Nurses, Midwives Lament Exclusion From 40 per cent Pay Rise for FG Workers
The National Association Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Federal Health Institution (NANNM-FHI) sector, has decried the exclusion of its members in the recent 40 per cent pay rise for federal workers.
The association expressed its displeasure in a statement issued by Mr Morakinyo-Olajide Rilwan, National Chairman, NANNM-FHI sector, to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
Rilwan said the attention of nurses and midwives in FHI of Nigeria has been drawn to the commencement of 40 per cent peculiar allowance pay rise for workers in the Federal Government establishment with outright exclusions of its members.
He described the exclusion as an aberration and attempt to cause problems in the system.
He said that nurses and other health workers have been calling for salary adjustment since 2016, with several committees set up to this effect.
Rilwan said the committees are yet to see the light of the day with their report.
The national chairman recalled that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, had earlier said before the payment that the pay rise was to justify the current economic reality of the country.
Rilwan quoted Ngige as saying that, “the pay rise for Federal Government workers was to cushion the effects of inflation, rising cost of living, hike in transportation fare, housing and electricity tariff.”
He said that the federal government had no justification to exclude some sections of civil servants, especially in the health sector from the pay rise since everyone, including the workers patronise the same market and pay same bills.
He said the action was also coming when there is mass exodus of nurses and midwives out of the country for greener pastures with aftermath effect of increase workload on the few nurses on ground.
Rilwan said, “Instead of motivating those health workers, who have agreed to stay in the country to salvage the health system by this pay rise, the best thing government could do was to exclude nurses.
“The last time Consolidated Health Salary Scale (CONHESS) was adjusted was in 2010 and most of the allowances due to nurses were being short paid, for instance 30 per cent shift allowance with less than 10 per cent being paid to nurses.
“Many things are causing agitation, including Nurses Special Salary Structure.
“However, we are just getting the news this weekend and we are studying the situation while consultation with relevant stakeholders is ongoing, especially our parent body.
“But the fact is that our members are not happy with the exclusion and we cannot continue keeping quiet.
“Nurses have suffered enough neglect and deprivation as front line workers in health sector,” he said.
Rilwan said that NANNM is happy that civil servant salaries ere increased, but would resist such exclusion for its members if steps are not taken regarding nurses pay rise.
He said that the nurses association had remained calm over time despite the series of neglect and government had been taken that for granted, but this time around, it was not easy calming members down as they are ready to take action.
The national chairman, FHI sector, said that NANNM would resist any form of deprivation in the health sector, especially in the area of remuneration, training and policy making. (NAN)
NLC suspends strike, Gives June 19 for Implementation of Demands
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The proposed strike for Wednesday has been called off after a six hours horse trading meeting that led to the resolution of engagement between the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Federal Government to resolve the issues associated with the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) on Monday.
Following the engagements between the Federal Government, TUC and the NLC with the intervention of the Speaker, House of Representatives Hon Femi Gbajabiamila to resolve the disputes that arose from the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS.
The following resolutions were reached: The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation
The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to review World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose inclusion of low-income earners in the program.
The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to revive the CNG conversion program earlier agreed with Labor centers in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing. 4. The Labour centers and the Federal Government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.
The Labour centers and the Federal Government to review and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.
The Federal Government to provide a framework for the maintenance of roads and expansion of rail networks across the country. 7. All other demands submitted by the TUC to the Federal Government will be assessed by the joint committee.
Consequently, the parties agreed that the NLC to suspend the notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations. B. The TUC and the NLC to continue the ongoing engagements with the Federal Government and secure closure on the resolutions above.
Also, the Labour Congress and the Federal Government to meet on June 19, 2023 to agree on implementation framework.
Those who signed the resolution included: Comrade Erger Festus Osifp President, TUC; Comrade Joseph Ajaero, President, NLC; Comrade Nuhu Toro, Secretary General, TUC; Comrade Emmanuefugboah mni, General Secretary, NLC; Ms. Kachollom 5. Daju, Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment; and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker House of Representatives for the Federal Government.
TUC Demands N200,000 Minimum Wage
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has asked the Federal Government to increase the national minimum wage from N30,000 to N200,000.
The increment, which is one of the demands raised by TUC at Sunday’s meeting held at the Presidential Villa, has already been forwarded to the government.
A list of other demands is contained in a joint statement signed by Comrade Festus Osifo, President TUC and Comrade Nuhu Abba Toro, Secretary General, respectively, which was also made available to our reporter on Monday.
TUC also wants the government to revert to the old fuel pump prices of N195 per litre while negotiations continue.
“The minimum wage should be increased from the current N30,000 to N200,000 before the end of June 2023, with consequential adjustments to the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), like feeding, transport and housing,” TUC stated.
The union said a representative of state governors will be party to this new minimum wage and all the governors must commit to implementing the new wage.
It also wants a tax holiday for employees both in government and private sector that earn less than N200,000 or 500USD monthly, whichever is higher.
“We want PMS allowance to be introduced for those earning between N200,000 to N500,000 or 500 USD to 1,200 USD, whichever is higher.
“The exchange rate for retailing PMS in the country must be kept within a limit of +- 2% for the next ten years. Where the fluctuation is more than 2%, the minimum wage will automatically increase at the same rate.
“Setting up an intervention fund where the government will be paying N10 per liter on all locally consumed PMS. The primary purpose of this fund is to solve perennial and protracted national issues in education, health and housing. A governance structure that will include labour, civil society and government will be put in place to manage the implementation.
“The federal government should provide mass transit vehicles for all categories of the populace.
“State governments should immediately set up a subsidized transportation system to reduce the pressure on workers and students. The framework around this will be worked out.
“Immediate review of the National Health Insurance Scheme to cover more Nigerians and prevent out-of-stock drugs.
“Visitation of the refineries that are currently undergoing rehabilitation to ascertain the state of work and set up a timeline for its completion.
“The president should direct whoever will be labour minister to immediately constitute the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC). This platform will be used by the government, labour, and employers to discuss issues and policies of the government that may affect workers and all other mandates as specified in the law.
“Provision of subsidy directly for food items, the 800 million dollars could be a first step.
“The existing National Housing Fund (NHF) should be made accessible to genuine workers; the framework on this must be discussed and agreed upon.
“Medium Term, Deployment of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) across the country in line with the earlier promise made by the government. The framework and timeline will be developed as agreed upon by both parties.
“Labour and government to design a framework that will be geared towards the reduction of the cost of governance by 15% in 2024 and 30% by 2025.
“A framework should be immediately put in place to maintain the road and expand the rail networks across the country. The government must design a framework for social housing policy for workers through the rent-to-own system.
“The state of electricity in the country must be appraised and an action plan should be defined with time lines on how to get this fixed. A strong monitoring team comprising all parties will be constituted,” the statement added.
Court Stops NLC, TUC from Embarking on Strike
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Abuja division, has restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking on strike over the removal of petrol subsidy.
The federal government had asked the court for an interim injunction preventing the labour unions from proceeding on the strike scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
Delivering the ruling yesterday, Olufunke Anuwe, the presiding judge, said the unions should halt the planned strike pending the hearing and determination of the ex parte motion filed by the federal government.
On June 2, NLC issued a five-day ultimatum to the federal government to revert to the old price of petrol or face a nationwide strike.
Worker unions, including the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), and Nigeria Union of Journalists, have asked their members to join the planned strike.
Owing to the development, the federal government approached the court for an interim injunction.
The presiding judge said the federal government was able to show that the planned strike is capable of disrupting activities in the health and education sectors.
“The defendants/respondents are hereby restrained from embarking on the planned industrial action/or strike of any nature, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated 5th June 2023,” the judge said.
“It is ordered that the defendant/respondents be immediately served with the originating processes in this suit, the motion on notice and the order of this court hereby made.
“The motion on notice is hereby fixed for hearing for 19th June 2023. Hearing notices to that effect shall be served on the defendants/respondents along with the other processes.”
Tinubu to Health Workers: Shelve Strike, We’ll Resolve All Issues
President Bola Tinubu has urged the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to call off its ongoing indefinite strike.
According to a statement by Abiodun Oladunjoye, state house spokesperson, the president spoke during a meeting with the union’s leadership yesterday.
TheCable had earlier reported that members of JOHESU commenced an indefinite nationwide strike on May 24.
The health workers started the strike to compel the government to pay their hazard allowances and meet the salary structure adjustment, among other demands.
In the meeting with the union, Tinubu promised to accelerate the demands of JOHESU and resolve all pending issues.
“The health sector is one sector with a commitment to humanity. We will resolve all the problems,” the president said.
“Trust must be enshrined in all discussions. I promise you we will accelerate this. We will resolve all the issues. Please go back to work.”
On his part, Obinna Ogbonna, JOSEHU’s acting chairman, said the “assurance” from the president would encourage the union members and influence their return to work.
“Mr President, now that we have assurance from the top, we are encouraged to go back and talk to our members with a view to going back to work,” he said.
Kogi APC Guber Candidate, Ododo Unveils Primary School Teacher as Running Mate
The Kogi All Progressives Congress (APC) Guber Candidate, Mr Usmam Ododo, on Sunday, unveiled a Primary School Teacher, Salifu Joel, as his running mate for Nov. 11 governorship election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the running mate is the current Chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), and the Treasurer of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kogi.
Gov Yahaya Bello, who spoke at the event at the Government House, said that the choice of Mr Joel, a class teacher and unionist as the deputy governorship candidate of the APC, was borne out of the party’s desire to carry every body along in its quest for the development of the state.
Bello assured that he would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the APC won the Nov 11 governorship election in the state.
“APC will follow and abide by all the existing electoral laws to win the Nov 11 election, more so that my administration has performed creditably well in the areas of provision of infrastructure, quality education, healthcare delivery, among others.
“We have shown competence, dedication and Commitment to Kogi people in terms of performance to also ask for their votes in the next governorship election.
“In this dispensation, we won’t tolerate any politics of bitterness nor condone any act of political violence because Kogi as a state is bigger than any personal interest.
“Politics of ethnicity, religion will never be a barrier and has no place in Kogi, therefore, you should desist from any comments that can put you in trouble tomorrow, ” he warned.
Also, the State’s APC Chairman, Abdullahi Bello, congratulated the party’s guber candidate and his running mate, and commended the governor for providing good leadership to the party.
He said it was ap and commendable, the choice of the running mate to Ododo, coming from a very critical section of the society as a teacher.
Joel said: “I am short of words for me as a classroom teacher to be nominated as the running mate and deputy governor to the APC guber candidate.”
“When I was first approached, from the bottom of my heart, I joyfully and heartily accepted the position, because it is divine.
“I wish to assure that I will do all I could to ensure that our party becomes victorious in the forthcoming governorship election, ” Joel assured.
In their goodwill messages, the National President of TUC, Mr Audu Anaba; Kogi NLC Chairman, Mr Gabriel Amari and the immediate past NLC Chairman, Edoka Onu; commended the governor for choosing one among the labour unions as Ododo’s running mate.
They assured the governor of their total support to mobilise votes for Ododo/Joel ticket to ensure that they emerged the next Governor and Deputy Governor of Kogi State. (NAN)
Subsidy Removal: Tinubu Pledges Review of Minimum Wage
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.
“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.
“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.
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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