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Aviation Workers Kick Against the Concession of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Others

Aviation Unions have vowed to resist any attempt to concession any of the Nigerian International Airports amid a series of labour issues left unresolved. 

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Aviation Unions have vowed to resist any attempt to concession any of the Nigerian International Airports amid a series of labour issues left unresolved. 

Rising from an emergency congress at the headquarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), aviation unions noted that since the decision to concession the four most important airports in Nigeria was taken, the unions have vigorously opposed the idea.

The unions which attended the emergence congress include the Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, the National Union of Air Transport Employees, and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals.

Investors King could recall that the Federal Government is planning to concession four major international airports in Nigeria which include the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Murtala Mohammed International Airports, Lagos, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and Port Harcourt International Airport. 

According to the government, the concessions which are currently ongoing will usher more investment into the country’s aviation industry. 

Following the successful concession of the four major international airports, the government also intends to concession at least 17 other airports which are under the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). 

Meanwhile, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sikira has announced the preferred bidders for three of the four international airports up for grabs. 

The minister announced Corporation America Airports Consortium as the preferred bidder for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja while the preferred bidder for Murtala Mohammed International Airports was TAV/NAHCO Project Planet Limited. 

He added further that Corporation America Airports Consortium also emerged as the preferred bidder for Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. 

In preparation for the concession, the minister of aviation has issued a directive for the demolition of the office of FAAN, the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in Lagos.

This directive however did not go down well with aviation unions who alleged a lack of trust and transparency on the part of the minister. 

The unions observed that the rush to deliver the project at all costs showed some suspicion which could create a disaster for the country’s aviation industry. 

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Heritage Bank Faces Union Action as NUBIFIE Protests Mass Layoffs

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Amid mounting tension and grievances over alleged mass layoffs, the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) has led its members to the head office of Heritage Bank in Lagos.

NUBIFIE’s actions stem from Heritage Bank’s recent management decision to terminate the employment of over 1000 personnel without adhering to due process, prompting widespread outrage among affected workers and the union alike.

The union has made it clear that its picketing of the bank’s premises will persist until management addresses the sacked workers’ grievances and ensures the provision of rightful severance packages.

At the forefront of the protest, aggrieved ex-staff members have barricaded the entrance gate, obstructing access to and from the bank’s headquarters located at 143 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Reports reveal that Heritage Bank, under the leadership of Mr. Akinola George-Taylor, dismissed over 70 senior staff members within a year of his tenure. Moreover, numerous other employees were allegedly coerced into resigning, exacerbating the bank’s internal crisis.

Of significant concern is the failure to remit accrued entitlements and allowances owed to the affected staff.

Sources familiar with the matter have disclosed that the bank’s chief executive officer instigated the internal turmoil as part of a broader scheme to purge the institution of individuals suspected of loyalty to certain board members.

This purported purge is believed to be aimed at consolidating power and control over the bank, with the backing of a prominent shareholder seeking sole ownership and the removal of existing board members.

Despite efforts to seek clarification and comment from Heritage Bank’s head of Corporate Communications, Ozenna Utulu, no response has been forthcoming as of the time of reporting.

The standoff between Heritage Bank and NUBIFIE underscores the growing unrest within the banking sector and the urgent need for dialogue to address grievances and ensure fair labor practices.

As protests intensify and pressure mounts on the bank’s management, the outcome of these developments remains uncertain, leaving both employees and stakeholders on edge.

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Google Fires 28 Workers Over Controversial Project Nimbus Protests

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Google has terminated 28 employees who participated in protests against the tech giant’s involvement in Project Nimbus, a joint venture with Amazon to provide AI and cloud services to the Israeli government.

The protests, organized by the No Tech for Apartheid group, took place across Google offices in New York City, Seattle, and Sunnyvale, California.

The demonstrations, which included a nearly 10-hour sit-in, culminated in the arrest of nine protesters on trespassing charges.

Subsequently, several workers received notices of being placed on leave, only to be informed of their dismissal by the company the following day.

Google cited the protesters’ interference with other employees’ work and refusal to vacate the premises despite multiple requests as the primary reasons for their termination.

The company’s response has reignited discussions about the balance between corporate policies, employee activism, and human rights advocacy.

Critics argue that the dismissals infringe on employees’ rights to engage in collective action related to working conditions, a stance supported by US labor laws.

Tech workers have increasingly voiced concerns about how the products they develop are used, highlighting ethical considerations in their industry.

The situation underscores the challenges faced by tech companies in managing internal dissent and navigating complex geopolitical issues.

Google’s handling of the protests has sparked internal debates about the company’s stance on the Middle East conflict and its approach to employee engagement.

Despite the firings, support for the protesters and their cause has grown, indicating ongoing tensions within the organization.

Google’s actions signal a broader reckoning within the tech industry regarding the responsibilities of corporations in addressing social and political issues.

As employees continue to advocate for change within their companies, the fallout from the Project Nimbus protests serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle to balance corporate interests with ethical imperatives and employee rights.

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IWD: Unity Bank Partners SkillPaddy to Train 1,000 Female Software Engineers

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Nigerian lender, Unity Bank Plc is partnering with SkillPaddy in its  “Count Her In” tech Programme focused on empowering no fewer than 1000 female beneficiaries in Software Engineering Training.

The IT skill development and empowerment initiative is intended to bridge talent supply gaps while providing individuals with the opportunity to meet their training goals and launch careers in the tech industry.

About 40 young girls will receive full sponsorship from Unity Bank in the special training initiative which was conceived as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day 2024.

With women making up just 33% of the tech-related workforce globally, this initiative seeks to boost women’s participation in the tech industry by delivering a sustainable, impact-driven programme that addresses gender disparity and deepens inclusion within the tech industry.

All beneficiaries of the programme will be trained on different aspects of software development and provided with mentorship and resources that they need to succeed, including learning life skills like critical thinking, communication, innovation & problem-solving.

Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun said the initiative aligns with the theme of the IWD 2024, #InspireInclusion, adding that empowering young women reflects the Bank’s commitment to driving inclusion, equality and diversity across industries.

She stated, “As a bank committed to fostering economic empowerment and gender equality, we are proud to partner with SkillPaddy on this initiative to contribute to the training and empowerment of 1,000 female software engineers. Through this programme, we are not only investing in the future of these talented women but also driving innovation and diversity within the tech industry. By providing access to skills training and mentorship, we aim to unlock opportunities and create a more inclusive and thriving digital economy for all.”

You may recall that in line with the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility, it also recently partnered with a software training provider, AltSchool Africa to sponsor female students to acquire specialist software development skills.

The International Women’s Day, IWD is a day set aside globally to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and reflect on action to accelerate gender equality. This year’s theme #InspireInclusion emphasises the importance of creating environments where all individuals, regardless of gender, feel valued, respected, and included.

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