The Federal Government on Thursday convened a conciliatory meeting with the Kaduna State government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to resolve the impasse that has grounded labour activities in the state.
Mr Chris Ngige, who is the Minister of Labour and Employment, presided over the meeting while NLC National President, Ayuba Wabba, led other labour leaders to the discussion.
But the Commissioner of Local Government Affairs in Kaduna, Jaafaru Sabi, represented Governor Nasir El-Rufai and the state government.
On the deliberations at the end of the meeting, Ngige told reporters that the state government delegation disagrees with the labour leaders.
He noted that the meeting, thereafter, resolved to constitute a 10-man committee comprising six state government officials and three NLC representatives to discuss and resolve the impasse.
The minister stated that the committee chaired by the Head of Service in Kaduna State was given a mandate of up to Tuesday next week to report to him.
According to him, the meeting agreed that no person shall be victimised for participating in the industrial action in Kaduna after which both parties appended their signature to the documents.
Giving his opening remarks shortly after the meeting began, Ngige had said that the Federal Government was very concerned about developments in Kaduna due to insecurity.
He decried that the situation was further compounded by the strike, which was already crippling economic activities in the state, noting that this informed the intervention of the Federal Government.
The minister believes the labour issues could have been avoided and all parties to the negotiation are products of the Nigerian Constitution, hence the need to work together for the well-being of the people.
He stressed the importance of dialogue and the need for restraint in trying to enforce one’s rights, after which he laid the ground rules for the discussions and appealed to the parties to give peace a chance while negotiations continued.
Ngige had, however, warned that he would not hesitate to invoke relevant sections of the Trade Dispute Act and escalate the situation to the National Industrial Court if the intervention efforts fail.
In his remarks, Jaafaru stated that the state government was very displeased and condemned the actions of the NLC in its attempt to shut down the state.
He outlined some of the efforts of the state government to promote the welfare of civil servants, including the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.
The commissioner disclosed that the state government had employed 25,000 primary school teachers and 1,700 science teachers in secondary schools, besides other employment processes that were already in the advanced stage.
According to him, the public service consumes four out of every five naira the state has while salaries and allowances take a huge chunk of revenue allocations to the local governments.
Wabba, on his part, thanked the Federal Government for its intervention, saying the issue that brought the parties to the meeting was because of the state government’s policy to downsize its workforce.
He explained that the crux of the issue was the payment of emoluments to affected staff during redundancy, stressing that this was never done.
The NLC president stressed that the state government never engaged with the workers before disengaging them, insisting that the right thing was never done.
He accused the state government of ignoring the series of letters sent to it requesting that the workers should be engaged before being disengaged from service.
The decision to protest and to go on strike, according to him, is the last resort and labour never went to any office to disrupt any service during the protest in Kaduna.
Wabba informed the meeting that all that the labour wanted was transparency in the process of disengaging the workers.
Another Lagos LGA chairman dies
Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji, Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos is dead
Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji is dead.
Olatunji died on Monday night.
It was gathered Olatunji had been battling with illness before his death.
He will be buried in accordance with Islamic rites today at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos.
Before his demise, he was seeking re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He emerged winner in the APC local government primary election with 1977 votes to become the party’s candidate in the forthcoming July 24th election.
Confirming his death, his Media Team on Tuesday morning in a Facebook post said: “With sorrow in our heart but in total submission to the will of Almighty Allah (S. W. T), we announce the passing, after a long battle with illness, our dear father, brother, friend, confidant, role model, Nation-builder, Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji.
“He was until late night of Monday 21st June, 2021 the Executive Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area, Eti-Osa Local Government.
“He will be buried in accordance to Islamic rite by 9 am prompt at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos. We invite you to join us in paying the last respect to our beloved father, brother, friend and Boss.
“We are confident that Almighty Allah will grant him Al Jannah Firdaus.”
In a terse statement, chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon. Mrs Omolola Essien expressed sadness over his sudden demise.
She said: “We commiserate with his family, friends, colleagues and staff of Eti-Osa Local Council development Area and pray against such unfortunate deaths in our fold.
“And On behalf of the good people of Lagos Mainland Local Government Areas, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the Conference 57 Chairmen, his family and pray that The Good Lord grants the people he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss and make paradise his final abode.”
Lagos Assembly passes LASIEC Amendment Bill
The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for passage into Law.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa on Monday, passed the bill Having gone through its first, second and third reading at the plenary.
Obasa stated that: “The Election process of the Local Government and LASIEC which has started with the Parties contesting for the position is possibly affecting the tenure of the existing LASIEC Officials and the State needs to be on the safe side, hence, the need to look at the laws and amend where necessary to protect the effort of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission.
“The Intended Bill will empower the Governor to elongate the tenure of the officials of LASIEC and I think the six month proposed is too wide in this consideration because we need to be ahead in order to protect the State, so I proposed three month.”
The Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Victor Akande, stressed that the amendment being proposed was needed to ensure the Bill gets the necessary backing in order to stand the test of time.
Akande stated: “Only a singular fraction of the Bill is amended; the Bill also seeks to give the Governor the leverage to be able to use his power in case the tenure lapses. It is a good amendment in the right direction.”
Other members who made contributions, noted that the proposed amendment is a worthy one because the House and its democratic dispensation must ensure that it abides by the rule of Law.
The only addition is subsection 2 of the extant Law which provides for legislation that will necessitate the extension of the tenure of the Electoral Commission to perform it duties is however proposed to be amended since the Constitution states that no part of the people from the Commission shall administer themselves as democratically elected among the selection in the electoral process.
DSS releases Kano singer detained for Blasphemy
The Department of State Services (DSS) has released an Islamic singer, Ahmad Abdul, taking into custody after releasing a blasphemous song.
DailyTrust reports that Abdul was picked by the security agents for releasing the uncensored song titled ‘Barhama Gwaska’, perceived as blasphemous and capable of creating chaos in the state. The DSS had said it took the singer into protective custody to avert likely violent reactions against him from Kano residents.
While in detention, Abdul tendered an apology to the entire Muslim community, Kano state government, and Islamic scholars.
Confirming his release from custody today June 21, the Executive Secretary of Kano State Films and Video Censorship Board, Ismaila Na’abba Afakallah, said he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens. Afakallah said he reported the singer to the DSS which later arrested him at a hotel where he had been hiding for days to save him from the mob.
“He has been released as he regretted and apologised over his offence, promising not to repeat it” Afakallah said
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