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Minimum Wage: We’ll Arrive At Definite Figure Soon —FG

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Explains why it may not be above N25,000 ABUJA—AS Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, pushes for implementation of a new minimum wage in the country, the Federal Government has assured that it would soon come out with a definite figure that will be payable by both the governments and the private sector. But the government said the figure may not be above N25,000, explaining that the benchmark was being considered in order not to cause unemployment as pegging minimum wage beyond the figure may result in many workers in the private sector losing their jobs.

 

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who dropped the hint at a news conference in Abuja, yesterday, also flayed the labour union for its latest ultimatum to the Federal Government.

He also noted that the National Minimum Wage Committee set up by the Federal Government was still working within its timelines. The minister said the latest ultimatum handed the government by the leadership of the NLC was a blackmail. Ngige said he and chairman of the committee on the new minimum wage and former Head of Service of the Federation, Ms Amma Pepple, will brief President Muhammadu Buhari today on the progress so far made by the committee. Ngige, who was reacting to the two weeks ultimatum issued by organised labour accusing the government of stalling negotiation, said the ultimatum issued by the labour leaders was unnecessary as the committee was working within the time frame it set for itself, pointing that he regarded the ultimatum by labour as a subtle threat. He said the various conventions of the International Labour Organisation that has to do with minimum wage and other forms of negotiations do not allow partners to issue threats as the other partner will be regarded as negotiating under duress. He said the work of the committee, including a draft bill to be sent to the President and subsequently to the National Assembly and all other work of the committee, were ready except the issue of a particular figure to be agreed upon. He disclosed that while it was easy for organised labour to agree on a figure, it was not that easy for the government as it must put into consideration the economic situation in the country and the ability of the various state governors to pay the agreed figure. He said while organised labour first made a presentation of N56,000 as its demand, only to withdraw it and made another presentation of N65,000, the organised private sector made a presentation of N42,000 and later withdraw it for lower presentation of N25,000.

Ngige said with all the presentations, the government need to look at everything that has been presented before arriving at a figure, which can be paid by all, saying: “If we arrive at a figure that is not implementable, what then is the essence of negotiation.” He explained that at the last meeting of the committee, he requested for two weeks to consult with members of the Economic Management team, most of whom were out of the country with the President, adding that the committee was inaugurated by the president because of his personal interest on the matter. “We don’t want people to renege on the agreement when we finally come up with something.

That is why the President insisted that the governors must be part of the process. They had complained that they were not part of the last process,”he said. While accusing organised Labour of trying to over heat the polity, Ngige said the Buhari government was a worker friendly government , adding that no worker has been sacked since the inception of the present government while also putting in place several palliatives for workers. He said that the federal government spent about N70 billion last year in settling the backlog of workers emoluments, while encouraging the private sector to grow and employ more workers.

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FIRS Boss, Fowler Set To Lose Job In 4 Days’ Time

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Barely five days to the end of the tenure of the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, President Muhammadu Buhari has shown no sign of renewing his tenure even as investigations show that no fresh request had been sent to the Senate as of Tuesday.

At the beginning of the legislative session at the Senate on Tuesday, there was no letter read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, conveying any request from President Buhari regarding Fowler.

This is in sharp contrast with that of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, whose request for tenure renewal was sent by Buhari to the Senate three weeks before the end of his tenure.

Fowler, who is a childhood friend and former classmate of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, was appointed as the Chairman of the FIRS on August 20, 2015 but was confirmed by the Senate on December 9, 2015 which means his tenure ends on December 8, 2019.

The FIRS boss is said to have been lobbying the Senate and top Presidency officials in recent time in a bid to get a fresh appointment.

Senate President Lawan was said to have secured 26 job slots for his constituents from FIRS even as a pro-transparency group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has asked anti-corruption agencies to probe the allegation.

Fowler disclosed in January that the FIRS under his leadership generated its highest revenue ever in 2018 with a total sum of N5.3tn.

He said the target for the year 2019 was N9tn.

However, the FIRS chairman’s claims became a subject of debate in August when in a leaked memo emanating from the Office of President Buhari’s powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, the FIRS boss was asked to explain a shortfall in revenue.

In his response, Fowler blamed the drop in the price of crude oil and recession for the shortfall recorded in actual tax collections from 2015 to 2018.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, told The PUNCH that the President would have the final say.

When asked if Fowler could be re-appointed even after the end of his tenure, Shehu said, “It’s the President that will decide when and what happens so we just have to wait.”

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“I Was Having Sex With My Lover” – 14-Year-Old Declared Missing Tells Police

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A 14-year old girl, who was declared missing for three days by her parents after the matter was reported to the Police, stunned the Police officers and her parents when she said that she was never abducted but rather was in her boyfriend’s house busy enjoying sex.

P.M.EXPRESS reports that the Police at Ejigbo Division, Lagos, had received a report by the girl’s parents that she left the house and had not been found thereby suspecting that she might have been kidnapped.

It was gathered that the DPO, CSP Olabisi Okuwobi, mobilized Police operatives from the station and she was eventually rescued. She was taken to the station while her lover, who was also an under aged boy, was arrested for abducting the girl without the consent of her parents.

However, the little girl did not only save the boy from the alleged offence, she made the Police to know that her boyfriend did her favour by engaging her in three days marathon sex.

It was gathered that the girl became crazy for sex after she was raped at that tender age and since then she was said to have started going out looking for men who will satisfy her sexually.

“Yes, my mother sent me on errand to an uncle and he removed my pant and engaged me in sex. I did not tell my mother immediately but later I told her what happened that I was no longer a virgin” she said.

When P.M.EXPRESS correspondent visited Ejigbo Police Division on Tuesday, both the little girl and her boyfriend were seen undergoing interrogation.

Their neighbours, who came to the Police Station, confirmed that the girl actually told the Police the truth because she was never abducted but had desire for having sex with different men in the area.

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Lauretta Onochie Advises Smart Adeyemi After He Was Sworn In As Senator

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The special assistant to the president on media Lauretta onochie advises the new senator representing kogi west not to follow the way of Dino Maleye

She wrote:

Congrats To The Newest Senator In Town

How To Serve The People Of Kogi West:

1. Never abuse anyone, especially those who are older than you, eg, Pres Buhari.

2. Never use God’s name in vain. E.g, God said Buhari will lose on 2019

3. Never jump out of a moving car

Wish you well

 

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