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Minimum Wage: TUC Warns of Imminent Strike

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  • Minimum Wage: TUC Warns of Imminent Strike

The newly elected President of the Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, on Sunday said the union would issue an ultimatum for an industrial action if the Federal Government continued to delay the implementation of new N30, 000 minimum wage.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Olaleye said that TUC had begun mobilising workers ahead of an industrial action, accusing government of showing no serious commitment to the implementation of the minimum wage.

Representatives of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on the technical committee set up to negotiate consequential adjustments arising from the new minimum wage, had disagreed with the government proposal of 9.5 per cent salary increase for employees on Grade Levels 07 to 14 and five per cent for those on Grade Levels 15 to 17.

The council said it would not shift position on its demand for 30 per cent increase for officers on grade levels 7 to 14 and 25 per cent increase for grade levels 15 to 17.

Olaleye said, “We have made presentation to the Federal Government on this issue but it seems that the government is not ready to yield to the expectation of Nigerian workers. We are supporting the JNPSNC on this issue.

“The implementation of the new minimum wage of N30, 000 should have been done a long time ago since President Muhammadu Buhari signed it on April 18, 2019, but government is dragging the matter needlessly. With the way things are, it seems the government is not interested in its implementation.

“We are going to issue an ultimatum to the FG soon. We want the negotiation to resume before going ahead. However, if there is no solution to the problem of implementation in the next two weeks, we will issue the ultimatum. We have started mobilising our members already.”

He added, “The position of the NJNC to call on workers to go on strike is supported by the TUC. But we want to give the government an opportunity to do something about it before taking action over the non-implementation of the new minimum wage.

“We reject government proposal of 9.5 per cent salary raise for employees on Grade Levels 07 to 14 and five per cent for those on Grade Levels 15 to 17. We have come down from about 66 per cent raise but we cannot agree on what government is pushing to us. Government should expect our action any time if nothing is done.”

Olaleye said that TUC would support the call for strike by organised labour after the stalemate in the negotiation between JNPSNC and government representatives.

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.

Economy

Nigerians to Pay N417.09bn in 4 Months for Electricity Consumption

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power project

Electricity Consumers to Pay N419.09bn in 4 Months

Following the recent increase in electricity tariffs, the 11 distribution companies in the country are allowed to collect a total of N417.09bn from their customers from September to December.

The Discos had early this month announced what they called ‘new service reflective tariff’, which took effect from September 1, with the tariffs being charged residential consumers receiving a minimum of 12 hours of power supply rising by over 70 per cent.

The amounts recoverable by the Discos through the allowed end-user tariffs range from 61 per cent to 90 per cent of the total revenue required, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The tariff shortfall, which is the difference between the Discos’ revenue requirement and the amounts they are allowed to recover from their customers by the regulator, will be funded by the Federal Government.

The media had reported that the Federal Government would fund a tariff shortfall of N104.5bn that will be recorded by the Discos in the four-month period, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Ikeja Disco is allowed to recover N66.52bn (90 per cent of its total revenue requirement) from September to December, a NERC document showed.

Eko Disco is allowed to recover N48.46bn (86 per cent); Kano Disco, N34.13bn (84 per cent); Abuja Disco, N49.16bn (83 per cent); and Enugu Disco, N38.81bn (82 per cent).

The amounts recoverable by Kaduna Disco is N35.22bn (82 per cent: Ibadan Disco, N54.61bn (78 per cent); Benin Disco, N34.94bn (74 per cent); and Yola Disco, N13.34bn (71 per cent).

Port Harcourt and Jos Discos are allowed to recover N23.63bn (68 per cent) and N18.27bn (61 per cent) respectively.

NERC said the Power Sector Recovery Plan provided for a gradual transition to cost-reflective tariffs with safeguards for the less privileged in the society, adding that full cost-reflective tariffs would be charged by July 2021.

“The Federal Government, under the PSRP Financing Plan, has committed to fund the revenue gap arising from the difference between cost-reflective tariffs determined by the commission and the actual end-user tariffs during the transition to cost-reflective tariffs,” it added.

According to the commission, all the Discos are obligated to settle their market invoices in full as adjusted and netted off by applicable tariff shortfall approved by the commission.

It said the Discos would be liable to relevant penalties/sanctions for failure to meet the minimum remittance requirement in any payment cycle in accordance with the terms of its respective contracts with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading and the Market Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

The Discos only collect an estimated 24 per cent of the tariff revenue, while the balance goes to the TCN, generation companies and other industry stakeholders, according to the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors.

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Economy

Nigeria Emerges 13th Rice Producer Globally, 1st in Africa

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rice

Nigeria is the 13th Rice Producer Globally and 1st in Africa

Following the series of adjustments made by the federal government to stimulate local production of rice and curb the large inflow of foreign-produced rice, Nigeria has emerged 13th largest rice producer in the world and number one in Africa just two years after President Buhari moved against the importation of rice.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammed Sabo Nanono, disclosed this at the commissioning of the Agribusiness Incubation Centre of Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State.

In a statement issued by Ahmed Aminu, the Technical Assistant to Nanono, the minister said the nation has managed to transition from a net importer of the commodity to a sizeable producer that is gradually moving towards self-sufficiency in rice production.

Nanono said president Buhari has consistently pursued agricultural revolution to ensure that Nigeria attains food security and wealth creation from within.

The Minister said “the rice production drive as championed by President Muhammadu Buhari administration has triggered off massive industrialisation with the springing up of countless rice milling facilities across the country generating tremendous job opportunities down the rice value chain as well as creating sizeable wealth for many.

Sabo Nanono further stated that Kano State alone has 14 integrated rice mills with the capacity to produce between 180 and 400 metric tonnes per day. He added that another 32 integrated mills also abound in Kano with a combined production capacity of another 100 to 120 metric tonnes per day.

Thousands of rice milling clusters can also be found all over the federation, especially in the northern part, which adds up towards the attainment of tangible self-sufficiency in the staple food item as would enable Nigeria to sell rice to our neighbours in the not too distant future.

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Economy

FG Establishes New Crime Agency, Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Established by Government

The Federal Government has approved the creation of a new crime agency called “The Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency” to better manage the loots recovered from financial criminals by the growing list of anti-graft agencies established by the government.

The new agency was approved on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president said the new agency seeks to move the fight against corruption to the next level as there is no agency of government that “can give you off-head the number of landed assets, number of immovable assets, the amount in cash that are recovered by the federal government by way of interim forfeiture overweigh of a final forfeigture.”

“So, it is indeed overtime a kind of arrangement that is not uniform and consistent.”

He added: “Next level of transparency, next level of accountability in essence, will have in place an agency of government that is exclusively responsible for anything proceeds of crime.

“A one-stop shop arrangement by which all the assests that are recovered arising from crimes that are indeed vested in the federal government, you have a one-stop arrangenet where you can have an information. As it is for example, the Federal Ministry of Justice is only in a position to account and giving comprehensive account of what
recoveries were made by the ministry.

“But any recovery made by the police, DSS, the Ministry of Justice is not in a position to know. So, for the purpose of decision making and policy, the federal government is not in a position to have a wholistic appreciation.

“So, by the bill that is now presented for the consideration of the council, we’ll have a law that establishes an agency, and secondly, an agency.

“And as you rightly know, Mr President has sanctioned ever since he came on board, that there should be a budget line, a budget item for recovered assets.

“So, if you have a budget item for recovered assets, this agency will now be in a position to provide information to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on demand as to what amount is available for budget purposes, thereby establishing the desired transparency, the desired accountability which has not been available before now.

“So, it is about a memo that seeks to establish a legal framework, that seeks to establish institutional framework, that seeks to further take the fight against corruption to the next level by way of establishing transparency, accountability and making the possibility of forfeiture a proceeds of crime easy through the sanctioning of non-conviction based forfeiture among others.”

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