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New minimum wage: President forwards N30,000 bill to NASS

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New minimum wage: President forwards N30,000 bill to NASS

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Chairperson of the Tripartite Committee Ms Ama Pepple said the enactment of the draft bill into law was critical to the operation and future reviews of the National Minimum Wage.

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that necessary machinery was being put in place to transmit an Executive Bill to the National Assembly on the N30,000 new minimum wage package negotiated by a tripartite committee comprising government and labour.

READ ALSO: Buhari endorses N30,000 minimum wage

He said as the Executive arm begins its review of the submission, government would continue to engage labour in closing any open areas presented in the report.




“I, therefore, would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks.”

Buhari, who urged workers not to allow themselves to be used as “political weapons” said his administration was not only committed to workers’ welfare, but also working to create a diversified and inclusive economy.

“In constituting this committee, we took into account the need for all stakeholders to be adequately represented – the government, the private sector and most importantly the workers. Our goal was to get an outcome that was consensual.

“From the onset, we knew the committee had a difficult task ahead of it. But at the same time, we were also confident that the patriotic and professional background of its members would produce realistic, fair and implementable recommendations that will be considered by both the executive and legislative arms of government.

“I am not surprised that the committee has worked for close to one year. I am also not surprised that on a few occasions, the debates got heated and sometimes, these differences came out.

“What is truly inspiring is that, in almost all instances of disagreements, the committee members always came back to the negotiating table with a common goal of improving the welfare of Nigerian workers. On behalf of all Nigerians today, I want to thank you for your commitment and sacrifice in getting us to where we are today.

“In the past few days, I have been receiving regular updates on your deliberations. And today, I am pleased that you have completed your work in a peaceful and non-confrontational manner. The entire nation is grateful to you all.

“The committee chairman highlighted some of the challenges encountered during your deliberations, especially as it relates to having a consensus position acceptable by all parties.

“I understand that on the government side, the concerns raised were around affordability – that today many states struggle to meet their existing salary requirements.

“On the side of labour, the points raised focused on the need for any increase to be meaningful.”

Chairperson of the Tripartite Committee Ms Ama Pepple said the enactment of the draft bill into law was critical to the operation and future reviews of the National Minimum Wage.

According to her, to reach a consensus, the committee weighed the demand of the workers, which was predicated on the high cost of living occasioned by unfavourable exchange rate and rising inflation over the past few years, among other factors.

“The committee also considered the overall macroeconomic indicators, including the revenue and expenditure profile of government as provided by the honorable ministers of Budget and National Planning and Finance as well as the minimum wage proposed by some state governments in their memoranda submitted to the committee.

“Consideration was also given to the critical role of the informal sector in employment generation and the need for a realistic minimum wage that will not stifle the growth of the sector and the overall economy.

Meanwhile, Sen. Roland Owie, chairman, National Contact Committee of ADP, has tackled the government over the N30,000 minimum wage.

According to him, governments have capacity to pay even more than that.

In a statement he personally signed, Owie said it was “wickedness of the highest order” for a government that raised pump price from N97 to N145 per litre, and governors who collect N500 million per month as security votes to say they could not pay N30,000 minimum wage

“What is N30,000 when suffering Nigerians pay their personal drivers up to N50,000 per month?

“I urge Nigerians to heed what St. Augustine said when he wrote that Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are and Courage to see they do not remain the way they are.

“I urge Nigerian workers also to be true to God, humanity, their families and themselves this time around and never again deceive themselves or Nigerians by ensuring they all obtain their PVCs and do the needful in the 2019 general elections. This is the hour for Nigerians to support Labour,” he said.

READ ALSO: Saraki appeals to FG, labour over proposed strike

The post New minimum wage: President forwards N30,000 bill to NASS appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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