Nigeria Labour Congress has accused nine governors of being behind attempts to move the national minimum wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list.
The NLC has also threatened to shut down the nation over move to amend the constitution to remove minimum wage from the exclusive list to concurrent list.
But the Senate assured the labour leaders that the National Assembly would not take any action inimical to their interest.
Although the NLC leadership did not name the nine governors, records from the labour show that Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Kwara, Kogi, Cross River, Zamfara, Nasarawa and Abia are yet to commence payment of N30,000 minimum wage about two years after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Act into law in 2019.
The NLC described the nine governors as “anti-workers,” saying one of them is using the sponsor of the bill against the interests of Nigerian workers.
President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, addressing workers in Abuja during the nationwide protests, said, “When the N30,000 minimum wage was fixed, it was negotiated. Six governors represented the interests of the geo-political zones. We had MAN, SMSE, LCCI, NECA also on the table.
“Our demand was N66,000 – looking at the economic challenge and how the purchasing powers of Nigerian workers have dwindled but through the process of dialogue and negotiations, including the ability to pay, on the negotiation table we were reasonable and everybody agreed on N30, 000.
“That is how the report was submitted to Mr President, a bill went to the National Assembly, there was a public hearing and it was promulgated.
“We are then taken aback by a few governors. Let me mention that the governors are nine – because some of them gave us this information; they are only nine out of the 36 that are anti-workers.
“We are told and nobody has contradicted this fact, that they (lawmakers) collect N13m per month.
“How can he (the bill sponsor) in his right senses say that the current minimum wage of N30,000 is too much for Nigerian workers? Can we say shame to him?”
Wabba also said, ”The issue of National Minimum Wage is a standard set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the first agency of the United Nations(UN) born in 1919 after the first world war. So we have the powers of the UN.
“What I am reiterating is that: the national minimum wage is not a Nigerian standard. It is an international standard. Their argument is that because they want federalism, they want the issue of the National Minimum Wage to be removed to the Concurrent List. That is false.
“In the countries of the world, we have 26 federal nations that have minimum wage in their Exclusive List, including the United States. As I speak to you, the minimum wage of America is $10 per hour. President Joe Biden came in and the first statement he made was that he is going to review the national minimum wage.”
The bill sponsored by Garba Mohammed from Kaduna State has passed first and second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill seeks to decentralise the payment of minimum wage to workers in the country to allow states to pay according to their financial capacity.
Labour organised the protests at the National Assembly complex in Abuja and House of Assembly complexes in the 36 states.
Addressing the workers, the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Abdullahi Sabi said told them not to worry, adding that a similar bill in the 8th Senate never saw the light of the day.
NMDPRA seals 16 gas plants, arrests five suspects in Edo
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has sealed 16 illegal gas facilities in Edo State.
Some filling stations were also sealed over an alleged breach of rules and regulations.
The agency arrested five suspects during the exercise.
The agency’s state comptroller, Ebi Ogionwo, said the clampdown was to curb the activities of illegal and unlicensed oil and gas operators in the state.
He alleged that some misguided operators were setting up oil and gas facilities in areas not suitable for the business and without necessary approval from the agency.
Ogionwo said, “It is an offence for anyone to site such facilities without due approval from the NMDPRA. The agency is out to bring sanity to the operations of midstream and downstream petroleum business in the state.”
He further warned investors against taking laws into their hands by setting up gas and petroleum facilities in areas not approved by the agency.
Ogionwo said five suspects arrested during the exercise would be charged to court.
“There are laws, guidelines and regulations that people must follow before setting up oil and gas facilities. So, the purpose of the operations is also to check the level of compliance by those who have set up these facilities in the state and take necessary actions that are required,” he said.
Ogionwo added that the illegal operations of oil and gas facilities compromised the safety of lives, property, environment as well as deprived both the state and Federal Governments of the revenue that should accrue to them through taxes and other sources.
Lagos suspends RTEAN activities, sets up caretaker committee
The Lagos State Government has suspended all activities of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, who announced the suspension, said the action became imperative following some pockets of violence recorded in Ojo and Lagos Island on Wednesday.
Already, he said a 35-man caretaker committee had been constituted to take over activities of the union.
The caretaker committee is headed by Sulaiman Adeshina Raji, with Bamgbose Oluseyi as deputy chairman and members are Sunday Aransiola, Sulaiman Onabanjo, Azeez Abdulrahman, Isiaka Seriki, Victor Ifemenam, Kareem Babatunde, Amusan Abdulrahman, Teslim Adeshina, Sulaiman Surajudeen and Fatai Rauf.
Others are Sunday Banjo, Segun Omole, Thomas Akinkayode, Taiwo Lasisi, Gbenga Kashimawo, Samson Ajala, Taiwo Daodu, Sule Aliu, Ahmed Musa and Oladipupo Ibrahim. Adewale Adeniyi, Olatunji Durojaiye, Wasiu Olanrewaju, Taofeek Onileola, Yusuf Afolabi, Bode Ogungbade, Alh. A.A. Ussaini, Saliu Usman, Saheed Badru, Kolawole Yusuf, Kayode Thomas, Idowu Oyewole and Salami Babatunde Ope, are to also join them.
Giwa reiterated that suspension became necessary to prevent further acts of violence in the state, stressing that men of the Lagos State Police Command would be deployed in different parts of the state to enforce the action and ensure safety of lives and property.
He said the state government met with some representatives of the RTEAN on Wednesday, following a protest by some members of the union demanding the removal of their national president, adding the government had assured them of a thorough investigation into the allegations levelled against the union’s president with a promise to resolving all lingering issues.
Ade.Ojo hails Mandilas GM @60, says Toyota family proud of you
The Founder of Toyota Nigeria Limited, TNL, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, has described the General Manager of Mandilas Motors, Ms. Kemi Koyejo as a performer, who takes her job very seriously.
Chief Ade Ojo, who spoke at the MUSON Centre, Lagos during the 60th birthday ceremony of Koyejo as the chairman of the occasion, showered encomiums on the GM for her contributions towards driving Toyota brand sale and development in Nigeria.
He said, “Olukemi is a performer, a wonderful lady, who takes her job very seriously. She is “Lady Toyota”. She never misbehaves and I want to pray that God should continue to bless you the more.”
Chief Ade Ojo, who recalled that Kemi’s father was his senior in high school, expressed no surprise at Kemi’s sterling performance and behaviour, given her family background.
“The Toyota family in Nigeria is very proud of you and God will continue to be with you,” he prayed.
The 84-year-old business mogul attended the event with his wife, and senior management staff of Toyota Nigeria Limited including the Managing Director, Mr. Kunle Ade Ojo.
Reiterating Chief Ade Ojo’s commendation on the Mandilas General Manager, the Managing Director of Toyota, Mr. Kunle Adeojo, also said that the Mandilas General Manager is very hard-working and has brought many ideas that have led to the growth of the Toyota brand in Nigeria.
He also used the occasion to announce that the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers has conferred on him a Fellow of the institute.
A trained engineer, Mr. Kunle Ade Ojo, has been at the helm of affairs at TNL and has taken the company to greater heights despite the challenges in the Nigeria’s auto sector.
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