- Minimum Wage: FOBTOB Seeks Adoption of Previous Committees’ Reports
Workers in the food and beverage sector have demanded the adoption of reports of previous committees on national minimum wage, saying it will quicken the passage of the Minimum Wage Bill.
They said the adoption of previous reports would lead to the presentation of positions that would aid the passage of the bill.
The Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, made the demand in a congratulatory letter to the Chairman, Technical Advisory Committee of Minimum Wage, Bismarck Rewane.
The letter, which was signed by the President of FOBTOB, Quadri Olaleye, was obtained in Abuja on Friday.
The association said, “We do appreciate that this appointment is in recognition of your dint of hard work, integrity, capacity, competence, diligence and enviable achievement as an economist and your immense contributions to the improvement of our ailing economy.
“However, going by your achievements as an economist, we are optimistic that your assumption of office as the Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee would provide an avenue for all the previous committee reports to be adopted so as to present positions that will aid the passage of the Minimum Wage Bill.
“Nevertheless, our congratulatory message would not be complete without reiterating the fact that it is necessary for your committee to take note that the essence of governance is to make life better for the citizens and we believe that an upward review of the national minimum wage of N18, 000 as requested by the organised labour will go a long way to reduce the untold hardship presently facing Nigerian workers.”
FOBTOB noted that the current minimum wage of N18, 000 could not meet the needs of an average Nigerian worker, saying, “The fact that some state governments still owe backlog of salaries and other allowances has further pauperised the affected workers.
“Moreover, the organised labour has pursued this cause with a religious zeal because the minimum wage is the benchmark salary for both the private and public sectors.”
The association added, “Hence, we are not happy with the slow pace at which the implementation is going, considering the rate of inflation that has moved to double digits which is a pointer to the fact that the value of naira has depreciated to the extent that Nigerian workers cannot afford the essentials of life.
“In view of the above, it is our hope that you will use your new appointment to strengthen our relationship with the government while looking forward to a quick signing into law of the Minimum Wage Bill by the President.”
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
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