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Enugu Workers Pledge to Reciprocate Mbah’s Welfare Package with Productivity

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From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu

Following the recent salary increment of staff of Enugu State Civil Service and other workers across the state ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) by the administration of Governor Peter Mbah, workers have assured the governor of dedication to duties through improved productivity in order to actualize the goals of the administration.

The jubilant workers who spoke through their leaders, Comrade Fabian Nwigbo, State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Ben Asogwa, yesterday, gave the assurance in their separate speeches at the 2024 Resumption of Year Prayer held at the State Secretariat, Enugu.

The NLC State Chairman, Comrade Fabian Nwigbo, applauded Enugu State workers for their attitudinal change to work since the inception of the present administration, stressing that the governor has restored hope of the workers through improved welfare package, better working environment and implemented wage award.

According to him, “Workers in Enugu State are glad and happy with the governor and his administration. His Excellency has promised that as soon as he is dropping the ₦25,000 wage award, he is picking the new minimum wage”.

The NLC chairman, however, disclosed that labour leaders were working hard to bring parastatals into the mainstream of the civil service so that the issue of disparity within the service would be solved.

He extolled the governor over the ongoing revolution in infrastructures such as road construction and reconstruction, construction of smart school system, overhauling of the health sector, environmental sanitation and cleanliness, availability of water supply, among other development and social service projects.

On his part, the TUC chairman appreciated the State Government for the cordial relationship that exists between the Government and the workers, adding that the governor would continue to enjoy the support and cooperation of workers in the state because of the initiatives of his administration which are impacting positively on workers’ welfare.

“Your Excellency, the workers are ready. We are out to support this government. The workers are diligently ready and committed to help drive the policies of your administration. We are going to be more productive, as productivity is the main part of the framework that would enhance our collective success,” he stressed.

He further assured the state government of workers’ commitment to improve service delivery through measurable outputs, saying he was optimistic that workers would do their best for the progress and development of the state.

Speaking, the governor stressed that God has been merciful to the state and its people, saying that the grace of God is sufficient for the people and prayed for good health, wisdom, peace and strength over the government and the people living in the state to discharge their responsibilities.

“Every day we come here to work, we must pray. We pray for protection, for promotion, pray for the growth of Enugu State,” he said.

Governor Mbah, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Chidiebere Onyia, said the administration had taken measures to improve the productivity of workers in the state even as he promised to continue to do more.

While commending the relationship between the labour unions and the state government, he said, “We’ve been partnering Labour leaders so that you will become part of the optimization. We have been engaging Labour leaders and were able to achieve what we had been able to achieve”.

He called for increased collaboration among workers, urging them to work hard to achieve the transformational agenda of the administration.

He said the administration was mindful of the inflation and increasing cost of living in the country and would continue to improve workers’ standard of living.

“I want you to understand that His Excellency is not averse to helping the workers improve their welfare. We are in Nigeria, and we understand the cost of living. We understand inflation. When we hear of potholes in revenue, we want to increase the revenue in Enugu State so that the workers in Enugu will be one of the best paid public servants in Nigeria,” he added.

While stating that security has improved significantly in the state which makes it the safest state for investment and business in the region, he recalled that on assumption of office, he promised to provide the people with sufficient potable water in 180days and it was achieved, explaining that over 60 thousand cubic meters of water are generated daily even as old and burst pipes are undergoing replacement to capture more areas.

He urged the workers to work towards achieving the target of the 2024 budget, tagged ‘Budget of Disruptive Economic Growth’, saying that the actualization of the budget would improve their wage packages, transform the state and make it an investment hub.

NEWS

Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.
 

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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Business News

Geregu Power Earns N50.4bn From Electricity Sales, Capacity Charges 

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Geregu Power Plc has generated N50.4bn on electricity sales and capacity charges to Nigerians in the first quarter of 2024.

The power company which is the first listed power company of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd disclosed the performance in its Q1, 2024 financial statement.

The company grew its Q1 revenue by 225 per cent from N14.

2bn in 2023 to N50.
4bn in 2023.

A breakdown reveals that Geregu Power sold energy worth N31bn and received N19bn as revenue from capacity charge.

Recall that the power company posted an annual revenue of N82.9bn in the full year of 2023 but it has covered half of the amount in Q1.

The revenue was above the company’s forecast for Q1 2024 when it projected its revenue to rise to N31.24bn.

Geregu Power recorded a profit before tax of N21.9bn up from the N5.3bn recorded in Q1 of last year, reflecting 307.8 per cent growth.

During the period underreview, the company saw its profit after tax rose by 307.3 per cent to N14.46bn from N3.54bn recorded in Q1 of last year. In the full year 2023, the company made N16.1bn net profit.

The net profit was above the company projection of N5.5bn. 

Geregu Power took an income tax charge of N7.43bn, up from the N1.8bn in Q1 2023. The tax charges were higher than the N2.7bn projected for Q1 2024.

The company also spent N21.5bn on the cost of sales involving gas supply and transportation, up from the N6.6bn spent on gas supply and transportation in Q1 2023.

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Foreign News

U.S. not Expecting to be Drawn into War but Predicts Attack by Iran Against Israel

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The United States expects an attack by Iran against Israel but one that would not be big enough to draw Washington into war, a U.S. official said late on Thursday.

The White House said earlier that Washington did not want conflict to spread in the Middle East and the U.S. had told Iran it was not involved in an air strike against a top Iranian military commander in Damascus.

The White House added it warned Iran to not use that attack as a pretext to escalate further in the region.

Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s embassy in Damascus on Monday in a strike for which Iran has vowed revenge and in which a top Iranian general and six other Iranian military officers were killed, ratcheting up tension in a region already strained by the Gaza war.

Iranian sources told Reuters that Tehran has signalled to Washington that it will respond to Israel’s attack on its Syrian embassy in a way that aims to avoid major escalation and it will not act hastily, as Tehran presses demands including a Gaza truce.

The United States has been on high alert about possible retaliatory strikes from Iran and U.S. envoys have been working to lower tensions.

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s military assault on Hamas-governed Gaza has since killed more than 33,000 people according to the local health ministry, displaced nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million population, caused a humanitarian crisis, and led to genocide allegations that Israel denies.

Iran-backed groups have declared support for Palestinians, waging attacks from Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq.

Tehran has avoided direct confrontation with Israel or the United States, while declaring support for its allies. (Reuters/NAN)

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