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• NLC, TUC plan total strike against fuel price hike
…More knocks for govt over new tariffs
…Senators plan protest, emergency session
…‘Palliative’ turns sour as disposable income weakens
…We’re no longer fixing petrol price, FG says

Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress (TUC) are consulting civil society allies and relevant organs of Labour towards embarking on strike over hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, from N148 to N161 per litre.

The consultations for strike was disclosed yesterday as the Senate hinted it might hold an emergency session to address worries raised by hike.

The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said in Abuja that the NLC and TUC would convoke a meeting next week to deliberate on modalities for an industrial action. He also said NLC and TUC would visit Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital to protest against alleged clampdown on labour activists by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

Both NLC and TUC accused Governor Wike of demolishing its Rivers State council office on February 2. Wabba alleged the demolition took place when workers started making demands for their entitlements based on new national minimum wage.

On the price hike, he said: “Clearly, the action of the Federal Government is most insensitive and an affront to the Nigerian people who are bearing heavy burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everywhere in the world, governments are granting various types of palliative but ours is interested in piling more miseries on its citizens. We will resist this latest move to impoverish the mass of the working people.”

The TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, in a statement, confirmed that consultations had started.He stated that increasing petroleum prices and electricity bills at a time people were losing jobs, when businesses were adversely affected by COVID-19, was a wicked step.

“They have developed a thick skin that our pleas and cries no longer mean anything to them. No government has raped this country like the present one; ironically it has enjoyed our understanding the most. They beat us and when we cry, they send security operatives after us or force us to pay a fine of N5m for ‘’hate speech’’. Our patience has run out,” he said.

The Guardian gathered the Port Harcourt protest earlier slated to hold on Monday was largely responsible for the inability of the two labour bodies to summon emergency meeting of its organ.

The President of African Region of Public Service International (PSI), Peters Adeyemi, also condemned the increment.Adeyemi, who is also the General Secretary of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), accused government of insincerity, saying it was the first government in history that increased petrol price without introducing palliatives.

He recalled that in June 2016 when the Buhari government removed subsidy, it said it had made provision for N500 billion intervention fund, which labour later found to be a lie.

IN the meantime, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has insisted it does not unilaterally dictate to marketers the price to sell petrol. It said Price Review Committee (PRC), which draws its membership from relevant stakeholders, including Labour, takes the decision.

On their plan to resist the price hike, lawmakers said an emergency session becomes necessary to resolve mounting agitations from within and outside the National Assembly over the hikes.

But when reached to confirm the emergency sitting, the spokesman for the Senate, Ajibola Basiru, said he was out of Abuja for an official party assignment.

It has been learnt the Senate leadership is worried about agitations among senators against the hikes. Senators said they were under immense pressure from their 109 constituencies to protest the hike and seek immediate reversal.

The planned protest will involve different parties and will be led by lawmakers in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

A world press conference, it has been gathered, will hold at the National Assembly to commence the protest, which is already generating worries for Senate leadership.

It was also learnt consultations were going on at zonal caucuses about the protest, likely to be concluded at the weekend. Many senators said they were disappointed in the hurried manner the fuel price hike was done without consulting the National Assembly.

Commenting on the hike, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Obinna Ogba, said the increase in electricity tariff and fuel price at a time the economy had yet to recover from the effects of COVID-19, showed government was highly insensitive.

“The government is just showing insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians because by increasing the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff, the suffering of the people will become worse. The whole thing is not funny at all” Ogba said. Another lawmaker said they had received complaints from their constituencies against the increase in the price of fuel and electricity tariff.

“I can tell you legislators are more worried about these price increases because we are closer to the people. Just yesterday when this decision was taken, many lawmakers have been put under serious pressure by their constituents.

Also yesterday, a former deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, urged the leadership of the organised Labour in Nigeria to mobilise and shut down the country over the hike. Frank, who expressed his opinion in a statement in Abuja, called for mass protest against the hike. From 1990 to 2016, the prices of petroleum products were reviewed more than ten times.

The adjustment in 2000 under the democratically elected government marked a turning point in the economy as petrol moved up to N30 per litre, diesel to N29 and kerosene to N27.

The 2012 subsidy removal saw the price of PMS at N141 but the protest that ensued saw it back to N97. In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration adjusted the price to N145.

Having failed to fulfil its price modulation promise in 2016, the Federal Government’s decision to reduce the pump price of petrol in March this year and embrace price modulation appeared welcoming initially, as many Nigerians did not understand that adjustments may not always mean a reduction in price.

REACTING to the nationwide protest, the Federal Government, yesterday, through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said government would no longer fix the price of petroleum products, especially petrol.

He noted that market forces would continue to determine the price, adding that continuous payment of subsidy was no longer sustainable in the face of current economic realities.

“Government stood back from the business of fuel importation. Government would only protect the consumer so that no one profiteers on consumers. We are no longer fixing prices, we have stepped back and allow market forces to determine prices,” Sylva said. He urged Nigerians to be patient and allow the deregulation policy to mature, stressing that the present situation would ease.

The minister linked the current increase to crude oil price at the international market, adding that the price went down when crude oil price was low.
The Guardian

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El-Rufai sacks 99 political appointees



El-Rufai sacks 99 political appointees

Governor Nasir El Rufai has said Kaduna state has started implementing its rightsizing policy by disengaging 99 political appointees, but is yet to disengage any state civil servant.

The governor disclosed that only agencies connected to the local government system have disengaged staff and these include the 23 local government councils, SUBEB and the Primary Health Care Board.

El-Rufai who made the disclosure at a media chat with some Kaduna-based broadcast journalists on Thursday night, explained that the disengaged political appointees constitute 30% of political office holders.

‘’So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants. We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees and we have done that,’’ he said.

The governor who spoke in Hausa, said that the rightsizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues that is accruing to the state government from the federation account.

El Rufai explained that the rightsizing commenced with political appointees because their details are clearly known, making it more straightforward to disengage them.

‘’However, civil servants with question marks on the veracity of their data have to be given a chance to clear the doubts before any action is taken on them,’’ he clarified.

The governor said that his government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.

The governor disclosed that it is a fallacy to allege that the salaries of political appointees account for the bloated personnel cost of Kaduna State Government.

‘’In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million , while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion, aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights and other personnel costs. So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,’’ he said.

Justifying the rightsizing of the public service, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by this shortfall of revenue and some states have even reverted to paying the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.

‘’Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84% to 96% of our revenues to pay salaries of less than 1% of the population. The rest of our people, all 99% of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets and support for agriculture to make a living outside government,’’ he said.

The governor however promised that Kaduna state will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.

“We are the first government, federal or state, to pay the minimum wage. We will retain the minimum wage of N30,000 and the consequential adjustments that gave most of our civil servants a 66% salary increase. We will also retain the minimum pension of N30,000 monthly.

“The unified Local Government Service continues to pay the minimum wage, even though they varied the consequential adjustments for their workers below the level for state civil servants,’’ he added.

The governor also promised that the state will still fund free education from primary 1 to the SS3, adding that ‘’we have directed our Ministry of Education to find ways of ensuring that we sponsor students for WAEC exams, the same way that we sponsor them for NECO. ‘’

El Rufai emphasized that basic education is a priority for Kaduna State Government because ‘’we see it as the bedrock for equality of opportunity.’’

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By Oladimeji Ramon

A group, the Federal Social Democrats, says the credibility and integrity of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have been diminished by the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20.

According to the group, the Lekki incident has eroded the admiration that Sanwo-Olu won with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group, in statement on Sunday signed on its behalf by Olutola Mobolurin, also condemned the harassment of #EndSARS protest leaders through the freezing of their bank accounts and stopping them from travelling outside the country.

The FSD’s statement was titled, ‘Statement by the Federal Social Democrats On the #EndSARS Movement and Violence in the Wake of Lekki Shootings.’

The group said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu, who before now has been credited with responsible and energetic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has by this one act lost his credibility and integrity for many. He has a big task in regaining the confidence of the public and youths; his credibility gap surrounding what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza is not helped by the insensitive bluster of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the governor’s residence stating that those who were injured and presumably those who died had questions to answer.”

Though the group condemned the destruction of public assets and looting that trailed the shootings at the Lekki tollgate, it said the mayhem pointed to the alienation of a large number of youths from society by government.

It said, “The so-called hoodlums are the youths that have been denied any stake in society by the self-dealing and state capture that have characterised governance over the last 30 years. Millions of our youths have been uneducated, unemployable and with no meaningful social safety net. Even for the millions who are educated and skilled, long-term unemployment has been their experience in the Nigerian prebendal political economy that serves primarily the interests of public office holders and their cronies.

“Some of the ‘hoodlums’ responsible for the trashing of Lagos are the youths and ‘the toughies’ that many politicians have over the years employed to subvert the democratic process through intimidation of voters and perpetration of violence during elections.”

The group said the organisers of the #EndSARS protests deserved commendation for the resourcefulness, transparency and accountability which they demonstrated.

The group condemned “the growing reports of compilation of names of the assumed leaders and facilitators of the protests for government reprisals.”

It said, “Those that are being targeted are reportedly being prevented from travelling outside Nigeria while accounts of some have been frozen. This is hardly the hallmark of a democratic government that is interested in dialoguing with the youths or learning positive lessons from the #EndSARS protests. It is also a violation of the spirit of government’s acceptance of the 5 for 5 agenda. The President should stop all these acts of witch-hunt.”

The FSD solicited support for the Lagos State Government to rebuild and replace the vandalised public assets.

  • PunchNg

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A man who never put tribalism, religion or differences in his work…. True to his calling to serve our nation without influence of any politician. Not an Igbo man but he speaks Igbo in a way you will be mesmerized and full of laughter whenever he speaks.. He will tell you “Nwannah why disobeying the law?”
People say police is not your friend but in this man I disagree with that notion. In him, i immensely believe that police is a friend when you meet the good type…. The person I am talking about is my Honorable CSP. RABIU GARBA, the DPO of Fegge Police Station.

Yesterday the youth was rampaging looking for Police Station to burn down. When they troop to his Fegge Police Station with gallons of fuel and weapons, most of his men was grip with fear, Behold !, when he came out, the Chants of the angry youths Change from
” We no go agree oh we no go agree oh” to
“DPO Garba you be our friend,
DPO Garba You be our man”

He addressed then properly, lectured them all and changed their perspective towards embracing calmness.. If you know him well you will know he can lecture very well from every angles of courses, law to Biology , physics to Science, religion to culture, he is the master of all… We fondly call him Professor Rabiu, Onye Nkuzi. Tears nearly fall from my eyes, tears of Joy and appreciation of a good man still serving and existing in Police.

This is a Police man i have ever see who believe that hardworking pays. He is a police man and a Farmer as well. He is a Police man and a Civil Engineer. He is a Police man and a Lecturer as well…

To me, I am encouraging all police men and woman to emulate this Young man and learn from his Public relation skill. Because I strongly believe Public relationship should be practiced to serve the public interest, to develop mutual understanding between organizations, the neighborhood and their publics.

As a Psychologist, i have noticed that without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.”

DPO Rabiu Garba we all know was the man who single handedly build a Borehole water for the people of Fegge Where his station is situated without donations from the public. If i lie verify from anyone you know living in fegge.

He also Organized Sports event for the youth at fegge Stadium where he normally engaged them in Table Tenis playing competition after work.. He walks among all without gun, knife or tear gas because he does his work diligently without corruption. So no fear of the mob.

He attends many church events he is been invited for around onitsha which shows his sense of unity.

When police do bad we mock them when we see one doing good pls my brothers and sister let us encourage that one as to lift his or her spirit to do more because ndi ba anyi is na Etoo dike na nkem omeru omekwa ozo….

DPO Rabiu Garba anyi Oha nile. No wonder people once cried when you wanted to leave to another Station. How i wish we have thousands of police men and women like you, the Police institution would have been so harmonized…..keep up the good work. Good market sells itself in the market…

No wonder Odumeje cherish you so much.

Thank you once again for the way you handled the youth matter yesterday which resulted to zero casualties at Fegge District…

Honourable Ozoigbondu na Umuoji. ( Odoakpa ward 7 Youth Mobilizer and Organizer)

Pls read and Share to appreciate a good work.

EndSARS #uprising #Lekkitollgate #policebrutalityawareness #PoliceReform #anambra #onitsha #DPO #Ndigbo #hausa #yoruba #IgboAmaka #channelstv #AITLIVE #AriseNews #NTA #abcnews

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