Tag Archives: #Labour

Labour Strike: Gbajabiamila Calls For More Time to Negotiate With Executive On Labour Demands

The Speaker, House of Representatives has call for time to enable him lead the way for negotiations with the executive after meeting with SGF and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo today.

Labour Strike: Gbajabiamila Calls for More Time to Negotiate with Executive on Labour Demands

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Sunday implored the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to give room for enough time for negotiations with the executive arm of government over the proposed industrial action for commencement on Monday.

This is as the the Speaker later met with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to deliberate on the outcome of his meeting with the labour leaders.

The labour unions had threatened to embark on industrial action from Monday if their demands for the reversal of the increase in electricity tariff and Premium Motor Split (PMS) were not met.

Gbajabiamila, while meeting with the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye, in his office on Sunday, expressed concern over the consequences of a shutdown of the nation’s socio-economic activities on Nigerians, while disclosing his intentions to interface with the executive for a possible amicable resolution of the demands of the Labour unions.

Gbajabiamila said it is incumbent upon the House as elected representatives to see how they can intervene and perhaps a third voice, would be able to broker some kind of amicable solution to the ongoing impasse while citing instances where the House had successfully intervened in such matters before now.

He said: “In good conscience, we are on the same page, or most of the time, we’re on the same page, and you know, that we, the leadership of the House of Representatives are on the same page with you.

“But what is the consequence, and that’s the bigger picture of going on strike. When we have a complete government shutdown, the people we seek to protect, invariably end up holding the short end of the stick.

“So it ends up defeating the purpose. You know, sometimes, no matter how long negotiations or talks last, sometimes at the end of the day, it may be the better route to take.

The Speaker emphasized the need for patience by the labour unions while adding that the timing of the implementation of the issues at stake by the government should be well looked into by both parties since both parties considered some of the issues at stake as inevitable.

“The budget is coming to the National Assembly. Some policies that are being considered and that will make sure to cushion the effect of this includes the provision of food items, distribution of grains, reduction on taxes on minimum wage, payment of some special allowances from October to January 2021, involvement in the ownership of housing programs through household and mortgage outlets by the NLC and TUC members, and special policy of government vehicles autogas, which is an alternative to PMS for public establishments.

“I think these policies and more will go a long way and this can be provided in the budget but it is a couple of weeks away or less. So this is an appeal”.

“I think we can achieve a lot more by being patient because they say when two giants fight, it’s the grass that suffers. We don’t want that to happen here. We all have children, we have wards, we have people who work with us, we have family, and we have friends who suffer the consequences of this”.

After the meeting, Wabba said the outcome of the interface with the executive as promised by the Speaker would determine the next line of action of the Labour unions.

He said: “We told the Speaker how the discussion with the Federal government went and how the meeting was adjourned, so, he has also promised to try and intervene at his own level to see to it that we don’t inflict more pains on Nigerians.

“In the course of the discussion, we had also realized that the House of Representatives has actually done a lot on these issues, including recommendations to the government which we have shared mutually

“But the bottom line is that we want this burden that has now been shifted to Nigerians as consumers is also lifted so that we can have a decent life”.

On the strike, he said, “If the issues are not addressed, we have given notice and that notice will certainly expire by tomorrow (Monday) and all the actions we have pronounced will take effect”.

The Speaker immediately left for the State House where he met with Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo over the issues.

Present at the meeting were Deputy House Leader, Rep. Peter Akpatason; Chairman, House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Rep. Mohammed Ali Wudil and the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Magaji Da’u Aliyu.

The statement was issued by Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives.

Selection Process of 774,000 Jobs is Not SUSPENDED – Keyamo

Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Honourable Minister of State Labour and Employment, in a Press Release made available on 30th June, 2020, said: “Purported suspension of selection PROCESS of 774,000 jobs by National Assembly Committees: All states’ selection committees should proceed with their work unhindered.”

The full statement is provided below:

Today, in obedience to their invitation, I appeared before the Joint Committees on Labour of both the Senate and the House. The Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members sought to be briefed on the implementation of the Special Public Works Programme so far.

However, there was a misunderstanding between us when they questioned why I did not privately submit the program to them for vetting before taking certain steps. They suggested that they ought to have an input on how the programme should be implemented. In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.

However, I insisted that I could not surrender the programme to their control since their powers under the constitution does not extend to that. They insisted on a closed door session.

At this point, I remarked that it was only fair for me to respond to their position before the press, since their own position was also made public. In any case, I remarked that the Nigerian people deserve to know the details of the execution of this all-important programme.

I was then asked to apologize for insisting on a public interaction and I said there was nothing to apologize about, because their powers to expose corruption provided for in section 88 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in private. As such, there was no need to apologize by insisting on a Constitutional provision. Even their Rules that may provide for private hearings on public matters cannot override the provisions of the Constitution. I was then permitted to leave. I took a bow and left. I NEVER walked out on the respected Committees as they may want to bend the narrative.

After I left, I understand that the Joint Committees purportedly suspended the work of the Selection Committees nationwide until they decide how the programme should be run and who should be in those Committees. My opinion is that it is tantamount to challenging the powers of Mr. President.

I regret to say that their powers under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution is only limited to investigations, but NOT TO GIVE ANY DIRECTIVE TO THE EXECUTIVE.

A Committee or Committees of both Houses do not even have powers to pass binding Resolutions. They can only make recommendations to Plenary. In this case, even Plenary CANNOT give DIRECTIVES to the Executive.

All my life, I have fought for good governance and constitutional democracy. I will not come into government and be intimidated to abandon those principles. I will rather leave this assignment, if Mr. President so directs than compromise the jobs meant for ordinary Nigerians who have no Godfathers or who are not affiliated to any political party.

I therefore, respectfully further direct all the Committees set up nationwide made up of CAN, NSCIA, NURTW, Market Women, CSOS, Youth Organisations, respected traditional rulers, etc to proceed with their work unhindered. Only Mr. President can stop their work.

Thank you.

FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb(UK)
Hon. Minister of State.

Kwara State: EFCC Uncovers Additional 400 Ghost Workers In KWARA Work Force

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, June 19, 2020 uncovered 400 fresh ghost workers in Kwara state.

At the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Commission, N31,000,000 (Thirty One Million Naira only), meant for the payment of salaries of the ghost workers, was allegedly shared by the Chairman, Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, Kwara State, Salihu Idris Toyin and the Permanent Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Bayo Audu Onimago, among others.

Other beneficiaries of the money include, Director of Finance, SUBEB, Ahmed Husain, Coordinator, NUJ, Kwara State, Tijani Idris and Controller of Finance, SUBEB, Omole John.

In a confessional account of how the money was shared, Toyin told operatives of the EFCC that “A sum of N12million was paid into an account operated by me and others, the money was actually not supposed to come but when the cash hit the account, I withdrew it and gave it to SUBEB Officials, they gave us N3million for free and we shared it among ourselves.”

“We also received another N19million. I withdrew N4million from it, I used N1.5million for clearing and interlocking of our quarters, the remaining N2.5million is still with me”.

Toyin also said that the money he used for the clearing and interlocking of the quarters was not receipted.

It would be recalled that the EFCC, last week announced the uncovering of about 1000 ghost workers allegedly smuggled into the payroll of the Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board.

All the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.