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May Day: Ortom Applauds Benue Workers for Remaining Undaunted Despite Economic Hardship

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Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has applauded workers in the state for remaining undaunted and faithful to their jobs in spite of the harsh economic environment.

This is contained in a solidarity message to the workers as they mark the 2023 Workers Day. The message was signed by Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Nathaniel Ikyur, and issued on Sunday in Makurdi.

He noted that the last eight years had been challenging but that the workers have kept the wheel of the state alive.

“As we celebrate this year’s workers day, I sincerely express my solidarity and appreciation to the hard-working men and women of the Benue State Civil Service who keep our economy running and our society functioning smoothly.

“The past years have been challenging for all of us and I know that many of you have faced difficult circumstances and uncertainties in your work places like payment of salaries and other allowances.

“The situation has been worsened by insecurity in the state. Yet, you adapt to new working conditions and navigate a rapidly changing economic landscape,” he said.

He further said that the workers had persevered and shown incredible resilience. Your dedication and commitment to your jobs and our communities are an inspiration to us all.

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He said “the 2023 workers day would be his last workers day celebration with them as your governor,” stressing that he wanted workers to know that he was committed to supporting them and advocating for their rights and well-being no matter what others may feel or say.

“I am therefore proud to stand with you at all times as we work to build a more just and equitable society, where every worker has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

“So, on this workers day, I want to say a big thank you. Thank you for your hard work, your dedication, and your unwavering commitment to making our state a better place.

“You are the backbone of our economy and the heart of our communities, and I am honored to serve as your governor,” he said. (NAN) 

Labour

Subsidy Removal: Tinubu Pledges Review of Minimum Wage

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Friday in Abuja said improved livelihood for Nigerians remains a top priority of his administration, with more people-focused economic policies, assuring that the national minimum wage needs a review to reflect realities.

The President, who received members of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) led by the Chairman, Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, at the State House, said the national and sub-national governments will work together on the minimum wage, which already requires “soul searching.

’’

“We need to do some arithmetic and soul searching on the minimum wage,’’ he said.

“We will have to take a look at that together, and the revenue.
We must strengthen the source and application of our revenue.’’

Tinubu urged the governors to seize the opportunity of being chosen among millions of citizens in their states to make a difference in the lives of people, adding that he will work for the benefit of Nigerians. 

“This meeting is not strange to me, and the content of the meeting is so valuable. The camaraderie is very stimulating. This is about the Nigerian project, not Bola Tinubu,’’ he said.

The President said that the multiple exchange rates will be streamlined, noting that governance was a continuum.

“I have inherited the assets and liabilities of my predecessor. This is the first time you entered the Council Chambers, and it is my first time too for a meeting.

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“As progressives and thinkers under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC), you have a role to play in educating our people and making sure we manage ourselves,’’ the President told the governors.

Tinubu said it was a good and encouraging sign that the APC has a majority in the National Assembly and some Houses of Assembly, which will make it easier to develop policies that will directly impact the economy and the people.

“If we work together, the Nigeria of our dreams is not far away. Rest assured that we will not have multiple exchange rates anymore.  You asked for this meeting, and I had to set aside time to be here.

“We have a political party that we will need to manage, whichever way, we have inherited assets and liabilities, and we cannot complain,’’ he stated.

Tinubu said he would maintain an open-door policy, willing to entertain issues, deliberate, and collectively find solutions to the challenges facing the country, including security.

“It is in our hands, and I am ready to work and listen at any time,’’ he added.

In his remarks, the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, called on the governors to rally around the President as he tackles the challenges that stagnate the economy, like the oil subsidy and multiple exchange rates.

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“Let us rally around the President and not bulge, there are vested interests that may want to resist the subsidy removal. Its removal will free resources for the development of your states,” he added.

Earlier, the Governor of Imo State pledged the support of the Progressive Governors to the President, noting that the initial decisions already foretell good intentions for the economy.

“We are here today as members of the APC to fraternize with you as our leader, and congratulate you on your election as President, and Commander-in-Chief.

“We are using this opportunity to express our support for you at this trying time in our history,’’ he said.

Uzodinma noted that the President had started well, by placing the economy and welfare of the people on a priority list, with honesty of purpose.

“We are aware of your capacity and excellent track record,’’ the PGF Chairman stated.

The Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, said the development of the national and sub-national economies remains interwoven, assuring that President Tinubu would receive their support to succeed.

Other governors present at the meeting were Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum and Governor of Kwara State,  AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos,  Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, and Dikko Radda of Katsina State.

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Governors Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Hyacinth Alia of Benue, Umar Bago of Niger, Nasir Idris of Kebbi, Uba Sani of Kaduna, Umar Namadi of Jigawa, Nwifuru Francis Ogbonna of Ebonyi , Ahmed Aliyu of Sokoto, and Bassey Otu of Cross-River State were also present.

At the meeting, the President announced the appointment of Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia as Deputy Chief of Staff, and George Akume as Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), threw its weight behind the federal government on the decision to remove petrol subsidy.

The governors, who were elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), expressed their support during a courtesy call on President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

However, the governors also voiced their concern over the sudden hike in petrol prices following the president’s inaugural speech. 

The PGF Chairman, told State House Correspondents after the meeting with the President, owever, condemned the price increase on what he describes as “old stuck” and called on Nigerians to rally behind the government’s decision to remove the subsidy. 

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Labour

Subsidy Removal: NLC Urges Tinubu to Put Palliative Measures in Place

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The Nigeria Labour Congressm(NLC) has urged President Bola Tinubu to put palliative measures in place before removing fuel subsidy.

Mr Joe Ajaero, the NLC President, made the appeal in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that Tinubu announced the fuel subsidy removal during his inaugural speech on Monday, saying that subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.

Tinubu pledged to re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, healthcare and jobs that would materially improve the lives of millions.

Ajaero said that the NLC would staunchly oppose the decision.

“We at the Nigeria Labour are outraged by the pronouncement of President Bola Tinubu removing ‘fuel subsidy’ without due consultations with critical stakeholders.

“Or without putting in place palliative measures to cushion the harsh effects of the ‘subsidy removal,” he said.

He said that within hours of Mr President’s pronouncement, the nation had gone into a tailspin due to a combination of service shut downs and product price hike, in some places representing over 300 per cent price adjustment.

He said that by the decision, Tinubu on his inauguration day had brought tears and sorrow to millions of Nigerians instead of hope.

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The NLC president also said that Mr President had equally devalued the quality of their lives by over 300 per cent and counting.

According to him, it is no heroism to commit against the people this level of cruelty at any time, let alone on an inauguration day.

“If he is expecting a medal for taking this decision, he would certainly be disappointed to receive curses for the people of Nigeria consider this decision not only a slight but a big betrayal.

“On our part, we are demanding the immediate withdrawal of this policy. The implications of this decision are grave for our security and well-being.

“We wonder if President Tinubu gave a thought to why his predecessors in office refused to implement this highly injurious policy decision?”.

He added that “we also wonder if he also forgot the words he penned down on January 8, 2012, but issued on January 11, 2012.

“In light of the foregoing, we advise Tinubu to respect his own postulations and economic theories instead of daring the people. It could be a costly gamble,” he cautioned. (NAN)

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Business News

NUPENG Warns Members against Night Driving, Illegal Petroleum Products

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has warned its members to desist from night and reckless driving and loading of petroleum products at illegal points.

The Kaduna Zonal Chairman, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of NUPENG, Mr Abdulsalam Mohammed, gave the warning at the union’s zonal meeting held in Sokoto on Saturday.

According to Mohammed, NUPENG has spent a large amount of money for the training of members across the branch.

“These were possible following the transparent leadership of our able National Chairman, Mr Lucky Osesua and his capable team of executives.

“Therefore, as NUPENG members we should continue to appreciate the leaders commitment by strictly adhering to the rules of law.

“We should remain law abiding citizens and always have the thought that our safety remain paramount,” he said.

He added that the meeting was very much unique because it came at the beginning of the year.

“The meeting will give us the opportunity to further strengthen our areas of strength and address squarely our areas of weakness,” he added.

Earlier, Mr Shuaibu Liba, Chairman PTD  Gusau unit, acknowledged the contribution and support of Sokoto State Government for providing enough parking space for Tanker Drivers in the state.

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“The Sokoto State government under the leadership of Gov. Aminu Tambuwal has supported our union in many occasions directly and indirectly,” he said.

Liba also appreciated the contribution and support of security agencies to their members across the country.

He urged members to always remain security conscious, adding that the security challenges facing many parts of the country was very visible.

“As such, everyone here should have this in mind that security is everybody’s business; this is our responsibility to enlighten our members on the silent fact,” he added. (NAN)

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