- FG, NLC, ASUU Meet Today over Strike, Planned Protest
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige will lead the federal government team, including the Ministers of Finance and that of the National Budget and Planning to a crucial meeting today with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other labour unions, as part of his efforts to avert the planned industrial action by the labour over the delay in the implementation of the recommended new minimum wage.
The federal government negotiating team will also hold another round of discussions with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in a bid to resolve their differences and reopen the country’s public tertiary institutions that have been shut down in the past one month.
The issue in contention between the federal government and the organised labour movement is the N30,000 new national minimum wage, which the organised labour is demanding that the bill be forwarded to the National Assembly for enactment.
Instead of forwarding the bill, the federal government had said it would subject the report of the tripartite committee on minimum wage to a further scrutiny by a technical committee.
On its part, the organised labour had reacted to what it described as undue delay tactics by the federal government, threatening to embark on nationwide protest beginning from Tuesday.
A meeting was recently held between the government team and with the labour movement, represented by the NLC and TUC but it ended inconclusive.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting last Friday, Ngige said the issues were not conclusively dealt with.
He said although significant progress has been made in getting labour to understand the position of the government, there was the need for another round of talks today to agree on the period for the transmission of the National Minimum Wage Bill to the legislature.
“No, the meeting is not deadlocked, we are continuing on Monday (today). We have made substantial progress in our talks with labour in terms of the transmission of the New National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly,” Ngige said.
Also speaking on the outcome of the meeting, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the meeting was inconclusive as there were still some physical issues that needed to be concluded when they reconvene today.
According to Wabba, “We have had a social dialogue bothering on the national minimum wage, as you are aware; and the meeting decided to adjourn and reconvene on Monday for us to do further consultations before the issues are concluded.’’
He said the issue at stake is to make sure that the minimum wage bill is transmitted, including other auxiliary issues that government said they were trying to put together.
In the case of ASUU, the union is currently on an industrial action, which has stretched for over one month.
ASUU had on November 4, 2018, embarked on nationwide strike over unfulfilled past agreements by the federal government.
Since the lecturers downed tools, several meetings have ended in deadlock, with the President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, and other leaders of the union insist that the federal government must fulfil agreements reached with the union in 2009, 2013 and 2017.
While decrying the decay in infrastructure and equipment in public universities, ASUU had demanded N1.1 trillion to fund the university system, while condemning the failure by the federal government to pay the arrears of the shortfall in their salaries
The last meeting between the federal government team and the ASUU delegation ended in a deadlock, with the lecturers expressing dissatisfaction.
As for the dissatisfaction shown by ASUU leaders, Ngige said: “As a union leader, if one doesn’t get 100 per cent of what he wants, you won’t expect him to be smiling. Any meeting that you see people smiling, you know that somebody has cheated the other.’’
Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd
The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.
The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.
The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.
Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.
The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.
Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.
This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.
Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.
On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.
“Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”
The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.
“There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.
“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”
Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020
Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.
EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.
“If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.
The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.
It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.
It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.
“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”
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