wage arrears owed pensioners from 2019 to date.

“All pensioners in the federal civil service are to get their arrears paid beginning from May 1, 2021,” Buhari said.

He noted that although the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were monumental, the government had tried to cushion the effects of the disease without reducing incomes.

This was made possible, he said, through the diversification of the economy, thus keeping the country afloat.

Buhari listed some of policies being executed by his administration to create jobs and empower the populace.

He said, “While awaiting the formalisation of our social protection network and people’s welfare, we have not and will not rest on our oars in combating the challenges of our time occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have in our place some social-economic policies to alleviate poverty and ours include but not limited to the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfers for the vulnerable poor from 2.6 million households (13 million persons) to 7.6 million households (32 million) and COVID-19 Rapid Response Register for urban poor, which now has 4.8 million households (20 million).”

The president said the government, through the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, was implementing the Entrepreneur Support Programme, Artisanal Support Fund, and Payroll Support Fund for small-scale businesses.

In a message jointly signed by the President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, and President of TUC, Quadiri Olaleye, the leadership of organised labour lamented the poor conditions Nigerian workers had been subjected to.

They alleged countless violations of human, workers, workplace and trade union rights all over Nigeria in the last one year.

They said the situation was compounded by the health and socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the loss of millions of jobs and subsequently pushed about 27 million Nigerians into poverty.

Wabba said this year’s May Day was dedicated to brave women and men, who paid the supreme price in the performance of their jobs, contracted the coronavirus, and suffered life-lasting complications as a result.

“We must say that our country has not made the desired progress in protecting workers and the Nigerian people from the impact of COVID-19, which has brought with it daunting challenges for Decent Work, Social Inclusion cum Protection and Distress on peoples’ welfare,” he stated.

Wabba added, “Despite the best efforts of government, organised labour, and private sector employers, millions of Nigerian workers have lost their jobs, their means of livelihood and have slipped into destitution, lack and misery. The weakness of our social protection system has aggravated the pain and frustration of our compatriots.”

Olaleye said labour was proffering alternative policy options to government to consider in order to save the country from the current difficult situation.

He said rather than help businesses to grow, agencies of government had been stifling the small-scale businesses through multiple taxation, leaving the economy and Nigerians strangulated and impoverished.

The TUC president said government should see the need for expansionist policies to restore the essential role of the state in the protection of essential public goods, notably health, education, jobs, and sound management of the petroleum and power sectors.

On the removal of petrol subsidy, Olaleye said organised labour was pushing for production cost and pricing method as against the existing import-parity model, which had bled Nigeria of humungous forex.

He urged the government to implement a three-year suspension of increase in gas price to help stabilise the cost of electricity tariff in the country.

“With the savings made, the cost of the electricity tariff could be reduced by N10.50 across the high price bands,” he said.

Representative of the Senate President, and Chairman, Senate Committee on Labour, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, said the National Assembly was always willing to partner the leadership of the workers in safeguarding the wellbeing of workers and ensuring industrial stability.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, commended Nigerian workers for standing with the FG during the challenging period of the outbreak of COVID-19.

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Photos: Coscharis rolls out new Land Rover Discovery Sport, Jaguar F-Pace

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Coscharis Motors on Wednesday unveiled the 2021 edition of the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Jaguar F-Pace at its Lekki-Epe Expressway head office, Lagos.
Detailed reports later…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CBN fixes N1m application fee for payment service firm

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Anyone intending to set up a payment service holding company will have to pay a mandatory application fee of N1m, the Central Bank of Nigeria has announced.
This, it said, was part of the guidelines for the establishment and regulation of payments service holding companies in Nigeria.
Musa Jimoh, CBN’s director of payments system management department, stated this in a circular.
The guidelines require companies that intend to offer both switching and processing, and mobile money services to set up a PSHC structure.
“This arrangement would prevent commingling of activities, facilitate management of risks and enable the Central Bank of Nigeria exercise adequate regulatory oversight on all the companies operating within the Group (PSHC),” the circular stated.
The CBN said promoters of a PSHC would be required to submit a formal application for the grant of a licence.
But it said the application process would be in two phases: approval-in-principle (AIP) and a final licence.
According to the guidelines, the capital requirement to apply for an AIP is “a non-refundable application fee of N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira only) or such other amount that the CBN may specify from time to time; payable to the Central Bank of Nigeria, through electronic transfer.
“Not later than six (6) months after obtaining the AIP, the promoters of a proposed PSHC shall submit an application to the CBN for the grant of a final licence.
“The application shall be accompanied with non-refundable licensing fee of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira only), or such other amount that the CBN may specify from time to time, payable to the Central Bank of Nigeria by electronic transfer.”
The apex bank explained that a PSHC would be set up for the purposes of making and managing equity investment in two or more companies being its subsidiaries, which are payments service providers across three categories: mobile money operations, switching and processing, and payment solution services.
It said, “PSHC shall be non-operating, existing solely to carry out investment in approved subsidiaries without engaging in the day-to-day management and operations of subsidiaries.
“It shall have a board size of between 5 and 10 or as determined by applicable CBN Corporate Governance Guidelines.”
The CBN added that no PSHC is allowed to borrow from the Nigerian banking system for the purpose of capitalising itself or any of its subsidiaries.

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Aviation

UAE lifts ban on transit flights from Nigeria, others

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The United Arab Emirates has announced the exclusion of some countries from which entry has been prohibited, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda, as of August 5.
These categories of travellers named are those with valid residency permits who have received full vaccination doses in the UAE and 14 days have passed since receiving the second dose and who have vaccination certificates approved by the official authorities in the country.
Others are medical personnel working in the country will be excluded, including doctors, nurses, technicians from the vaccinated and non-vaccinated, and those working in the educational sector in the country who teach in universities, colleges, schools and institutes from the vaccinated and non-vaccinated categories.
Students studying in the country and humanitarian cases (vaccinated or not vaccinated) who hold valid residency, workers in federal and local government agencies, and cases of completing treatment in the country, whether they are catering or not, will be excluded.
All of these categories will be required to submit a request on the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship to obtain the necessary approvals in addition to vaccination certificates certified by the concerned authorities in the country for the categories from which these certificates are required.
The excluded groups will be obligated to submit a prior (PCR) laboratory test within (48) hours from the date of departure, provided that the tests are from accredited laboratories, bear a QR Code, and conduct a quick laboratory test before boarding the plane.
In addition to applying precautionary and preventive measures to receive arrivals, including quarantine and PCR checks upon and after arrival, in addition to follow-up and health monitoring of arrivals.
Travel will resume for transit passengers from all countries from which transit passengers were previously suspended, provided that the traveler’s last destination is accepted and a laboratory examination is submitted within 72 hours from the time of departure, and the country’s airports will allocate special lounges for transit passengers.

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