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Workers protest against minimum wage bill, tackle APC govs



Thousands of workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday stormed the National Assembly in Abuja to protest against a bill seeking to move the national minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.

The protesters chanting solidarity songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions arrived at the National Assembly at 11am.

They had marched the Unity Fountain in Maitama with their banners and loud music to the National Assembly.

They disrupted vehicular traffic as most lawmakers, staff and visitors were forced to make a detour into the National Assembly complex through the Villa and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) gates.

Several commuters and motorists around Ahmadu Bello Way, Shehu Shagari Way and the Federal Secretariat had a hectic time assessing their destinations during the protest.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, met the protesters at the MOPOL gate of the National Assembly and joined them in marching into the main complex.

The protesters were officially received at the forecourt of the National Assembly by the Senate President Ahmad Lawan represented by Senator Sabi Abdullahi and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila represented by the Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa.

The bill which was sponsored by Garba Datti, lawmaker representing Sabon Gari federal constituency, 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.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, who expressed labour’s opposition to the bill, said workers would not allow “hard fought rights which are global standards to be bastardised by opportunistic and narrow minded politicians.”

Meanwhile, the organised labour in Ekiti State has accused All Progressive Congress (APC) governors of sponsoring the bill seeking removal of the national minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.

The labour alleged that some governors’ within the ruling APC branded as ‘enemies of workers’ contracted Hon. Garba Muhammed, representing Sabon Gari federal constituency, Kaduna State, to initiate the wage re-classification bill.

The union leaders made the allegations while protesting against the plans by the House of Representatives to alter the present wage structure, which gave the Federal Government the exclusive power to negotiate minimum wage for workers in the country.

Participating in the demonstration were members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Joint Negotiation Committe (JNC) and other affiliated unions.

The labour leaders converged at the popular Fajuyi park in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital around 8:45am and took off for the protest at about 10:15am.

Addressing the Speaker, Funmiyi Afuye, the TUC chairman, Sola Adigun, condemned differential minimum wage bill, describing it as obnoxious legislation laced with evil intents targeted at the Nigerian workers.

“It’s saddening and disheartening that one Hon. Garba Datti which we all know are sponsored by governors of the APC, the enemies of workers, said minimum wage should be removed from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.



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.

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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.

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Ade.Ojo hails Mandilas GM @60, says Toyota family proud of you



Celebrant GM Mandilas, Kemi Koyejo; Chairman of Toyota Nigeria, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, and his wife, Taiwo Ade.Ojo, at Kemi's 60th birthday in Lagos

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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