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Aviation workers suspend nationwide strike ultimatum, sign agreement with FG

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The planned nationwide industrial action of all the associations/unions in the aviation industry, billed to commence on Tuesday, has been suspended.

This was sequel to a Memorandum of Settlement (MOS) reached between the aviation workers and the Federal Ministry of Aviation in the early hours of Tuesday.

Both parties signed the agreement at the end of a conciliation meeting at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FML&E).

The meeting, which took place in the conference room of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, discussed the two demands of the unions, which are: the non-implementation of the Minimum Wage consequential adjustment in the Aviation parastatals since 2019 and the non-approval/release of the reviewed conditions of service in the parastatals.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Ngige said after exhaustive deliberations on the issues which the parties agreed as germane, they reached the following resolutions:

“The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), was requested to issue a service wide circular informing all organisations in the public and private sectors that they are bound to implement the National Minimum Wage of 2019/consequential adjustments.

“The Ministry of Aviation is to circulate the circular on the consequential minimum wage adjustment to all the agencies under the supervision of the ministry, requesting them to implement the National Minimum Wage consequential adjustment without any further delay and also clarify that this payment became effective from April 18, 2019, when the Minimum Wage was signed into law.”

In a statement Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Charles Akpan, the Minister said they agreed that those that had exited the system from April 18, 2019 to date, would also be paid the arrears.

“The meeting noted that some categories of workers in the Aviation Sector attract some peculiar allowances, which are not extended to others and stated that those salary structures that are not captured in the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement signed and dated 9th, 14th, 15th 16th, 17th and 18th October, 2019 between the Federal Government and organised labour on the consequential adjustment of the other wages, would attract consequential adjustment as agreed during the negotiations of the Federal Government with the labour centres-The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria in October 2019.”

He said the meeting concluded that all the agencies that had not paid the minimum wage allowances should write to the NSIWC through the Ministry of Aviation for consideration/evaluation.

According to him, the NSIWC promised to process all as soon as possible and consequently, the parties agreed that the consequential adjustment of the New Minimum Wage of 2019 based on the approved government templates should be implemented on or before the end of the first quarter of the year 2022 (March 31, 2022).

Regarding the non-approval/release of the reviewed conditions of service (CoS) of the agencies under the Aviation Ministry, Ngige said they noted that the issue was a protracted one, having been ongoing for about nine years.

He said the meeting charged the management to take more proactive steps to conclude the review of the conditions of service to boost the morale of the workers and retain the best technical staff in the industry.

“The meeting was informed that the financial implication of the conditions of service (CoS) for Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has been approved by the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS), hence the whole process for NIMET has been concluded except for hazard allowances, which would be reconsidered by the NSIWC on a sectoral level. Hence, the NSIWC is to release this approved CoS immediately.

“The meeting however noted that the CoS for Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) require establishment input and directed the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation to update the Ministry of Aviation on this aspect of their CoS by Friday, February 11, 2022 and copy the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. The meeting agreed that the financial aspect of NAMA and NCAA would be resolved by the PCS by the third week of February 2022.

“The meeting was also informed that the CoS FOR Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has been released since 2019. There are however establishment issues which have been observed and will be forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Aviation by the Management of FAAN for transmission to the OHCSF for urgent action.”

He promised to urgently look into the additional issue introduced by the associations/unions, bothering on the right of workers to freely associate with a Trade Union within the Aviation Industry as stipulated in the Trade Unions Act. Cap 714 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 by the Airline operators.

He said they agreed that by the end of the first quarter of 2022 (March 31, 2022), the Aviation Ministry should ensure the approval, release and implementation of the renewed CoS for all the workers in the agencies under the Aviation Ministry.

“In view of the above, the 7-day ultimatum issued for a planned industrial action, effective 8/2/2022 is hereby suspended.”

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2023: Buhari may meet Osinbajo, Tinubu, Amaechi, others

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President Muhammadu Buhari would this week meet with all the preidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The meeting was called with a view to reducing the number of presidential hopefuls and also ensuring that all of them pledge to accept the outcome of the primary as was done during the APC presidential primary in 2014.

“The President will meet with the aspirants a few days to the primary with a view to ensuring that there is unity and harmony. He will also meet with the governors separately. The date is not fixed yet, but it should be this week if INEC doesn’t extend the deadline for the primary as we are all hoping,” said an APC chieftain who wished to remain anonymous.

“The President has a candidate. How to present the idea to the likes of Tinubu will be the challenge,” he added.

Buhari’s most senior spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, had said last week that the President indeed had a preferred candidate.

He stated, “In a previous interview when the President was asked whether he had a favourite candidate, he answered yes; but he will not mention him because mischief may happen to that person.

“That shows you that the President himself is interested in the process and he has a preferred candidate; but whether he will impose his candidate is what you cannot determine at the moment.”

When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was not aware of any meeting the President would be having with the aspirants.

“I am not aware of any meeting as of now,” he said.

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Gunmen behead abducted Anambra lawmaker from Governor Soludo’s constituency, hang head in motor park

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Gunmen who abducted a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okey Okoye, have beheaded him.

After beheading him, his head was reportedly displayed at a motor park in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

The incident, which happened on Saturday, created panic in the community, which had been witnessing a series of violent killings since last year.

Sources added that his body was not there and indications were that the killers removed the body.

“The Anambra lawmaker representing Soludo’s constituency, Okechukwu Okoye who was earlier kidnapped, has been beheaded by gunmen; the late lawmaker’s head was mounted at Chisco Park in Amichi community,” a military source said on Saturday.

Gunmen had last Sunday abducted the lawmaker who was representing Aguata II state constituency in Aguata alongside Cyril Chiegboka, his campaign director.

Governor Charles Soludo had said during the week that efforts were ongoing to rescue the Anambra lawmaker from his abductors.

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MC Oluomo allegedly demands N100million to support re-election of Oshodi Rep member

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Chairman of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo, is allegedly demanding N100 million to support the re-election of the member representing Oshodi Federal Constituency 1 in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bashiru Dawodu.

Dawodu, a medical doctor, rode on the back of MC Oluomo to win the election in 2019 after series of attempts in the past.

Dawodu presenting his Certificate of Return to MC Oluomo

Both, however, fell apart few months after Dawodu was elected due to irreconcilable differences .

MC Oluomo is said to be angry with Dawodu for not honouring agreements he (Dawodu) had with him prior to his victory in 2019.

MC Oluomo, who is seen as de-facto leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oshodi was said to have vowed to work against Dawodu’s re-election in 2023.

He is believed to be working for the emergence of a former Chairman of Oshodi/Isolo Local Government, Afeez Ipesa Balogun to emerge as the APC’s candidate for the House of Representatives election in the constituency.

However, party leaders in the local government including the Chairman of the council, Kehinde Oloyede Almoof had appealed to MC Oluomo to tone down his opposition to Dawodu and support his re-election.

It was gathered that MC Oluomo did not turn down the fence-mending approach because he said he did the same with Oloyede who was his former arch-enemy.

It was further gathered that MC Oluomo demanded N100 million from Dawodu before he gets his support.

The money according to MC Oluomo is to settle his aides and loyalists, who supported Dawodu in 2019 but were abandoned by the Rep member.

According to sources at the various fence-mending meeting, appeals to MC Oluomo to reduce the amount were rebuffed.

Another dimension has, however, been added to the involvement of Oloyede in the matter.

The sources revealed that the council chairman, Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own interest.

Oloyede has been eyeing the Rep seat before his election as the council chairman.

Oloyede’s calculation according to the sources is that should Dawood gets the second term, it would be easy for him (Oloyede) to contest for the seat in 2027.

One of the sources who does not want his name in print because of backlash said : “Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own personal interest. He believes supporting Dawood may work for him in 2027.

Continuing, the source noted that Oloyede would rather support Dawodu over any other candidates because others eyeing the seat are first timers, who may want to seek for re-election in 2027.

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