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Labour

FG declares May 2, 3 Public Holidays for Workers’ Day, Sallah

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The Federal Government has declared Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd May 2022 as Public Holidays to mark this year’s Workers Day and EIdul-Fitr Celebrations.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore disclosed this in a statement issued Thursday night in Abuja.

He said the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.

The statement congratulated workers across the country on this year’s celebration.

“Ogbeni Aregbesola commended workers for their hard work, diligence and sacrifice, noting that their efforts are largely responsible for the greatness of the country and the respect Nigeria now commands in the comity of nations.

“Labour is the very essence of humanity. We are alive because we work and only the dead is incapable of working” , the statement added.

The minister enjoined workers to imbibe the culture of productivity, saying “the end of work is productivity. It is productivity that leads to the satisfactory provision of goods and services and wealth creation. It is, therefore, the path to national and individual prosperity”.

He urged workers to raise the bar of their trade-in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s drive to rev up the vehicle of governance and make all the people of Nigeria derive maximum benefit from the nation.

“The Minister also congratulates all Muslims for the successful completion of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ogbeni Aregbesola calls on all Muslims to imbibe and practice the virtues of kindness, love, tolerance, peace, self-denial, sacrifice and good neighbourliness, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).

“The self-restraint, self-denial, sacrifice and deep spiritual consciousness that accompanied the fasting period should not end but be maintained and improved upon, in order to be a better person and true worshipper”, the minister advised all Muslims.

The minister expressed confidence that the security challenges in some parts of the country will soon be a thing of the past, noting that the government is putting determined efforts and all necessary measures in place for Nigerians to enjoy unfettered peace all around.

He assured Nigerians that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is fully committed to the security of life and property of every citizen and foreigners alike.

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Labour

Unemployment: FG to launch labour statistics system – Ngige

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Ngige (file photo)

As part of efforts to address the rising unemployment in the country, the federal government has announced plans to develop a labour statistics system where unemployed Nigerians at home and abroad can apply for available jobs.

Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during a media parley with labour reporters at his office.Ngige made reference to the US Department of Labour which publishes labour data, which are essential statistics for addressing unemployment.

“But over time that we have been here, it is not funded. You don’t also blame them. Everybody wants to build bridges and airports and go. But they forget that with labour statistics and matching, you can fight unemployment. With that, you know who is where at any given time. And people abroad, especially those with specialities, who want to come back, can enter that system to know where to apply to for jobs,” Ngige said.

Ngige promised that the system would be set up at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment within the next month or two in preparation for its official introduction in two months.

He recalled that his ministry earlier established a labour exchange system for merging and cross-matching labour supply and demand in the country.

“In our electronic labour exchange system, both people who are looking for work and recruiters can enter the system where we merge and match them. We do what is called cross-matching and people are gainfully employed. This is the facilitation of employment.”
Speaking further, Ngige said his ministry has gotten involved in some international projects with foreign partners, which Nigeria has not hitherto been doing, adding that for the first time, the American Government was putting up a grant for women and children in Nigeria and Liberia.

“For children, they are doing that to stop child labour. You know that child labour is a kind of poverty. People who ask their children to go to mines are looking for money from those miners. It is the same thing with hawking. Children are on the streets hawking while others are in school. They are in the streets hawking to make ends meet. The same goes for cocoa plantations.

“We are fighting child labour. The American government has agreed to assist us. We have two programmes. One is for $5 million and another one for $ 4 million is specific to Nigeria for areas where granite, columbites and others, are mined. We have not been loud in announcing them because we don’t want the American Government to withdraw. When the programmes take off, we can announce.”

According to the minister, a Nigerian implementer has been appointed for the programmes while ILO will be rendering technical assistance.

While applauding the ILO for being up and doing in the area of technical assistance, he urged the organisation to sustain the momentum.
He said this ministry has finished the validation of new laws and sent the bills to the National Assembly for legislation and passage, among them, the upgrade of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) to a full-fledged commission.

“We are hopeful to get the National Assembly to pass the bills before the end of February.”
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ms Daju Kachollom, as well as directors and other unit leaders in charge of several departments, were also present at the media discussion.

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Education

Nasarawa State University to Pull Out of ASUU Strike, says Governor Sule

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Worried by the negative effects of the ongoing Industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Nasarawa state governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has said that Nasarawa state university Keffi (NSUK) is set to pull out from the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) after the state government agreed to shoulder the responsibility for the payment of salaries of the staff of the university.

Breifing members of the state executive council, at the fifth state executive council meeting, in Nasarawa on Wednesday, the state government agreed to takeover the payment of salaries at NSUK, thereby meeting one of the key demands by the local chapter of the ASUU.

“One of the conditions they gave to us, the most important condition, is to ensure that we take over the full payment of salaries of all the staff, so that they don’t have to use their IGR.

“As far as we are concerned, we looked at our finances and we strongly believe that, based on the cashflow we have available to us and also because of the importance we attach to education, that we should be able to start that from this month.

“That is what we are looking forward to do. We are also hoping they will compliment by the moment we start the payment hopefully by Thursday or Friday, then we are hoping to see them also returning to their classes,” he stated.

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Economy

NSITF Clears theAir on N17.158 Billion Missing Vouchers

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The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has assured Nigerians that the 2018 Audit Report by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation which raised 50 queries on misappropriation of N17.158 billion has nothing to do with the current management which came into office on June 1, 2021.

A press statement signed by the fund’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Ijeoma Okoronkwo, said, “Though the current probe by the  Senate Committee on Public Accounts is in exercise of its statutory oversight functions, it is overly important to inform the general public that what is under investigation are not new infractions but a cumulative financial violations under the management that ran the agency between 2012 and 2017.

“These infractions are not new. They have in fact been the subject of a probe  since the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation first raised the red flag in 2015. We make it clear therefore, that the negative trails of these breaches, have nothing to do with the present management beyond assisting the Senate Committee to carry out its oversight functions knowing full well that government is a continuum.

“On record, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has probed and taken the former Chairman of the Board and  five other senior officials, including the Managing Director and three Directors to court over some of the issues. Huge sums of money as well as property were also recovered, while some of the indicted staff members were equally removed from office.

“Indeed, when the Senate Committee initiated this current probe, the Managing Director, Dr Michael Akabogu, set up an internal committee to retrieve from First Bank and Skye Bank, respectively detailed transactions involving the fund under the period in question. The documents were subsequently submitted to the Senate Committee.

“However, when the Senate Committee further called for the vouchers backing up the transactions, Dr Akabogu requested that the former Managing Directors under whose tenures the transactions were made, be invited to provide further answers especially with regards to the vouchers.

“The current management is not in possession of the vouchers and hence informed the Senate Committee that the contents of the container in the premises of the fund where the former Managing Directors allegedly left the vouchers have succumbed to the elements. And that this can be substantiated from memos, hitherto written by the fund’s General Services Department on the state of the facility in question.

“This statement has become necessary to forestall further wrong finger-pointing and mischief in a section of the media directed at the current management of the NSITF which has charted a new course with strategic reforms, strongly anchored on transparency and already producing positive results.”

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