- Minimum Wage: Obaseki to Set up Joint C’ttee to Accelerate Implementation
Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has assured workers in the state that a joint-committee would be set up to accelerate the implementation of the newly approved N30,000 minimum wage in the state.
The governor disclosed this at the University of Benin Sports Complex in Benin-city during a rally to mark the 2019 May Day celebration with the Theme: ‘Another 100 years of struggle for jobs, dignity and social justice in Nigeria’.
He said: “You were in the Government House in October, and I promised that Edo will be one of the first states to implement the new minimum wage if signed into law. Now that the president has assented to the bill passed by the National Assembly, Edo State Government is happy to commence the implementation of the new minimum wage.”
Obaseki noted that the state government would set up a joint committee for the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage, as the state awaits further guidelines for the payment from the National Salary and Wages Commission.
He said his administration was ready to pay above the N30,000 minimum wage as soon as the state revenue increases.
“If we can improve on our revenue, I will increase our minimum wage. We should make sure we commit ourselves to higher productivity.”
The governor assured the workers on plans to harmonise pension based on the new minimum wage, as payment of backlog of pension and gratuity arrears is underway.
Speaking at the event also, Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Sunday Osayande, congratulated workers on the celebration, noting that “we commend our governor for creating the atmosphere for investors to contribute to our development as jobs have been created in the state by the Obaseki-led administration.
“We also commend Obaseki for the infrastructural development in the state especially on the construction of roads. Thank you also for the prompt payment of workers’ salaries and payment of pension arrears, as pensioners are now smiling today.”
While commending the governor for the construction of a befitting Labour House, Osayande said: “Obaseki has turned the narrative around by constructing a befitting Labour House for Edo State workers which is at 80 per cent completion level ready for inauguration.”
In his remark, Chairman of the state chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Marshall Ohue, expressed appreciation to the governor for making the state suitable for businesses to thrive through positive economic policies.
Oil Prices Slide as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Surge, Heightening Demand Concerns
Oil prices declined on Thursday as concerns over demand intensified due to a larger-than-anticipated build in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 0.5% to $83.25 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 0.3% to $78.28 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration’s report revealed a substantial increase in U.S. crude oil stockpiles by 4.2 million barrels to 447.2 million barrels for the week ending February 23rd.
This surge surpassed analysts’ expectations and marked the fifth consecutive week of rising inventories.
While gasoline and distillate inventories witnessed a decline, concerns regarding a sluggish economy and reduced oil demand in the U.S. were amplified.
Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, highlighted that the significant stockpiles have heightened investor worries.
Moreover, the anticipation of delayed U.S. interest rate cuts further weighed on market sentiment, potentially undermining oil demand.
Traders have adjusted their expectations for rate cuts, with an easing cycle predicted to commence in June rather than March as previously anticipated.
Market participants await the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index for insights into inflation trends, while the possibility of an extension of voluntary oil output cuts from OPEC+ looms over price dynamics, amid lingering uncertainty in the demand outlook and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Crude Oil Shortage Threatens Dangote, Government Refineries, Minister Raises Alarm
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has sounded a clarion call over a looming crude oil shortage that threatens the operations of the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical Refinery and government-owned refineries in Nigeria.
Addressing stakeholders at the seventh edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, Minister Lokpobiri expressed concerns that unless deliberate efforts are made to increase investments and crude oil production, these refineries may struggle to obtain enough feedstock for petroleum product manufacturing.
The Dangote refinery, a colossal project spearheaded by Dangote Industries Limited, has a daily requirement of up to 650,000 barrels of crude oil, while government-owned refineries could need approximately 400,000 barrels.
However, the current pace of crude oil production and investment in Nigeria falls short of meeting these demands.
Minister Lokpobiri highlighted the need to ramp up production and attract investments in the upstream sector to ensure adequate feedstock supply for the refineries.
He emphasized the importance of efficiently utilizing Nigeria’s abundant oil and gas reserves to enhance domestic energy security and economic prosperity.
Furthermore, the minister underscored the significance of investing in energy infrastructure and transitioning towards more environmentally friendly practices to address Nigeria’s energy needs effectively.
The alarm raised by Minister Lokpobiri underscores the urgency for strategic interventions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the impending crude oil shortage and secure the future of Nigeria’s refining industry amidst evolving global energy dynamics.
NNPCL Pledges End to Nigeria’s Energy Scarcity Within a Decade
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced a bold initiative aimed at ending Nigeria’s persistent energy scarcity within the next decade.
Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, revealed this ambitious plan during the opening ceremony of the seventh Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja.
Kyari’s announcement comes as a beacon of hope for millions of Nigerians grappling with chronic power shortages and energy deficiencies.
In his statement, Kyari expressed confidence that all issues related to energy scarcity in the country would be resolved within the next 10 years.
Assuring stakeholders of NNPCL’s unwavering commitment, Kyari emphasized the company’s dedication to collaborating with partners to bridge the energy deficit gap and foster prosperity for all Nigerians.
He highlighted NNPCL’s pivotal role as a key partner to oil-producing companies in Nigeria, facilitating the divestment of international oil companies from onshore and shallow water assets in the country.
Furthermore, Kyari underscored NNPCL’s statutory mandate as the enabler of national energy security, emphasizing the importance of sustainable production from divested assets to ensure energy security for Nigerians.
In addition to addressing domestic energy challenges, NNPCL is also exploring avenues for sustainable energy investment across Africa.
Kyari revealed the company’s intention to invest in the proposed African Energy Bank, aiming to secure funding for energy projects on the continent and guarantee regional energy security.
The event, attended by prominent stakeholders including government officials and representatives from international organizations, marks a significant step towards reshaping Nigeria’s energy landscape and fostering economic development through improved energy access.
As NNPCL charts its course towards energy abundance, Nigerians remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a brighter energy future.
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