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Ngige faulted Gov. Yahaya Bello and others who are yet to pay the new minimum wage

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has faulted governors negotiating with the labour unions in their states over the payment of the minimum wage to workers.

The Minister said this as a guest on ChannelsTelevision’s Sunday Politics, that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Minimum WageRepeal and Re-Enactment Act, 2019 into law on April 18, 2019.

Two years after the President assented to the Act, some states have begun to pay civil servants the new minimum wage while others still struggle to do so as a result of inadequate funds.

According to him, the Act makes it compulsory for all employers of labour in the country to pay a minimum of N30,000 to their workers and gives workers compelled to accept salary less than the amount the right to sue their employer to recover the balance.

It also authorises the Minister of Labour and any person nominated or designated by the minister to take action against such an employer on behalf of the worker to recover the balance of the wages.

OBSERVERS TIMES recall that, The Organised Labour in Kogi, on Saturday, appealed to Gov. Yahaya Bello to implement the N30,000 minimum wage in the state.

The unions also urged the governor to address the issue of salary percentage payment to local government workers and teachers.

Chairman of the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Onu Edoka, made the appeal in his address at a rally commemorating the 2021 Workers’ Day at Confluence Stadium, Lokoja.

Edoka said that workers in the state could no longer cope with the prevailing economic situation in the country.

He said that two years after President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the N30,000 minimum wage bill into law, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, had yet to commence implementation.

Addressing the issue, Ngige said , “If you read the Act well, you will see the applicability of the Act. The applicability is that all parts of the Federation (Section II); Section III also says N30,000 shall be paid, the operating word is shall.

“It does not give room for picking and choosing, it is a must. The state governors that are not paying are breaching the law of the land.”

He noted that any employer paying its employee below N30,000 was doing The law, however, excludes persons employing less than 25 workers, persons who work in a ship that sails out of jurisdiction, and others in other kinds of regulated employment that are accepted by the Act.so in contravention of the law.

According to him, governors are getting the issues mixed up as the minimum wage is different from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

He stated, “This is a national law that states what you will pay to the lowest-paid employee (worker) in your establishment; state governments are employers… they are caught in the web of this law until repealed.

“Any state government or employer that negotiates minimum wage like some of them are doing with their unions, they are running afoul of the law.

“I can take any employer to court. If governors have immunity, I can start from the secretary to the government, to the head of service, and go down to the State Executive Council; take them all to courtand I do not need any permission.”

 

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El-Rufai Remains My Boss Forever, Says Suspended NPA MD, Hadiza Bala-Usman

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The suspended managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, has described Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State as her “Forever Boss”.

She made her first public appearance on Thursday since after she was asked to step aside in order to allow for unfettered investigation of the management of the NPA.

OBSERVERS TIMES recall that Bala-Usman was last week Thursday, May 6, 2021 suspended from office over sundry allegations including remittance shortfalls by NPA to the tune of N165.3bn.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, had in a statement on May 6 announced the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari granted to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to set up a panel of enquiry on the activities of the NPA management and as well Hadiza Bala-Usman’s suspension while the investigation last.

Although she has denied the allegations but on Monday, May 10, 2021, Amaechi carried out the presidential directive by inaugurating a 10-man panel of enquiry, which will probe Bala-Usman and the NPA management.

Meanwhile Hadiza, who hails from Katsina State, showed up in Zaria, Kaduna State on Thursday as a member of the entourage of the state governor to the Emir of Zazzau’s palace for Eid-el-Fitr festivities.

She took to her social media handles afterwards to announce her presence with a photo of her seated beside Governor El-Rufai at the Sallah event, saying she was at the event with El-Rufai, her “Forever Boss”.

Hadiza Bala-Usman, apart from the traditional sallah prayer, also made a veiled reference to the ongoing probe of NPA activities, saying she was resolute with a belief that “truth always triumphs.”

Bala-Usman wrote: “Eid Mubarak….”Taqabbalallāhu minnā wa minkum”May Allah accept [good deeds] from you and us”.

“At the place of the Emir of Zazzau with my forever Boss @elrufai. We remain resolute in the believe that the truth always triumphs…Allah’s protection and guidance for alway

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Buhari’s regime has lost ideas, best known for blame game –Gov Mohammed

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The Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, has come out hard on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, saying it is full of blame game, nepotism and corruption.

Mohammed , who made this assertion in an interaction with journalists on Thursday at the Ramat House, Bauchi, after the Sallah parade at the palace of the Emir of Bauchi, said the deteriorating economy which has led to widespread insecurity and poverty in the country, was as a result of loss of ideas by the Federal Government.

Mohammed added that there was truth in the assertion by the Southern governors who recently said that the northern part of the country was favoured more than the south.

If you are not fair and equitable in your administration, in your management, if there is nepotism, only one section is given positions in government, then what the southern governors said is true.

Some people are given too much attention to the detriment of others.

“What we know in this country, as a federation, there is always a balance in terms of appointments of federal offices, in terms of appointments even at the local level because if you don’t practise fairness at the top, then you cannot get it at the lower level. And people will begin to think of self-actualisation, self-determination, and so on,” he said.

Mohammed insisted that the Buhari regime had no ideas on how to grow the economy, noting that it was best known for blame game, just as corruption was thriving in the regime more than previous administrations.

“I think the Federal Government has lost ideas on how to grow the economy. They are just involved in a blame game. What they are best known for is blame game, always saying this and that.”

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Four killed in Customs, smugglers gun fight in Oyo

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Four people have been reported dead after a crossfire between operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and suspected smugglers in Iseyin area of Oyo State.

The gun fight caused fear among residents celebrating the Eid-el-Fitr while fleeing for safety

Muftau Abilawon, the former Caretaker Chairman of Iseyin Local Government Council, confirmed the crossfire to Newsmen.

“I have been duly informed by a traditional chief, the Ikolaba of Iseyin, Chief Ismail Tikalosoro, who called me and narrated the incident to me on the phone.

He advised that I brief the special adviser to the governor on security about the matter, which I did immediately, and he has promised to intervene,” Mr Abilawon stated.

He added, “I understand that the four corpses were taken to the palace of the Aseyin of Iseyin, where the chiefs appealed for calm and asked the aggrieved residents to deposit the corpses at Fadoks hospital.

“The chiefs also begged them not to set the Customs base in Iseyin ablaze, which they yielded to, but it was too late for the Toyota Hilux van as it was on fire already before the appeal.”

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