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Makinde Set To Commission First Pensioners’ Radio in Africa

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From  Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan

Oyo State Chapter of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) has revealed that its Radio station,’ Pensioners Radio’ would be commissioned in September by the State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

The Union’s Secretary, Comrade Segun Abatan disclosed this when the management of Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, led by its Permanent Secretary, Dr.

Bashir Olanrewaju paid a visit to the Pensioners’ House at Jericho, Ibadan to witness the test transmission of the radio station.

Abatan said the radio station was the first of its kind in Africa and it would focus on broadcast of issues relating to the welfare of pensioners in the State among other issues that affect generality of people as well as the growth of the society.

He said the feat was achievable because of the relative peace, financial empowerment and confidence that the new administration of governor Seyi Makinde had restored back to workers in Oyo State, stressing that the union built its edifice, the radio station, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) center and pensioners’ clinic from the meager that members contributed from their monthly pensions.

“Today is another day we shall never forget in the lives of Oyo State pensioners. Despite our meager earnings, you can see all we have been able to to achieve. Even NLC, despite their humongous income has not achieved this.

“Now that we have Omitutun (referring to Gov. Seyi Makinde), everywhere is calm and people are now happy. We have started the test transmission of the station today and we are happy the State ministry of information is here to honour this event. It is our plan that the executive governor of Oyo State will commission the radio come September.”

The Pensioners’ clinic, according to Comrade Abatan had the support of the former Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University College Hospital (UCH), Prof Temitope Alonge, who promised to employ a medical doctor for the clinic.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr, Bashir Olanrewaju said the Pensioners’ radio came as a challenge to all other workers’ unions as the pensioners that would be expected to be resting after retirement were the one achieving many commendable feats.

He admonished the leadership of the NUP to monitor the activities of the radio station so as not to be a source of misinformation and propaganda against government and politically exposed individuals.

“Let this be the flagship of responsible journalism. I hope ‘Pensioners Radio’ will not be used to peddle rumor and tarnish the image of the establishment. Make sure you employ workers that will not put the image of the establishment.

“Radio has the capacity of reach and it is cheap. So it is powerful. Be sure that the present administration will do everything possible to uplift pensioners’ welfare as the governor has already shown capacity to lead and improve the lots of the people through the development of key sectors of the society like agriculture, health, education and social amenities,” he assured.  

The Pensioners House at Jericho in Ibadan has a 1000 capacity hall for events, an ICT center that was powered by The Polytechnic, Ibadan and a standard clinic.

Labour

FG Approves Pay Rise for Civil Servants 

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By Tony Obiechina  Abuja 

The Federal Government has approved 25% and 35% salary increase for civil servants across various consolidated salary structures.

In a statement by the Head of Press, National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission, Emmanuel Njoku, the increases takes effect on January 1, 2024.

The statement added that the augmentation applies to the six remaining consolidated salary structures, namely the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure, Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure, Consolidated Police Salary Structure, Consolidated Para-military Salary Structure, Consolidated Intelligence Community Salary Structure, and Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure.

Also approved for augmentation is the pension of retirees enrolled in the Defined Benefits Scheme within the aforementioned consolidated salary structures.

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Labour

Tribute to Chief Frank Kokori

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By Joe Ajaero

We at the Nigeria Labour Congress are deeply saddened by the passing away of Chief Frank Kokori at 80. Our hearts are with his biological  family and the NUPENG family where he was General Secretary. To them and other associates, we offer our condolences.

Chief Frank Kokori was Executive Secretary of OMPADEC which later metamorphosed into NDDC among other national appointments held by him.

He was announced as  Chairman of  the board  of  NSITF but denied that role by some of the powers that be.
He instead chaired the board of Michael Imoudou National  Institute of Labour Studies (MINILS) where he made his impact.
This was his last national assignment.

 Chief Frank Kokori will be remembered for many things but top on that list was  being among the Labour leaders that gave their all in order for our  country to have democracy.

For his  stoic and heroic struggle for the enthronement of democracy, he was arrested and detained by the military  alongside other Labour leaders  for spells  of time under inhumane conditions.

Before his arrest and detention by the Abacha -government, Kokori was in the vanguard of Labour leaders who fashioned an alliance with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on the understanding that then Congress President, Comrade Pascal Bafyau (now of blessed memory) would be vice president to Chief Abiola. Although Chief Abiola (due to circumstances) beyond his control) did not keep that part of the bargain, organised labour gave him their generous and unflinching support. This, coupled with Chief Abiola’ s own credentials gave him coast to coast victory at the polls in the freest election in the history of the country.

Nigeria Labour Congress was similarly  in the vanguard of national resistance when the military scuttled Chief Abiola’ s election or victory. It was in execution of that resistance that Chief Kokori among other Labour leaders was  arrested and incarcerated while others were hounded out of the country. The “lucky” ones were only put on the security watch list and were routinely harassed at their homes, airports and at public functions considered by the State to be subversive. At the risk of sounding immodest, among those arrested and incarcerated at such functions at Ilorin were Comrades Joe Ajaero and Chris Uyot, Deputy General of Congress. There were several others who suffered differing indignities for fighting for democracy.

Even while some of its leaders were in detention with Chief Abiola,  Labour leaders did not give up on their struggle for enthronement of popular democracy. 

For their  “obduracy”, the organised labour paid a heavy price. The  Nigeria Labour Congress and NUPENG for instance, were  illegally dissolved by the military and their assets seized. Sole Administrators were appointed to oversee their affairs until 1999!

It is in light of this that we find it a big irony  that those who collaborated with the military yesterday while Labour was in the trenches would have the audacity to say today that Labour has no business in politics. It is a shame they are allowed to eat  their cake and have it because quite a number of them  through the roof or the back door are in government or positions of influence.  And clearly, the  dilemmna in which we have found ourselves as a people and as a nation cannot be divorced from this  syndrome of opportunism and messiah complex…same faces, same cases, same places ( Akinola Aguda).

Chief Kokori, a dogged and fearless fighter has played his role and gone, history has the next chapter. 

Meanwhile, while the wheel of history turns, we urge the federal government and the Government of Delta State to immortalise him, for what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

 Comrade Joe Ajaero is President, Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC)

      President

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Aviation

Passengers Stranded as NLC Locks Down Abuja Airport

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By Idris Umar Feta Abuja

Many air travellers were left stranded following the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday.

A combined team of NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) blocked both the entry and exit ways of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The protest was part of the series of actions that the two labour unions say they would zero in on Imo, following the attack on the NLC president, Joe Ajaero.

The NLC and TUC had on Tuesday, declared a nationwide strike, which will commence on Tuesday, November 14, due to the face-off with the Imo State Government.

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