Tuesday, 27 June 2017

NULGE threatens nation-wide strike as 23 states owe LG workers 1-16 months salaries 

​A total of 23 states are presently owing their local government workers monthly salaries ranging between one to 16 months; a diligently computed local government staff salaries indebtedness in Nigeria has revealed.

Against this background, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has warned state governors not to divert or tamper with the second tranche of Paris Club Loan refund; which has just been released to them by the Federal Government for that purpose. Rather, NULGE appealed passionately to the state governors to use the second tranche of Paris Club loan refund to clear the backlog arrears of outstanding salaries owed local government workers across thecountry.

Failure to do this would force the union vowed to  mobilise its teeming members and shut down all the Local Governments across the Country. The most affected states are Bayelsa  owing between 10 to 16 months; Kogi between seven to 15 months; Delta State eight to 14 months; Kaduna 12 months;  Oyo three to 11 months; Edo 10 months; Abia five to nine months;  Kwara two to nine months; Benue nine months and Nasarawa seven months.Others are: Ondo, Ekiti, Imo with six months; Zamfara (not implementing minimum wage), Adamawa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Plateau owing four months; Taraba and FCT three months; while Osun State has been paying half salaries for 24 months and few staff are owed few months in Enugu.

While Ekiti State has refused to remit union deduction for nine months, Ogun State has not also remitted its deduction for seven months and about 700 staff are owed for between one to three months in Cross River State.

Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Cross River, Niger and Anambra are the 14 states that are not owing their local government workers. While drawing attention of Nigerians to the level of this indebtedness to local government workers in various states, NULGE said the just released second tranche of Paris club loan refund to the state government should be used to pay the debts.

NULGE President Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, warned the governors against diverting the money, as it has been brought to the notice of the union that some state governors were already  claiming that the amount released was not in conformity with the published figure. Khaleel said “We want to state in strong terms that no governor should either divert or tamper with the fund. 

This should be an avenue where the backlog of arrears of salaries owed the local government workers and some other welfare packages such as leave bonus, arrears of promotion benefit, arrears of annual increment and non implementation of minimum wage most especially in Zamfara State; are resolved and paid. “We therefore use this medium to appeal passionately to the state governors to use this second tranche of Paris Club loan refund to clear the backlog arrears of outstanding salaries owed local government workers across the country in order to ameliorate the untold hardship they are currently passing through due to this ugly situation. ”On the strike threat, the NULGE President said “We want to make it categorically clear that our union will not tolerate a situation where any state governor will hide under any guise to deny local Government workers their legitimate salaries and allowances.
“In view of the above, NULGE will not hesitate to mobilize our teeming members and shut down all the local governments across the country if the governors attempt to divert the fund meant for the payment of arrears of salaries and other entitlements. A word is enough for the wise.”Khaleel commended the state governors that have paid Local Government staff salaries up to date in their various states.

Education levy: Sokoto targets N1bn annually from workers’ salaries

Over N1 billion is being targeted annually as education levy to be deducted from the salaries of public servants in Sokoto State. Governor Aminu Tambuwal said yesterday that civil servants on grade levels 1 to 6 were to pay one per cent of their basic salaries, those on 7 to 12 would pay one and a half percent and those on levels 13 to 16 would pay two per cent. He said during the inauguration of  a 27-man Education Revitalization and Strengthening Committee at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Sokoto Education Development Trust Fund (SEDTF) yesterday that the  high-powered committee under the chairmanship of the Sultan of Sokoto, was set up as part of measures being implemented under the declaration of the state of emergency on the education sector.

The Governor added that it was also part of the proactive strategies by the state government to revive education in the state following some disturbing statistics that the state still lagged behind in education. In a remark, the Sultan, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, assured that the committee would discharge its assignment without fear or favour. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the fund, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who spoke through Madawakin Gwandu, Alhaji Idris Kokomo expressed the fund’s commitment to its mandate.

Governor Masari Frees 61 inmates

Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state has personally paid the fines for 61 prison inmates in the state, thereby enabling them to regain their freedom and celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr with their family and the rest of the society.

The total amount paid by the Governor is N3,666,000 (Three Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand Naira).

The inmates were drawn from various prisons across the state, with 13 each from Katsina and Funtua, nine from Daura, seven from Dutsinma, four each from Kankia and Jibia and three each from Malumfashi and Mani.


Abdu Labaran Malumfashi,

SSA Media.

Jonathan on economy: 'Nobody wants to go and invest where you are not too sure of the security of your workers, facilities'

​Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has said that no president “can ‎do magic” if there is so much tension in the land. Jonathan also said one of the major challenges bedevilling Nigeria was threats by terror ‎groups ‎and other allied bodies.

Speaking at his Abuja residence when the PDP Former Ministers’ Forum ‎paid him Eid-el-Fitr visit, Jonathan said what improved the economy was confidence and what made investors to have confidence was peace.  “No president can do magic if there is so much tension in the land because immediately there is asense of insecurity in any country, investors go back, and when investors go back, of course, your economy will doom. “Nobody wants to go and invest where you are not too sure of the security of your workers, facilities and so on. 

We should all pray and work towards peace; that is the only way as a nation we can grow our economy,” he said. The former president congratulated Muslim brothers and sisters ‎on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr‎, saying the period was a challenging one. 

A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Tanimu Kabiru Turaki, and the spokesman of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the PDP were in attendance. 

Similarly, former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) prior to the 2015 general elections‎, was also in attendance.


ASUU vows to resist increase in varsity tuition fees

No fewer than 38 universities across the country have increased their tuition fees as a result of poor funding by the federal and state governments. Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, University of Ibadan Chapter, Dr Deji Omole, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.

The statement which assessed the two years of President Muhammadu Buhari in office, lamented that the current government had made Nigerians poorer. Omole said public education was not taken seriously because most children of the rich and those in high offices do not attend school in Nigeria. He said: “The latest increment might be attributed to poor funding by the federal and state governments as ASUU poorly rated the President Muhammadu Buhari in the area of funding of university education.“ ASUU also noted that it would be difficult for any Nigeria university to effectively compete globally with the inadequate allocation of budgetary funding as prescribed by UNESCO to fund education.’’ It was learned that the University of Lagos, UNILAG, which was paying N14,500 would now pay N63, 500 as tuition fees.Other institutions that increased their fees include, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), from N27,000 to N41,000; University of Nigeria (UNN), from N60,450 to N66,950; Obafemi Awolowo University, from N19,700 to N55,700.

Others are Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), from N20,100 to N65,920; Bayero University, Kano, from N26,000 to N40,000; University of Abuja, from N39,300 to N42,300 and Usman Danfodiyo University, from N32,000 to N41,000.National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), from N36,000 to N41,000; University of Benin (UNIBEN), from N12, 000 to N49,500; University of Ilorin, from N16, 000 to N75,000 and Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), from N13, 560 to N83,940.

Also in the list are: Federal University, Minna (FUTMINNA), from N20,000 to N37,000; University of Calabar, from N30,500 to N42,750 and University of Uyo, from N71, 000 to N84, 250. 

Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, from N16,000 to N40,000; Osun varsity, from N95,000 to N135,500; Anambra State University, from N76,000 to N139, 000 and Lagos State University, from N96,750 to N158,250. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai, from N25,000 to N52,000; Imo State University, from N120,000 to N150,000; Plateau State University, from N50,000 to N100,000 and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, from N57,000 to N75,000.

Others are: Ibadan Polytechnics, from N30,000 to N50,000; Abia Polytechnics, from N56,550 to N61,000; Auchi Polytechnic, from N14, 800 to N28,000 and Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, from N70,000 to N80,000. Enugu State University of Science and Technology, N104,900 to N124,900; Kwara Polytechnic, Ilorin, from N28,000 to N44,000; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), from N65,000 to N72,500 and Tai Solarin University of Education, from N66,500 to N76,500. Afe Babalola University, from N675,000 to N1,075,000; Igbinedion, from N540,000 to N820,000; Crawford University, from N400,000 to N600,000 and Redeemers University, from N545,000 to N605,000.Also in the list are Covenant University, from N774, 500 to N814, 500 and Benson Idahosa University, from N284, 300 to N1, 150,000.

Meanwhile, ASUU, through Biodun Ogunyemi, has vowed that the union would resist any attempt to increase tuition fees in the country’s public universities. He also said ASUU could go on strike, if government failed to meetits demand on adequate funding ofinstitutions and payment of salaries. Ogunyemi, who gave the hint in an exclusive chat with online portal, Premium Times, said the union would not accept any increase in fees by state or federal governments. “We will not tolerate any attempt toincrease tuition fee, we are againsttelling people to pay more, even the current fees, we are still fighting them, we as a body have always stood against fee increment and we will continue to stand against it,” he said.

The union leader spoke against thebackdrop of reports of a possible increase in tuition fees in universities by the federal government.According to him, ASUU has been engaging the federal government since November 2016 on issues rocking the university system.He said:  “The truth is there are lotsof issues rocking the system. We have made our position known to the federal government; we have also written to state governments who have refused to give subvention to their universities. “Some of them cannot sustain one university and they go on to establish two or three, compounding the issues.“We have given the government till June ending to attend to our needs.  If the government does notcall us by June ending, we will convey a meeting to take our position. “However, we are trying to engage the government but if they don’t invite us to a meeting before June ending, we will still take our position on whether we are going on strike or not.“But that will not be like early July but middle or late July, that is if they don’t heed to our demands, which includes payment of salaries, funding, research and lotsmore.”Asked if ASUU would initiate a meeting with the federal government, he said “we will not initiate any meeting if they don’t call us, we can’t initiate meeting.” He added that the feedback received from the petitions written to the government would determine whether there would be strike or not.

Two Nigerian policemen killed in Shiroro LGA, Niger state 

Two policemen, an Inspector and a Sergeant, have been reportedly killed in Allawa village, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

They were killed  on Sunday by criminals based in the village  when the policemen were on official duty to the community. It was alleged that some criminals in the area had been declared wanted by Niger and Kaduna Police Commands.

Members of the notorious gang, said to be headed by a wanted criminal, is allegedly responsible for the kidnap of seven persons from a Mosque in the village recently recently. 

After a tip-off, Niger State Police Command, Sunday, sent a team to the village to effect the arrest of suspects. But they were attacked, with Inspector Alfa Idris and Sergeant Joseph Peter, murdered. National Police Cap Earlier, two members of the gang, linked to the kidnap of the seven persons, had been arrested by the Police and had given useful information, which led the Police to storm the village with a five-manteam, including the deceased.

According to a source, immediately the policemen arrived the village, members of the gang attacked the team.Inspector Alfa Idris sustained injuries and was rushed to the Kagara Hospital, where he allegedly bled to death. LIt was alleged that Inspector Idris bled to death after some military men, believed to be from “Special Force” stormed the hospital and arrested five ppoliceman policema. 

The hospital staff were alleged to have fled their duty posts on sighting the military men, leaving Inspector Alfa Idris to bleed to death. Spokesman of the state Police Command, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed the story, noting that the Nigerian Army authorities in Minna had ordered for the release of the other arrested policemen.He said investigations on the matter were still on, adding that those involved in the act will be brought to book.

Finance Minister Adeosun denies hate tweet against Igbos

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has denied ever insulting the Igbo people as reflected in a tweet. In the said hate tweet against Ndigbo which showed a verified handle, @HMKemiAdeosun, it wrote, “Ï’m happy that Igbos are gradually becoming insignificant in Nigeria financial system & before the End of 2023, igbos will be insignifican in South east & Nigeria in general.”

But the minister, through her own verified tweeter handle, @HMKemiAdeosun, that looks just the same with the fake one denied the tweet, saying there is a “fake Twitter post circulating in my name, suggesting that I said something derogatory about Igbos. Kindly disregard it. “It’s nothing but a shoddy attempt to photoshop a hateful statement onto my Twitter handle. I did not say or tweet any such thing. Thank you.’’ Also on her Facebook page, she said: “It has come to my attention that there’s a fake Twitter post circulating in my name, suggesting that I said something derogatory about Igbos. Kindly disregard it. Alleged hate tweet from Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun “It’s nothing but a shoddy attempt to photoshop a hateful statement onto my Twitter handle. I did not say or tweet any such thing. “Every part of Nigeria is important to our financial system and our Economy, and as a Government we will support ALL to achieve their full potential.” Meanwhile, some tweeter users have condemned the hate tweet in various tweets. A user, @iamtenseven, in a tweet tagging @HMKemiAdeosun asked, “I thought your staff said you don’t have a twitter account? Is this Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s Finance minister or a parody account? But the minister replied, “.@HMKemiAdeosun is the Hon. Minister’s genuine handle. The unauthorized account you’re referring to is @MrsKemiAdeosun, & it’s been shut down Another user, @ChykeBaba, while equally tagging @HMKemiAdeosun, tweeted, “We were also told this was a parody account. What do we believe now?” And the Finance Ministers verified hand, @HMKemiAdeosun, replied saying, “@HMKemiAdeosun is the Hon Minister’s genuine handle. The unauthorized account you’re referring to is @MrsKemiAdeosun, & it’s been shut down”