- Labour to Protest Planned Removal of Minimum Wage from Exclusive List
The organised labour on Saturday said it would mobilise workers across sectors of the Nigerian economy to protest moves to remove minimum wage from the exclusive to concurrent legislative list.
Mr Joe Ajaero, the President, United Labour Congress (ULC) said at the pre-2017 May Day seminar organised by ULC, in Lagos.
The concurrent list stipulates that powers are shared jointly by both the central and regional or state governments as stipulated in the Constitution, even though both governments can make law on matters that fall under the concurrent list, the central government is supreme.
This means that in case there is a conflict of law made by both governments, the law will supercede that of the regional or state government.
Subject matter on concurrent list includes health, agriculture, education, road and housing among others.
According to Ajaero, the move is ill-motivated to deny workers their right to live well which is what some of the governors have been advocating but we will mobilise against them.
He said that If the planned delisting of wage from the exclusive legislative list succeeds, it means that the country would no longer have a national minimum wage.
“It means that each state of the federation will be empowered to legislate and arrive at what should be their respective minimum,’’ he said.
The ULC leader recalls that the current minimum wage of N18,000 was signed into effect in 2011, by former President Goodluck Johnathan, subject to a review every five years.
He said that labour since 2016, had been agitating for the review of the wage citing hyperinflation and the devaluation of the Naira which had continued to impact negatively on workers’ take-home pay.
He said that workers not only deserved wage increase, but better welfare package in both the public and private sector.
Ajaero said that the national economy was wobbling not because Nigeria as a nation was poor, but because of deep rooted corruption.
“’This is why as a labour movement, we need to be in the streets to insist that working condition of the people must be improve.
Prof. Pat Utomi, a professor of political economics, who also spoke at the symposium, said the labour movement had been docile.
Utomi spoke on the topic, “The role of Trade Union Movement in Recessionary Economy’’.
He was represented by Mr Adegbenro Rasheed, the Vice President, Centre for Value in Leadership.
Utomi said that labour must unite in the advocacy for strong institutions and knowledge-driven leadership in Nigeria.
According to him, leadership in modern societies no longer require only passion, but sound knowledge.
He said there was the need for the government to enunciate policies and programmes that would take the economy out of recession.
Also speaking, Professor Funmi Adewunmi, a guest lecturer said that part of the measures required to take the economy out of recession was increased production.
Adewunmi said that this was in addition to exportation of goods and services that would enable the country earn foreign exchange.
He said there was the need for the government to cut down on costs of governance by streaming certain agencies and parastatals of government which do not add value to the national economy.
UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.
The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.
Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.
British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use”
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.
“It is very good news,” Hancock said.
Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.
On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.
Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.
“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.
“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
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