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Lagos ready to pay above N30,000 minimum wage – Gov Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed on Tuesday that the state was ready to pay more than the N30,000 benchmark for the National Minimum Wage.

Sanwo-Olu said the implementation of the new minimum wage payment would take off when the Federal Government and labour unions conclude their negotiations.

The State, he said, was drawing up its finances and creating additional revenue sources that would enable the Government sustain the new minimum wage payment.

The Governor made these disclosures during a meeting with Organised Labour Unions held at the State House in Alausa.

Sanwo-Olu said his government understood the day-by-day challenges being faced by workers in the state to do their tasks, which informed the decision by his administration to pay more than the N30,000 minimum wage benchmark.

The addition, the governor pointed out, was to motivate workers and encourage them to cope with challenges that may hinder their productivity.

He said: “As a government, we take the issue of minimum wage very seriously. We know how important and germane it is to the wellbeing of our people. We are technically ready to implement the new minimum wage. I made commitment during my previous interactions with the labour unions before my assumption of office and I am still keeping to the promise made. However little it is, we will certainly pay more than N30,000 minimum wage.

“We understand the position Lagos occupies and we understand the challenges workers are facing in Lagos. If other states can raise up to that amount, I believe Lagos needs to show a bit more to appreciate workers’ contribution to the growth of our State.”

During the interaction with the labour unions’ leaders, Sanwo-Olu listened to various demands of the workers, which included arrears of workers’ medical allowance, introduction of premium insurance for the workforce, timely pension payment for retired workers, mortgage scheme for housing, befitting labour secretariat and representation of workers’ unions in MDA boards’ appointments.

Sanwo-Olu said he had directed the Commissioner for Finance to look into the unpaid arrears of workers’ medical allowance, with a charge to clear the backlog and make payment to the affected workers. The Governor added that the State was planning to absorb its entire workforce in the recently introduced health insurance scheme, observing that the Ministry of Health was harmonising the modality to ensure all workers were covered in the scheme.

The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will collaborate with the Organised Labour Unions to float a post-retirement housing scheme that would enable workers of all cadres to apply and acquire permanent homes after leaving the service. Lagos, the Governor promised, would be donating land for the purpose, while the labour unions would source for finance to develop the scheme.

In addition, Sanwo-olu said his government had approved discounted rent for the workers occupying State-owned apartments. This, he said, is part of the welfare programmes introduced by his Government to improve workers’ productivity.

The Governor said his administration had started to tackle challenges limiting the workers’ productivity, including massive rehabilitation of critical highways across the state to reduce travel time and diffuse road congestion.

It was a moment of excitement for the union leaders, following the Governor’s pronouncement to pay above the minimum wage. They described Sanwo-Olu as “a listening leader” and observed that the Governor had started to fulfil promises made to the unions in the build up to the 2019 elections.

Chairman of Lagos Council of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Gbenga Ekundayo, listed re-introduction of Town Hall meeting with labour unions and appointment of more women into the State’s cabinet as part of the promises fulfilled by the Governor.

Ekundayo informed the Governor that the labour unions had been meeting to develop a framework that would make the Government to capture traders in informal sector in the tax net. He assured that the labour unions’ recommendations would be submitted to the Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, in the coming weeks.

Chairperson of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Funmi Sessi, described workers as government’s partners in progress, while appreciating Sanwo-Olu for keeping some of his promises with the workers’ unions.

She promised that the Organised Labour would continue to support the Government’s efforts towards improving the wellbeing of the residents and workers in the State.

Sanwo-Olu also met with members of Lagos State Public Service Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) led by Comrade Rasak Falade at the State House.

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Mixed reactions as unions threaten to shut down Nigerian banks Jan 2

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Some financial experts and stakeholders have appealed to bank unions’ to dialogue with their employers to forestall the proposed operation shut down of banks by Jan. 2.

The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) and the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (NUBIFI), on Nov. 17, issued a strike threat.

The unions said that workers in the sector would embark on an indefinite strike over failure of their employers to review the Collective Bargaining Agreement in line with extant law.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr Emmanuel Atama, the Executive Secretary of the National Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria (CFAN), appealed for an amicable resolution.

“It is a notice that they have given and every employee has bargaining power and when an employee wants to hit an employer, he hits the employer from a very tight corner so, there is no cause for alarm.

“I strongly believe that issues like this can be resolved.

“My appeal is for both parties to come to the table and amicably resolve this because if that is not done, it will go a long way to affect banking.

“Some people will think that if they keep their money in the bank and the banks can put them under a tight corner, it is better for them to withdraw.

“The effect of it is that the public will embark on panic withdrawal and the banks cannot withstand it.

“It will come to a point where employees will start begging that people should not withdraw their monies from their banks because people will resort to banking at home,’’ he advised.

Mrs Ijeawele Ndu, an Abuja based civil servant, called on the parties involved to resolve the issues peacefully and promptly before the festive season.

“I am not surprised to hear about this strike because of the way and manner that bankers are relieved of their duties.

“But I can’t even imagine what will happen by the time banks close operations and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) is not working.

“It will be disastrous to the economy and to us as individuals more so when it is during the festive season,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, Mr Lucky Abomi, a businessman in Karu Local Government Area, FCT, said the proposed shut down of banks would negatively impact businesses across the country if implemented.

Abomi appealed to governments at all levels to intervene in the matter in the interest of peace and development of the country.

“The Federal Government closed the border and that is already affecting our businesses and now, we are hearing that banks might close down too.

“The government should come and mediate between the parties involved so that our businesses do not suffer setbacks,’’ he appealed.

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Yadda bindigar shaida ta harbe lauya a kotu | BBC Hausa

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Bindigar da aka kai kotu shaida
Image caption

An kai bindigar otu makare da harsashi a ciki

‘Yan sanda a Afirka ta Kudu sun ce wata lauya ta gamu da ajalinta, a lokacin da harsashi ya kufce bisa kuskure daga bindigar da aka kawo kotu dan kafa shaida da ita a yankin KwaZulu Natal.

Lauyar mai suna Adelaide Ferreira-Watt ta gamu da ajalinta jim kadan bayan harbin da bindigar ta yi ma ta a kwankwasonta.

Kunamar bindigar ta dana kanta a dai-dai lokacin da aka gabatar da ita a matsayin shaida gaban alkali kan fashi da makami da aka yi a wani gida,

‘Yan sanda sun ce su na gudanar da bincike kan mutuwar Miss Ferreira-Watt a matsayin kisa ba da gangan ba.

Za kuma su yi bincike kan dalilin da ya sa aka kawo bindigar kotu alhalin akwai harsashi a cikinta, dan hakan ya sabawa ka’ida.

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Rape: Warn Your Children Against Indecent Dressing, CAN Tells Parents

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The Christian Association of Nigeria has called on parents across the country to warn their children against dressing indecently so as not to invite rapists.

Chairman of CAN (North Central Zone), Rev Israel Akanji, gave the warning in Abuja on Tuesday during a summit organised by the Women’s Wing of Christian Council of Nigeria.

According to him, churches must come up with tough measures against indecent dressing, adding that it was against the teachings of the Bible.

Akanji said, “When people wear mini dresses, sometimes they even wear it to church we must speak against it.

“Some of us try not to talk about it because we feel if we talk to them, they may not return to our churches.

“The church has to come up with tough measures against indecent dressing; indecent dressing must not be accepted in the church of Christ.

“I want to appeal to parents that while we are waiting for a law that will deal with rapists (I know that laws exist right now), they must warn their children.

“Some children dress in such a way that they appear as if they are inviting rapists to their lives.

“They are almost naked, they expose body parts that some people cannot control themselves.

“Let us return to the culture of decent dressing, it may not stop but it will minimise it.”

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