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NLC to Protest 27,000 Minimum Wage at National Assembly on Monday

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Nigeria Labour Congress
  • NLC to Protest 27,000 Minimum Wage at National Assembly on Monday

The Central Working Committee of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Friday said it would mobilise its members to the National Assembly on Monday to protest against the N27,000 minimum wage bill transmitted to NASS by the Federal Government.

The body claimed that the N30,000 agreed by the tripartite committee that deliberated on the issue must be respected.

At the end of the NLC CWC meeting at the national headquarters of the NLC in Abuja, the president of the union, Ayuba Wabba, who addressed the media, said the union would take action against the bill if the protest failed to produce the desired result.

The Federal Government adopted the N27,000 minimum wage after the Council of State meeting recommended that N27,000 should be paid as minimum wage to civil servants in states while federal civil servants get N30,000.

Wabba said the FG or any other body lacked the power to change the figure that was earlier agreed on by the tripartite committee except a process was followed by all parties concerned.

He said what the FG had done was against the convention of the International Labour Organisation.

The labour chief said, “The meeting deliberated on one item, which is the issue of the transmission of the national minimum wage bill to the National Assembly. “The meeting reviewed the whole situation, including the fact that N30,000 was agreed at the tripartite negotiating meeting to be the minimum wage.

“Going by the convention of the ILO, the figure that was agreed on by the tripartite committee cannot be changed by any of the parties except through a process. Government as an employer cannot unilaterally change the figure. This is about law and procedure. Therefore, the CWC has rejected the issue of reducing the figure. We still maintain that we stand on the outcome of the tripartite committee.

“We will mobilise our members and engage the National Assembly on the issue. The negotiation must be respected and NASS should do the needful.

“We have put our members on the alert that if that is not done, certainly we will take action to protect and ensure that the tripartite process is respected. That has been the process according to the provision of ILO convention on minimum wage mechanism.”

Wabba added, “When you look at N30,000, it is a compromised position in the context of today’s economy of Nigeria. We should be commended. As far back as 2011, the N18,000 minimum wage was equivalent to $150, but today, the N30,000 is less than $100.”

But the FG said the report and recommendation of the tripartite committee that deliberated on the new minimum wage was not binding on it as it had the final say over what the minimum wage would be.

In a statement by Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Iliya Rhoda, the FG said, “As the matter of a National Minimum Wage is in the Exclusive Legislative List as item No. 34 of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), it is therefore the executive arm of government that has the responsibility to prescribe a new National Minimum Wage and send to the National Assembly for legislative action.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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