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Polytechnic workers give FG 21-day ultimatum on IPPIS

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The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) has given the Federal Government 21 days to address all the problems associated with the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

This is contained in a communiqué issued on Tuesday at the end of the union’s emergency meeting in Abuja and signed by its President, Phillip Ogunsipe.

The association said, “The council-in-session observed that there has been disjointed implementation of salary in the Polytechnic since Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) commenced the payment of salaries for staff since February 2020.

It stated, “Some of the lingering issues associated with IPPIS include non-release of new minimum wage arrears, inconsistencies in the release of third party deductions, non-payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance for health workers, high draconian tax regime on consolidated salary and delay in the release of 2018 and 2019 promotion arrears.

“Against this backdrop, the council wishes to call on the relevant agencies of government to expedite actions toward resolving these highlighted challenges. Equally, the council wish to frankly state that failure of the IPPIS to address these highlighted challenges within 21 days from the date of this communiqué would leave the Union with no option than to review its stance on IPPIS.”

Commenting on school reopening of schools, the union said, “The council-in-session commends the efforts of the government at all levels, particularly the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) towards flattening COVID-19 curve in the country.

“The council wishes to appreciate the wisdom and decision of the government to reopen schools across the federation, having facilitated modalities toward safety protocol arrangements at the Institution level.”

“The council for the umpteenth time expressed its displeasure at the way and manner the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has handled the Scheme of Service so far and condemned the decision of the Board to review the same scheme of service without due consultation with relevant stakeholders.”

It therefore stated, “On the strength of this, the council resolved that an attempt to foist a scheme of service document on SSANIP without our input is unacceptable and therefore would be an invitation to an atmosphere of industrial disharmony.

“The council wishes to specifically and frankly state that the failure of NBTE to address this issue within 21 days from the date of this communique would leave the Union with no other option than to declare industrial dispute.” It further observed that since the expiration of the tenure of the last governing councils for the federal polytechnics in May, 2020, the institutions have continued to function without the governing boards.

“In the understanding of the council, governing board occupies a very strategic position in the running of the polytechnic system. Therefore, the delay in the reconstitution of the governing councils is a challenge to the smooth running of the polytechnics. In view of the above, the council wishes to call on the Federal Government to expedite action on the re-constitution of governing councils for the federal polytechnics.”

The communiqué also stated, “The council-in-session expressed worry at the plethora of challenges faced by the State-owned Polytechnics and similar institutions across the country. Of particular concern were issues of haphazard and part-payment of workers’ salaries, non-implementation of the new minimum wage, non-domestication of the Contributory Pension Scheme, non-implementation of the 65 years retirement age in line with the relevant provisions of the Polytechnic Act (as amended), issue of migration to CONTISS 15, among others.”

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Lagos working on salary increase for civil servants, says Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday said the state government was working to increase the salaries of public workers in the state civil service.

He made this known while addressing the workers at the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.

“I have looked around and I know that as a country, there is pressure. I know that, as a country, there is a high level of inflation. At our cabinet meeting, I instructed the head of service office and the ministry of staff, training, and pensions to start work on how we are going to increase the entire salary of our public servants,” the governor said.

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Trump sues CNN for defamation, demands $475m damages

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Former US president Donald Trump has sued the CNN for defamation, seeking $475 million in punitive damages for labelling him as ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ‘Hitler’.

Trump claims the news network had carried out a “campaign of libel and slander” against him.

In the lawsuit filed in US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Trump says that the network had used its influence as a leading news organisation to defeat him politically.

Trump, a Republican, claims in the 29-page lawsuit that CNN had a long track record of criticising him but had ramped up its attacks in recent months because the network feared that he would run again for president in 2024.

“As a part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the left, CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit lists several instances in which CNN appeared to compare Trump to Hitler, including a January 2022 special report by host Fareed Zakaria that included footage of the German dictator.

Trump, who in 2020 lost a re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, has not said whether he would seek re-election.

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2022 National Honours list in circulation doctored, says FG

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The Federal Government has disowned the list of nominees for the 2022 National Honours that has been trending on some social and traditional media platforms.

Spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Julie Osagie-Jacobs, on Monday, said the list had been doctored by mischievous persons to cause national disharmony.

She said that the authentic list had been compiled by the ministry for the National Honours but yet to be made public.

Controversy and wide condemnation by opinion leaders and public analysts had greeted the inclusion of certain names and omission of some found to have excelled in their callings over the years.

Osagie-Jacobs said, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs has been drawn to a purported list of nominees for National Honours being circulated by some online media organisations.

“While it is true that President Muhammadu Buhari will be conferring National Honours on deserving Nigerians and friends of Nigeria on October 11, 2022, the authentic list of nominees is yet to be released to the public. The Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs will publish the list at the appropriate time and medium.

“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenance the list in circulation as it is an attempt by overzealous reporters whose aim is to break news even when such news is fake.”

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