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Association writes Buhari over new minimum wage

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The Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action on the full implementation of the National Minimum Wage.

SSAUTHRIAI made the call in a communique signed by its sectoral chairman, Felix Uwadiae and Secretary, Ademola Olajire, on Sunday.

While the Federal Government is proposing 9.5 per cent salary increase for employees on grade levels 07 to 14 and 5 per cent for those on grade levels 15 to 17, the organised labour is demanding 30 per cent increase for officers on grade levels 07 to 14 and 25 per cent increase for grade levels 15 to 17.

The communique reads, “The council-in-session appreciates Mr President for signing the new national minimum wage bill into law.

“However, the union shows its displeasure in the partial implementation of the new national minimum wage.

“SSAUTHRIAI, therefore, urges Mr President to expedite action in its full implementation.

“The President should urgently and personally intervene on the issue of the committee working out modalities for the implementation of the new national minimum wage for the workers to ensure its implementation.”

The union also appealed to Mr President to reconsider his decision to close the nation’s borders, as it has resulted in the astronomic increase in the prices of some staple foods like rice, beans, and groundnut oil, while the alternative local products are not readily available

“Where they exist, the prices have become prohibitive, due to the low quantity available.”

While sympathising with the Federal Government on the killings and abductions going in different parts of the country, the organisation demanded that government should “reorganise the nation’s security architecture in order to combat the security challenges to conform with the reality on ground.

“The issue of incessant killing, kidnappings, herdsmen attack, armed robbery, Boko Haram and other social vices has been on the increase in recent times in the country.

“While we sympathise with the family of those who lost their lives and others who are affected, we humbly plead with Mr President, to re-organise the nation’s security apparatus to conform with the reality on ground,” it added.

The union also expressed concerns that in spite of the judgment of the National Industrial Court delivered in September 2013 on the skipping of CONRAISS 10, the management of some research institutes were yet to comply.

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Buhari’s former aide, Obono-Obla, declared wanted

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared former Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, wanted.

Spokesperson of the commission, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement to NAN on Tuesday.

Okoduwa said the move followed Obono-Obla’s “repeated failure’’ to appear before the commission to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.

Okoduwa itemised the allegations against him to include overstepping guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorised petitions.

“Obono-Obla is facing series of allegations leveled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.

“The Commission is in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.

“The suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorised petitions,’’ she said.

She also accused Obono-Obla of prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

“ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr Obono-Obla.

“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason.

“Attempts to track and make him appear before the commission also failed, leading ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts.

“One of such contact has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.

“The NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August, 2019, through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after,’’ she said.

DAILY POST recalls that August, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the suspect, who was also his Special Assistant on Prosecution after the ICPC indicted him for certificate forgery and other corruption-related allegations.

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President Buhari departs Abuja Monday

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President Muhammadu Buhari is to depart Abuja on Monday to attend a three-day Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia, between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25.

A statement by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Sunday, said the summit would focus on exploring and expanding opportunities in security, trade and investment, science and technology, and gas production.

During the summit, President Buhari will meet with President Vladimir Putin of Russia to further strengthen relations between Nigeria and Russia.

Shehu stated that the two leaders would hold bilateral talks on security, trade and investment, and building partnership that would enhance Nigeria’s huge gas potential, following Russia’s remarkable success in gas exportation.

“The summit, which will be attended by African Heads of State, will bring fresh perspectives on some global issues and challenges like nuclear technology, energy development, digital transformation, environment, technical security, mining and steel, education, agriculture, infrastructure and development strategies.

“An African Business Forum, which will bring together African and Russian business leaders, will be held during the event to enhance Russian investments in Africa, and promote African business interest in the host country,’’ he added.

Shehu added that Buhari would be accompanied by Governors Muhammad Yahaya of Gombe state, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

Others on the trip are: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite and Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

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PMB signs five bills into law

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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed five bills passed by the 8th National Assembly into law.

Mr. Umar Yakubu, Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives) made the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

NAN reports that Yakubu said the Acts was to ensure good governance in the country.

The bills include the Obafemi Awolowo University Transitional Amendment Act, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi Amendment Act, the University of Maiduguri Amendment Act, the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act and the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology Establishment Act.

He said that the University Acts specified minimum qualifications for the Chairmen of the Governing Councils, which is university degree or its equivalent.

Yakubu said that the Acts stipulated that the persons must be physically fit and be able to chair activities of the councils.

He said that the Acts also provided for the regulations of the use of intellectual properties for universities.

Yakubu said that the law stated that any staff or student that sought to sue the university must give a notice of one month to the institution concerned.

He said that the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act sought to protect farmers’ interest and address the issue of nutrient deficiency in the composition of fertiliser, branding and weight loss among others.

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