Fuel Subsidy: FG’s meeting with NLC ends in deadlock – Newstrends
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Fuel Subsidy: FG’s meeting with NLC ends in deadlock

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Fuel Subsidy: FG’s meeting with NLC ends in deadlock

The meeting between the federal government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) ended in deadlock, on Monday.

The meeting which was convened by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, failed to address any of the issues raised by Congress as reasons for the proposed strike.

Briefing the journalists after the meeting, Lalong expressed optimism that though it could not immediately address the issues raised by the Nigerian workers, most of their concerns will be resolved before the deadline.

“I fully acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable role the NLC plays in championing for the rights and welfare of our workers.

“Your dedication and tireless advocacy have been critical in shaping a fair and inclusive work environment, and ensuring the wellbeing of our workforce.

“We acknowledge the valid grievances that have fueled the recent labour crisis, and we are committed to addressing them in a just and equitable manner.

“We must also recognize the economic realities that confront us. As we address the concerns of our workforce, we must be mindful of striking a balance that promotes economic growth and secures sustainable progress for our nation.

“Today, I call upon each one of you to join hands in an open-minded and constructive dialogue, enabling us to bridge any gaps that may exist between the interests of workers and the ultimate goal of driving economic advancement.

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“In the spirit of unity and with utmost commitment to the betterment of our nation, let us seize this opportunity to listen and understand one another.

“Together, let us explore innovative approaches, reimagining strategies that enhance working conditions and worker benefits while nurturing a robust economy,” Lalong stated.

He expressed optimism that a constructive dialogue which has just began will lead to resolution of the issues on the ground.

On his part, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, said the two-day warning strike earlier embarked on by the union was necessitated by frustration on the part of the working class.

Ajaero stated this at the commencement of a meeting called at the instance of Lalong.

Expressing his displeasure on the way government was handling the palliative scheme amidst the subsidy removal policy, Ajaero said none of the demands raised by workers, which government pledged to meet has been met despite the two-day warning strike.

The apex Labour union said not that workers were keen on embarking on strike but recent developments in the labour sector, particularly the crisis in the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) where the police have taken over the secretariat leaves much to be desired.

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Before the meeting broke into a closed door session, Lalong had in his opening remarks said the country was witnessing teething challenges, marked by industrial actions and unrest that have adversely affected the economy.

“We had a meaningful discussion on issues relating to our demands. We equally discussed frankly on issues bordering on the coup plotted and executed by the Nigerian Police against the NURTW, which had led to the sideling of the democratically elected leadership of the union. Both parties agreed that to express concern about.

“This is one sore area that the Nigerian Trade Union is not ready to compromise is that coup must be condemned, whether it is in Niger, whether it’s in Congo, whether it’s in Mali or whether it’s in the trade Union movement in Nigeria,” he told newsmen.

When asked the specific issues considered at the meeting, Ajaero said: ” in the ultimatum we gave and in the NEC resolution, the issue of NURTW was clearly stated and it was at the time the issue has not degenerated the way it is now. That was why we had to bring it along with issues.

“On the other issues you can see that there were no agreement on any, there is no CNG anywhere and refineries are not working neither gas.

“Nothing has been done on the issue of wage award and cash transfer or the ASUU issues. However, we believe that between now and the next few days, when the ultimatum expires, something will happen.”

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Tinubu says new minimum wage ready for legislative action

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Tinubu says new minimum wage ready for legislative action

President Bola Tinubu said on Wednesday that an agreement had been reached on a new minimum wage between the Federal Government and organised labour.

He stated this in his national broadcast to mark the 2024 Democracy Day in Abuja.
Tinubu added that an executive bill would soon be sent to the National Assembly to legalise the new minimum wage.

He said, “We have negotiated in good faith and with open arms with organised labour on a new national minimum wage.

“We shall soon send an executive bill to the National Assembly to enshrine what has been agreed upon as part of our law for the next five years or less.”

He said his administration chose a democratic approach over dictatorship in addressing the demands of labour.

“In the face of labour’s call for a national strike, we did not seek to oppress or crack down on the workers as a dictatorial government would have done. We chose the path of cooperation over conflict.

“No one was arrested or threatened. Instead, the labour leadership was invited to break bread and negotiate toward a good-faith resolution. Reasoned discussion and principled compromise are hallmarks of democracy.

“These themes shall continue to animate my policies and interaction with the constituent parts of our political economy,” Tinubu said.

The President added, “I take on this vital task without fear or favour and I commit myself to this work until we have built a Nigeria where no man is oppressed.

“In the end, our national greatness will not be achieved by travelling the easy road. It can only be achieved by taking the right one.

“The words of the American President Franklin Roosevelt certainly ring true: There are many ways of going forward. But only one way of standing still.”

The labour had settled for N250,000 as new minimum wage, while the Federal Government team stayed on N62,000, both proposals were sent to President Tinubu at the close of negotiation on the issue.

This came after several failed meetings between the government and labour unions.

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Appeal Court rejects Kanu’s move to challenge IPOB’s proscription

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leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu with some of his lawyers

Appeal Court rejects Kanu’s move to challenge IPOB’s proscription

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has rejected an application by detained leader of the proscribed separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu seeking to be allowed to challenge the order proscribing the group.

In a judgment, the Court of Appeal upheld the argument by lawyer to the federal government, Oyin Koleosho, that the application filed for Kanu by his lawyer, Alloy Ejimakor, was inappropriate.

Kanu had, in the application, sought to be allowed to appeal, as an interested party, the January 18,  2018 ruling by Justice Abdu Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja (now late) affirming his earlier ex-parte order of September 20, 2017 proscribing IPOB and designating it a terrorist group.

It was part of Kanu’s contention that, since the Fed Govt allegedly capitalised on the IPOB proscription order to charge him with belonging to, and leading a terrorist group, he was qualified as an interested party, who should be allowed to part of a pending appeal filed by IPOB against the order proscribing it.

In the judgment delivered on May 30, a certified true copy (CTC) of which The Nation saw on June 12, a three member panel of the Court of Appeal held that it was inappropriate for Kanu to have filed his application directly at the appellate court.

Justice Hamma Barka, in the lead judgment, held that, as an applicant seeking leave to appeal as an interested party, Kanu ought to first file his application before the Federal High Court, Abuja, whose decision he sought to appeal.

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Justice Barka further held that Kanu’s failure to first file his application before the Federal High Court was a violation of Order 6 Rule 4 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2021.

He said: “In the instant case, it is apparent that no such leave was sought from the court below, thus, an affront to the provisions of Order 6 Rule 4 of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2021.

“This knocks off the present application as being incompetent, not capable of being granted.

“The consideration of all other issues canvased to my mind will amount to an academic exercise for which courts are enjoined not to embark upon, and for this singular reason, the application being incompetent is accordingly struck out.”

Upon an ex-parte motion by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), marked: FHC/AB)/CS/871/2017, Justice Kafarati had, in a ruling on September 20, 2017 ordered as follows:

*That an order declaring that the activities of the respondent (Indigenous People of Biafra) in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South east and South-South regions of Nigeria, either in groups or as individuals, amounts to acts of terrorism and illegality is granted.

*That an order proscribing the existence of the respondent (Indigenous People of Biafra) in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South east and South-South regions of Nigeria, either in groups or as individuals by whatever name they are called and publishing same in the official gazette and two national dailies, is granted.

*That an order restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the respondent (Indigenous People of Biafra) under any other name or platform however called or described, is granted.

IPOB later applied to the court for it to set aside the orders, and in a ruling on January 18, 2018, Justice Kafarati dismissed IPOB’s application and affirmed his earlier orders proscribing the group and designating it a terrorist organisation.

IPOB subsequently lodged an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja against the January 18, 2018 ruling.

It is the appeal, marked: CA/A/214/2018 that Kanu applied to be given permission to join as an interested party.

Appeal Court rejects Kanu’s move to challenge IPOB’s proscription

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No agreement reached with FG on new minimum wage, labour counters Tinubu

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No agreement reached with FG on new minimum wage, labour counters Tinubu

Organised Labour has rejected President Bola Tinubu’s claims that an agreement has been reached on new national minimum wages in his nationwide broadcast to make Democracy Day.

According to Organized Labour at the time negotiations ended on Friday, June 7, there was no agreement reached by the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage.

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Rather, two figures such as N250,000 from Organised Labour and N62,000 from government and Organised Private Sector, OPS were arrived at and ought to have been submitted to the President.

In a statement by the Acting President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, Labour noted that anything to the contrary was not only doctored but won’t be accepted by Labour.

No agreement reached with FG on new minimum wage, labour counters Tinubu

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