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New Minimum Wage: FG May Sack Workers To Meet Demand – Chris Ngige

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Thursday, October 3rd said that the demand of labour over the implementation of the new minimum wage would cost the Federal Government N580 billion annually.

Ngige said that such adjustment, in line with labour’s demand, was not sustainable as the government would have to lay off some workers to be able to meet their demands. The minister said government cannot afford that kind of money now, adding that the focus of President Buhari’s government is on workers on grade level 1 step 1 and level 6 step 1 where the impact of the wage would be felt by workers. The Minister spoke in Abuja when the leadership of United Labour Congress (ULC) led by its President, Joe Ajeiro, paid him a courtesy at the ministry.

While urging workers to show more understanding to the plight of the federal government, Ngige said the current economic realities, may make the new wage bill not feasible. He said that the government was avoiding a situation where it would have to lay off workers, adding that this would add to the burden of the citizenry.

Ngige appealed to the labour to accept the consequential adjustment from levels 7 to 17, adding that the federal government had only three months left to implement the new minimum wage. He said the government would not tell the labour leadwra what it could not pay, stating that no worker deserved to be owed salary.

The minister said: “There is no problem with disagreement in the labour system, when can sometimes disagree to later agree, on the national minimum wage, it will translate to an additional N580billion if government agrees to the consequential adjustment labour is proposing.

“Government cannot afford that kind of money now, besides the administration of President Buhari is more interested in the lowest cadre of workers which are those on grade level 1 step 1 and level 6 step 1, these are the ones who the N30,000 will have greater impact on.

Government has done their own homework and brought out what they can use to defend this consequential adjustment. Grade 1 to 6 does not have any problem, but 7 to 14 band and 15 to 17 band this is where we have the problem. Once you finish a minimum wage and go into consequential adjustment you are trying to reach a collective bargaining agreement and once you are trying to reach and once you are the principle of ability to pay comes in.

So if you push government to go and accede to an increment which its resources cannot accommodate, you are indirectly asking them to retrench workers so that the few that are remaining will get this big big money.

We don’t want that, from 2015 the president has made it clear that he is not out to inflict pains on Nigerians and that he does not want to create unemployment but even at that our increase in population is galloping and our resources is not consequentialy increasing to meet up that is why we have a lot of unemployed youths on the street today.

“We need to arrive at an agreement as soon as possible so that we can use the 2019 budget allocation to deframe this consequential adjustment because it will be bad if we are unable to do it and we finish this financial year by December because the budget circle is going to return to January/December 2020 so we we have three months only before this recurrent funds as well are swept back into government treasury, that is the law.”

He regretted the inability of the joint negotiating team of both the government and labour to agree on the consequential adjustments, insisting that the new wage may become bloated by workers on grade levels 7-14 and 15-17. Already organised labour has started mobilising their members to embark on strike on the 16th of October

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Border Closure: Alomo Bitters Manufacturer Loses $2m

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As the raging issues of border Closure by Buhari-led administration continues with Nigeria and even Ami neighbouring Africa nations.

KasaprekoLimited, is the manufacturer of Alomo Bitters, a beverage widely consumed by Nigerians.

The company is also Ghana’s largest local beverage manufacturer. It has lost about $2 million in revenue following the border closure by the Nigeria government.

This was made known in by Francis Holly Adzah, Kasaprekos Head of International Business Development when he stated in an interview with a Ghanaian news website, JoyBusiness that they have lost about $2 million in revenue following the action of the Federal Government of Nigeria to close borders with neighbouring countries.

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Buhari Working Hard To Meet Nigerians Need -Oshiomhole

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to accelerate economic growth with a view to meeting the needs of Nigerians in his second term in office.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Simon Ebegbulem, on Tuesday, Oshiomhole said this when a delegation from the Vietnamese Government paid him a courtesy in Abuja. The delegation was led by His Excellency, Nguyen Hai Ninh, the Deputy Chief of Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

According to him, to achieve this, the APC led Federal Government is reviving our textile industry. “The idea is to work towards taking advantage of comparative advantage in this sector in order to help provide jobs to the over 200 million of our population,” Oshiomhole said.

According to him, Buhari is in a hurry to provide jobs to unemployed Nigerians as well as accelerate the growth of the economy.

It is as a result of this that the APC led administration is fighting corruption vigorously for our commonwealth not to be concentrated in the hands of a few, but that of the majority.

“With a population of 200 million, we have the advantage of a huge market, but we also have a huge challenge of ensuring an economic growth that will make those 200 million people comfortable. “Before the coming of Buhari, we missed lots of opportunities,” he said.

Oshiomhole said that the country had challenges in power supply and security, adding that the President was fighting corruption to preventing few people from taking the wealth meant for the nation.

“Nigerians voted overwhelmingly for our President, so we are going to take advantage of the second term to ensure that we accelerate economic growth for us to meet the needs of our people.

“Right now, we are focusing on ensuring that we have a power supply. Vietnam has a strong textile industry and you have an international market, so I am glad to know about that.

“I am particularly keen on this because I work in the textile factory before and I think that there are one or two things we can learn from your experience because we are on the verge of reviving our textile industry which will help us create jobs,” he said. Oshiomhole commended the Vietnamese Government for backing Nigeria in its bid for the Presidency of the United Nations General Assembly.

He said that the countries would continue to deepen relationships in areas of trade and investment for the benefit of the two countries. Earlier, Hai Nin said the visit was to establish official relationship between the APC led government and the communist party of Vietnam.

He solicited the assistance of Nigeria in settling the crisis between Vietnam and China over the disputed South China sea, urging Nigeria to insist that the dispute be settled according to the UN established laws. (NAN)

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Bayelsa Guber: Jonathan Kinsmen, Others Joins APC

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As the gubernatorial polls of Bayelsa is drawing nearer on daily basis, grassroots politicians and kinsmen of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Robert Enogha and Chief Claudius Enegesi have dumped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Prior to his defection, Enogha was the Chairman, Bayelsa Environmental Sanitation Authority and former two-time member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. Enogha, who was until his defection one of the restoration leaders in Ogbia, was also a former Commissioner for Environment in the state. Enegesi, one of the political associates of Jonathan, was a Speaker in the old Rivers State when Ada George was the governor.

The party stalwart, who was the pioneer Chairman of the PDP in Bayelsa when the party was formed in 1998, was a former national executive member of the party and a former caucus chairman of PDP, Ogbia chapter.

Also in Nembe, Chief Bright Erewari-Igbeta, a former House of Assembly member and presently Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment resigned his appointment from the government and also from the party. In the same council, Chief James Jephthah aka Octopus after series of meeting with leaders and supporters of PDP under the Octopus Umbrella said he and his political associates had decided to withdraw their membership of the PDP. But Enigha while jointing the APC cited dictatorial tendencies in PDP as a reason for his decision to leave the party. He said: “I write to formally inform you of my withdrawal of membership from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

I am doing this with so much pain as a founding member of the party which was truly democratic as at then. “I must acknowledge the immense benefit and experience I have gathered over the years through service as a loyal and faithful member. However I have lost confidence in the party’s ability to accept where the opinion of majority counts, hence my resignation”.

Also in Brass, Chief Beimo Spiff the coordinator of the PDP governorship campaign council in Brass Local Government Area and brother to Senator Inatimi Rufus Spiff, Chairman of the PDP reconciliation committee, dumped the party for the APC.

Spiff and his supporters were received by the Secretary of the party, Alabo Martins. Beimo- Spiff in his letter of resignation addressed to the Chairman of the party said he was resigning from the party due to some “despicable injustices in the party

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