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New Book, First Generation Empowers Fresh Graduates With Practical Guides on Career Mobility

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How does a son of a wine tapper with a university degree transition into the marketplace to start and grow a career? That is the question that Jonah Solomon seeks to answer in his new book, First Generation: A Fresh Graduate’s Perfect Guide to Starting a Career in Emerging Market.

With graduate unemployment in the Emerging Market averaging 7.97%, according to a recent MSCI report, and about three million Nigerian graduates without jobs, Jonah Solomon seeks to address this problem by empowering fresh graduates with practical guides to transition into the marketplace to start a career.

At the public presentation of the book in Lagos recently, the author, Solomon, said he leveraged his experience to start and grow his career in Africa’s largest city, Lagos to offer practical tips that most final year students, fresh graduates and those seeking to make real progress in their careers must never take for granted.

“This book is strictly about getting started on a strong footing as a fresh graduate who has now acquired a university degree or higher diploma and heading to the city to start a life with minted certificate.

“By the time you finish this book, you will be able to answer questions like what is next after your graduation, if you are still getting into school. If you are on the cusp of graduation, say you are in your penultimate or final year; you should have a fair idea of what you should be doing. If you have just graduated and looking to get started on a career, the practical lessons I outlined in this book can come in handy as a perfect guide,” said Jonah Solomon at the book’s official public presentation in Lagos.

Earlier in a remark, the Deputy Business Editor of Vanguard newspapers, Mr. Babajide Komolafe who was the chair of the occasion said the book was timely, as it comes at a time that graduate unemployment has reached a crisis proportion.

“I commend Jonah for taking the time to write this book. I am optimistic that young people who are leaving the university today will find it invaluable. A lot of fresh graduates are usually confused about where to start immediately after graduation and I think this book will offer that much-needed respite.”

Also speaking during a fireside chat, the Head, Operations and Experience, Jobberman, Francesca Alabede said the book highlights important ingredients for starting and growing a career in emerging markets.

She said: “I am happy that the book highlights the importance of soft skills in career mobility. This is because, apart from technical skills, fresh graduates must develop soft skills. Soft skills play a critical role in the workplace and most times determines whom employers hire.

“A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that 85% of job successes were because of well-developed soft skills, while 15% was as a result of technical skills. As a fresh graduate, apart from your technical skills, you need to develop your soft skills. These soft skills include how you interact with people, how you get your work done, how you conduct yourself, etc. Therefore, your technical skills are never enough and fresh graduates must pay attention to these.”

On her part, the book reviewer, Onna Okafor, said the book is a manual for not only fresh graduates but also anyone looking to make meaningful progress in their career.

“While this book is targeted at fresh graduates, I find it compelling for anyone looking to make progress in his/her career whether fresh graduates or practising professionals. The practical tips contained in this book are timeless and I commend the author for taking the time to give back to the society by writing this book.”

The book’s electronic and paperback versions are available for purchase on Amazon or amazon.co.uk for a discounted price. In Nigeria, the paperback and eBook are also available for download on Solomon’s websitePaystack Storefront and Selar.

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President Tinubu Asserts Minimum Wage Will Reflect Nigeria’s Economic Realities

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Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu declared that Nigeria’s minimum wage will be determined by what the nation can afford.

Speaking at a dinner celebrating Nigeria’s 25 years of unbroken democratic rule, Tinubu said it is necessary to align the minimum wage with the country’s economic realities.

“The minimum wage is going to be what Nigerians can afford, what you can afford and what I can afford,” President Tinubu stated, addressing a gathering of dignitaries and officials in Abuja on Wednesday.

This pronouncement comes amid ongoing discussions and debates about the appropriate level for the national minimum wage.

The Organised Labour has been vocal in its demand for a significant increase, proposing a minimum wage of N250,000, far exceeding the N62,000 suggested by the federal government team in the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage.

In response to Tinubu’s statement, Labour leaders have reiterated their stance, refusing to accept what they term a “starvation minimum wage.”

Tinubu’s remarks also touched on the broader issue of food inflation, a critical concern for many Nigerians. The President acknowledged the role of banditry in exacerbating food scarcity and driving up prices.

“The promises I could make is to struggle to bring the food price down but those bandits must leave the farmers alone and bring Nigeria back to its glory of production and harvesting,” he said.

Highlighting the challenges posed by entrenched interests in the oil industry, Tinubu noted that those accustomed to significant profits over decades are resistant to changes that might disrupt their financial advantages.

This resistance, he argued, is part of the broader struggle Nigeria faces in its path to economic stability and growth.

Reflecting on the nation’s democratic journey, Tinubu expressed pride and optimism. He recounted a humorous incident from the morning’s Democracy Day parade, where he stumbled while performing the traditional Yoruba “dobale” (prostration). “Democracy is worth falling for,” he quipped, underscoring his deep commitment to the democratic process.

The President also addressed calls for fiscal prudence from various quarters, particularly in light of Labour’s demands. He urged Nigerians to manage their expectations realistically. “They ask you to cut your coat according to your size, if you have size at all,” he remarked, advocating for economic policies that reflect the nation’s financial realities.

Tinubu praised the spirit of unity and cooperation demonstrated by leaders across party lines, acknowledging the presence of governors from various states and parties at the dinner.

He reiterated the importance of national unity, saying “Is it not true that Nigeria is greater than any one of us? The unity of this country cannot be traded.”

The President also took a moment to reflect on criticisms regarding the reversal to the old National Anthem, defending the decision as part of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

“If you cannot change the name Nigeria are you the creator of Nigerian name?” he queried, affirming his commitment to the country’s identity and unity.

As Nigeria looks to the future, President Tinubu called for collective effort and investment in national orientation to instill a sense of responsibility and patriotism in the younger generation.

“We will make Nigeria a tremendously successful country if we gather as we gather here tonight and encourage our children about the charter of our value system,” he stated.

In closing, Tinubu highlighted the importance of rejecting corruption and upholding integrity, praising customs officers in Kebbi and Ondo for their recent actions against bribery and vandalism.

“Citizenship is not just the dictionary meaning of it; it is the actual character in us, and we must teach these ones to achieve it,” he concluded.

The dinner was attended by notable personalities, including former Foreign Minister Bolaji Akinyemi, diplomat Babagana Kingibe, veteran journalist Segun Osoba, and political leaders Bisi Akande, Pius Akinyelure, and Lawal Shuaibu, among others.

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NLC and TUC Suspend Strike For One Week Over Minimum Wage, Electricity Tariff Hike

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Nigeria Labour Congress - Investors King

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have announced the suspension of their industrial action for one week.

The strike, initiated to protest the lack of consensus on a new minimum wage and the recent hike in electricity tariffs, had brought critical sectors of the Nigerian economy to a standstill.

Temporary Halt in Strike Actions

Festus Osifo, the president of the TUC, made the announcement on Tuesday following a joint extraordinary national executive council meeting held in Abuja.

The decision to suspend the strike is intended to provide a window for further negotiations with the government.

Osifo assured that a detailed communique outlining the unions’ expectations and next steps would be issued shortly.

Background of the Strike

The industrial action began on Monday, causing widespread disruption across the country. Schools, businesses, hospitals, and airports were shut down, significantly affecting daily activities.

Also, the national grid was shut down, plunging the nation into darkness and highlighting the severity of the unions’ grievances.

The NLC and TUC have been adamant about their demands for a revised minimum wage that reflects the current economic realities and an immediate reversal of the electricity tariff hike, which they argue places an undue financial burden on Nigerians.

Impact of the Strike

The shutdown had immediate and far-reaching impacts. Educational institutions were closed, disrupting the academic calendar. Business operations were halted, leading to potential financial losses.

The healthcare sector, already strained, faced additional challenges as hospitals were forced to operate on limited resources or close entirely. Airports, critical for both domestic and international travel, saw significant disruptions, affecting thousands of passengers.

Perhaps most critically, the national grid shutdown resulted in widespread power outages, affecting both residential areas and industrial operations. This blackout underscored the unions’ influence and the severity of their concerns.

Government’s Response and Next Steps

In response to the strike, government officials have been working to address the unions’ demands. The suspension of the strike is seen as a positive step towards achieving a resolution, but the unions have made it clear that this is a temporary measure. They expect substantive progress in the negotiations within the week.

The forthcoming communique from the NLC and TUC will likely provide more detailed insights into the terms of the suspension and the unions’ expectations from the government. Both parties will need to navigate these discussions carefully to avoid further disruptions.

Public Reaction

The public has reacted with a mix of relief and cautious optimism. Many Nigerians have expressed hope that the temporary suspension will lead to a lasting resolution that addresses the economic hardships faced by the populace.

However, there is also a palpable sense of uncertainty, given the history of prolonged negotiations without concrete outcomes.

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PDP Urges Labour to Demand N120,000 Minimum Wage Amidst Strike Standoff

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Bola Tinubu

The ongoing nationwide strike led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has taken a new turn as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) advises organized labour not to settle for anything less than a N120,000 minimum wage.

This call comes amidst the Federal Government’s current offer of N60,000, which the labour unions have already rejected in favour of their initial demand of N494,000.

On Monday, PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary Ibrahim Abdullahi criticized the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for what he termed as insincere negotiations with labour leaders.

He argued that the Federal Government’s claim of insufficient funds to meet the N120,000 demand was hypocritical, given its alleged extravagant spending on other projects.

“The back and forth with the labour leaders is hypocritical of the government,” Abdullahi said.

“They didn’t mean well for Nigerians from the word go, even when they started engaging the NLC. It was not an intended policy direction. It was something that was made as a smokescreen to continue to deceive the Nigerian workers and, of course, the nation.”

Abdullahi further criticized the government’s spending priorities, citing expensive infrastructure projects and international trips for officials as evidence that funds could be reallocated to support a higher minimum wage.

“If they can afford to construct a road for N3 trillion, if they can afford to do all this jamboree, if they can afford to take 1,500 government officials out of this country for things that are not important, then I don’t know why, for crying out loud, they should not be able to pay a reasonable minimum wage,” he stated.

The PDP’s stance has intensified the political debate surrounding the strike, which has already caused significant disruptions across the country.

Government offices, airports, schools, and hospitals have been paralyzed, with electricity and water supply severely affected.

Responding to the PDP’s comments, APC Publicity Director Bala Ibrahim accused the opposition of exploiting the situation for political gain and labelled their advice as unpatriotic.

“The PDP is gradually turning into something that will one day question the integrity of the Constitution of Nigeria,” Ibrahim said.

He argued that the PDP’s position stemmed from bitterness over losing the recent elections, and that if the PDP had won, there would be no wages at all.

Ibrahim acknowledged the economic hardship faced by Nigerians but described the NLC and TUC’s demand for N494,000 as unreasonable.

He called for a more balanced approach in negotiations, taking into account the broader population.

“The labour union should engage their sense of reason in negotiation. They should engage their conscience, patriotism, justice, and fairness in negotiation,” he stated.

“While they are negotiating for the workers who are less than 20 percent of the population, they should also have feelings for the remaining 80 percent of Nigerians who go to the same market with these workers, who have no one to pay them anything, and who are struggling to make ends meet.”

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