- Buhari: FG to Begin Payment of New Minimum Wage Soon
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured public servants that the implementation of the new national minimum wage would commence soon.
He also advised state governments and employers in the private sector to work towards providing a living wage for their workers
President Buhari who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha at the 11th triennial delegates’ conference of the Trade
Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), said as a result of several reforms embarked upon by the government, the Nigerian economy is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2019.
He asked state government and the private sector to implement the minimum wage as a way of encouraging workers to contribute to the development of the country, adding that his government will continue to pay particular attention to the welfare of workers.
While expressing concern over the level of insecurity in the country, the president said that the government was working hard to defeat all forms of insecurity in the country, including terrorism, kidnapping as well as farmers/herders clashes.
Buhari, who added that the security challenges in the country is not insurmountable, also assured that his government remains committed to making Nigeria a better place.
He further disclosed that the government was “mapping out policy measures and laws that will help to maintain our unity and at the same time lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and on the road to prosperity.
“The security challenges we are currently facing are not unsurmountable. I can report that we are meeting these challenges with much greater support to the security forces in terms of funding equipment and improved local intelligence.
“We are meeting these challenges with superior strategy, firepower and resolve. I can assure you that we will win the war against terrorism, kidnapping, banditry and farmers-headers clashes,” he said.
He noted that since he took over the mantle of leadership in the country, he has been working to build a solid foundation for the country
“These efforts have begun to yield results. The economy is making a steady progress and our GDP is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent the year. Our external reserves have risen to $45 billion and can finance a number of our foreign commitments.
“With the steps taken to integrate rural economies to the national grid, provide credits and inputs to rural farmers and micro-businesses as well as providing the enabling environment for business in Nigeria, our people will be liberated from the shackles of poverty. We will try to create 10 million jobs yearly to continue to boost our economy and make life better for our people.
“Our government will continue to improve on our New Development Plans and initiatives. We will concentrate on agriculture, education, power and other infrastructure, manufacturing and social intervention schemes. We will promote good governance and fight corruption to a standstill.
“This government will continue to build institutions and machineries to fight corruption. If we don’t kill corruption now, we will not have a country to handover to our unborn generation. Hence the need for everyone to be involved in this fight to finish,” he said.
Buhari assured that the executive arm of government was committed to having a smooth and good working relationship with the labour unions in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the President of the TUC, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, has lamented that the situation in Nigeria has degenerated to the level of anarchy and absurdity as hardly a day passes without new killings through assassination, kidnapping, and suicide bombing.
He said the Nigerian economy was in dire straits, regretting that those who have the responsibility to manage it are not showing promising signs that they know how to fix it.
Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Generates N160.06 Billion in 2020
The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) generated revenue of N160.06 billion in 2020, according to the latest audited financial reports announced by the Managing Director of NSIA Mr. Uche Orji.
The NSIA income came from devaluation gain of N51 billion, and core income of N109 billion compared to N33.07 billion in 2019.
But Orji lamented: “Covid-19 adversely affected logistics around infrastructure projects, especially the toll road projects and the presidential fertiliser initiative.”
Despite the pandemic, the Authority achieved 33 percent growth in Net Assets to N772.75 billion compared to the previous year’s performance of N579.54 billion.
Orji said the NSIA “received additional contribution of $250 million; and provided first stabilisation support to the Federal Government of $150 million withdrawn from Stabilisation Fund last year.”
The same year, the NSIA received $311 million from funds recovered from the late General Abacha from the United States Department of Justice and Island of Jersey for deployment towards the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) projects of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway, Lagos Ibadan Expressway and Second Niger Bridge.
In response to COVID-19, Orji said: “NSIA partnered the global Citizen, a not-for profit group, to form the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund. Separately NSIA acquired and distributed oxygen concentrators to the 21-teaching hospital as part of corporate social responsibility; in addition to staffing support to the Presidential taskforce on COVID-19.”
In 2020, the NSIA “invested additional capital into NG Clearing, the first derivative clearing house in Nigeria to maintain NSIA’s shareholding at 16.5 per cent following the company’s rights issue of 2020″ Orji said.
EFCC Recovers $153m, 80 Assets from Diezani, Says Bawa EFCC Chairman
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa has said the commission recovered $153 million and 80 properties from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Bawa said: “There are several cases surrounding that. As you may have read, I was part of that investigation, and we have done quite a lot. In one of the cases, we recovered $153 million; we have secured the final forfeiture of over 80 properties in Nigeria valued at about $80 million.
“We have done quite a bit on that. The other cases as it relates to the $115 million INEC bribery as the media has sensationalised it, is also ongoing across the federation.”
“We are looking forward to the time when we will, maybe, have her in the country, and of course, review things and see what will happen going forward. The case has certainly not been abandoned.”
Speaking on the trial of former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, he said his trial will start soon in Lagos.
Bawa added: “The position is very clear. The EFCC succeeded in 12 years to get him convicted at the Federal High Court. Of course, he went to the Supreme Court, and because the judge that convicted him has been elevated, the ruling was made and the EFCC as a respecter of the rule of law, we have taken it as it is. The Supreme Court has ordered that we should go back to the Federal High Court in Lagos.
“Now, we are at the Federal High Court in Abuja, and we have applied to the court for the case to be transferred to Lagos as ordered by the Supreme Court to enable us start all over again.
“It, however, draws a precedence, and those are the issues; law as the lawyers will say, is a living thing; we had the ACJA in 2015, we have had this problem of elevation of judges from High Court to Court of Appeal, and we pushed that they should be given the opportunity to finish their cases, because some of these cases have taken a very long time.
“We thought we had succeeded in getting this in ACJA, The law was, however, not seen as such. Now, we may have to solve the problem from the constitution, and then, we will be home and dry.”
Nigeria Consumes 93m Litres of Petrol Daily in April 2021
Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption rose to a record-high of 93 million litres in April 2021, according to the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The amount represents 77 percent of the 120.80 million litres consumed daily in West Africa despite having just 52 percent of the region’s population.
In previous months, Nigeria consumed 61 million litres on average, therefore, the NNPC stated that the 93 million litres per day consumption is unsustainable.
The sudden surged in petrol consumption was a result of smuggling, according to experts.
“There is no doubt that Nigeria’s present petrol consumption is embarrassing, due to smuggling which is currently a thriving business,” Mike Osatuyi, national operations controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria.
On the allegation that marketers illegally export petrol, Osatuyi asked why the five security agencies across the borders are unable to stop it.
Smuggling of petrol across the borders is becoming more intense as Nigeria inches closer to full deregulation, one stakeholder said. Despite over 95 million Nigerians in poverty, the country inadvertently pays for cheap petrol across West Africa.
“It means Nigeria is financing the economies of neighbouring countries,” Osatuyi said. “Nigeria should not be consuming more than 50 million litres per day.”
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