- NLC, TUC Petition SGF over Minimum Wage Delay
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have jointly issued a warning letter to the federal government of a likely industrial crisis if the committee on the implementation of new minimum wage does not resume talks soon.
The two labour unions in a joint letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said they were disappointed that progress has not been made towards reaching agreement on the payment of the minimum wage.
The meeting between the Joint National Public Services Negotiating Council and the government representatives on the committee on the adjustment of salaries was stalemated following disagreement over the percentage increase to be adopted across board. The letter was dated July 17, and signed by both the NLC and TUC, came as a follow-up to the earlier one sent by the Joint Civil Service Negotiating Council on July 16 on the negotiation.
In the letter, NLC and TUC alleged that the government’s team was using unnecessary delay to frustrate efforts at concluding negotiations.
Unlike before, both NLC and TUC, are now demanding that they would be active in future meetings for the new salary adjustment.
The letter reads: “We would wish to commence this letter by first commending Mr. President for setting up this committee in which we all had confidence to expeditiously work out the modalities for relativity and any other consequential effect that may arise from the new national minimum wage.
“Our optimism was hinged on the fact that this would not be the first time we would be having this type of committee”.
In the letter, labour criticised the option of a staggered implementation adopted by the federal government, saying the decision was not taken in good faith. They insisted that staggered implementation is both divisive and catastrophic.
“It is important to note that the national minimum wage has always been implemented holistically in acknowledgement of the fact that we all go to the same market.
“In light of this and the need to head off a major industrial crisis, we would urge you to do all that is necessary to ensure that the meeting of the committee is reconvened with NLC and TUC,” it said.
The President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye who confirmed the petition to THISDAY said it was submitted to the SGF last Friday.
NNPC Spends N101.65bn on Petrol Subsidy in Q1 2020
FG Spends Petrol N101.65bn on Petrol Subsidy in the First Quarter
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it spent N101.65 billion on petrol subsidy in the first three months of the year.
In its latest Monthly Financial and Operations report released for the month of March, the corporation described the spending as under-recovery.
A break down of the report shows N43.31 billion was spent in January while N20.68 billion and N37.66 billion were spent in February and March respectively.
The amount was spent before the Federal Government halted subsidy in April when global oil prices plunged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on subsidy, the former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, said “There is no need for subsidy again because they are using it to make unnecessary demands and this is the corruption that we are talking about. They are also using it to finance corruption too.
“The money that they would have used for other sectors or even send to FAAC is being used for subsidy and we cannot actually quantify its impact on the masses; rather, it is used to enrich a very few.”
Nzekwe urged the PPPRA to ensure subsidy does not return and encouraged the government to liberalise the downstream oil sector in order to allow other marketers to participate in fuel importation.
He said, “The NNPC should not be the only one importing petrol. The downstream sector must not continue like this. Other players should be allowed to play in the space too. The sector should be fully liberalised.
“And it is because the NNPC is the only one importing and almost running everything that makes it simple for it to say whatever it wanted as expenses on subsidy or under-recovery. This should not continue.”
Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases
Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally
Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.
Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.
“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.
As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.
This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.
In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.
We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos
Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff
The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.
Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.
The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.
Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.
“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.
The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.
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