MAY DAY: I'LL NO LONGER PAY ANY WAGE IMPOSED BY FG - FASHOLA
LAGOS - GOVERNOR Babatude Fashola of Lagos, yesterday, told Lagos workers that henceforth his government would no longer pay any wage imposed by the Federal Government unless the state was part of the negotiation that brought about the wage.
Foshola who spoke while addressing workers of the state during yesterday's May Day celebration, said the government could only pay such wage if the Federal Government made money available.
This came as organised labour in the state blamed the growing insecurity in the country to unemployment, frustration, inequalities, injustice among others.
The governor who recalled that indices that led to the agitation for the N18,000 new minimum wage were very much around, declared: 'Today I will like to assert that our government will not be stampeded into paying any wage we are not part of negotiating and which the fund to pay them is not provided for and given to us.
'I recognise that Item 34 of the Exclusive Legislative List gives the Federal Government the power to make legislation for a minimum wage. That is where the power ends. We have complied with the minimum wage since January 2011 long before it was signed into law. We should be left to decide what more we can afford to pay over the minimum to any cadre of worker.'
On Power situation
Speaking on Power situation, he said: 'As far as power supply is concerned, it remains for me the quickest way to galvanize our economy. While I identify with the underlying philosophy of the power reform plan, I think we must pursue its implementation more aggressively. It was supposed to have been completed last year when the privatisation of the generation and distribution companies would have been finalised, but we are now five months into a new year without a definitive date for conclusion. I must also emphasize that the recent euphoria generated in the public discourse about the Federal Government's statement that states can now distribute power, will soon evaporate unless immediate and positive action is taken to give expression to that intent.'
Earlier, Chairman of Lagos NLC, Mr. Idowu Adelakun, noted that a fundamental challenge facing the Nigerian society was to create a political, economic and social system that promotes peace, human welfare and the sustainability of the environment on which life depends.
According to him, 'we believe that the best way to meet these challenges is to encourage initiative by the adequate provision of rights to work, food and education. These are the basic necessities of life that help build common understanding, enhance excellence, enable people to reinforce their commitment to society. Dearth of rights to work has resulted to high rate of unemployment in the country.'
Lagos NUJ tasks workers on security
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ , Lagos State Council , has urged Nigerian workers to be security conscious and be on red alert as they celebrate this year's Workers' Day.
In a statement by the Council chairman, Comrade Deji Elumoye, and Secretary, Comrade Sylva Okereke, the union felicitated with all workers across the country, especially in Lagos and enjoined them to have a hitch-free celebration.
The Council also urged workers to be mindful of happenings within their environment and not be carried away by the euphoria of the celebration in view of recent bomb attacks on media houses and other working places.
Lagos NUJ, however, did not fail to admonish the government over the insecurity problem in the nation and reiterated its earlier call on President Goodluck Jonathan to live up to his office as Commander-in-Chief and rid the country of criminal activities.
Labour warns Fayemi over planned teachers' exam
In Ekiti State, GBENGA ARIYI reports that Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), in Ekiti State, Comrade. Olaiya Kolawole, has cautioned the state government to reconsider its plans to introduce written exams for teachers in the state.
Olaiya who spoke in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, during the celebration of this year's May Day celebration, described the plan as strange to the education system of the state.
The TUC boss equally advised the Federal Government to jettison the recommendation of Stephen Oronsaya-led Presidential Committee on the rationalisation and restructuring of Federal Government parastatals, commission and agencies.
Ondo workers endorse Mimiko for second term
Dayo Johnson reports that workers in Ondo State endorsed the second term ambition of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, attributing this to his various workers friendly programmes.
Under the aegis of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, the workers lauded the life transforming programmes of the governor which they said had benefited not only workers but the generality of the masses in the state.
The two labour centres led by Comrade Bosede Daramola of the NLC and Ekundayo of the TUC, said they would support the governor for a second term.
They lauded the governor for approving and paying of N22,000 minimum wages for workers, when most states were yet to implement the minimum wage.
NLC and TUC pointed out that workers would reciprocate the good gestures of the government by rededicating themselves for the efficient service delivery.
Ajimobi boycotts rally
And in Ibadan, OLA AJAYI said hope of workers in Oyo State to see their governor physically at yesterday May Day rally was dashed as Governor Abiola Ajimobi and some of his aides did not appear at the main bowl of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium (Liberty stadium) where the May day rally was held.
Also, the Trade Union Congress, the second Labour centre besides the Nigeria Labour Congress boycotted the rally and organised another one at Yemetu.
Though the workers were expecting Governor Ajimobi, it was the State Head of Service, Alhaji Tajudeen Aremu that stood in for him.
Alhaji Aremu told the workers that 'the state government appreciates you; the government appreciates your inputs which in no small measure have contributed to the socio-economic development of Oyo State, and there is no gainsaying the fact that the work force consists of a crop
of dutiful, diligent, committed, highly skilled and loyal workers who are blessed with intellectual capabilities that any state in the country can boast of'
Uduaghan suspends employment
In Asaba, Delta State, Austin Ogwuda said Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, said the state government was disturbed over what he described as high rate of employment racketing in the state and directed security agents to thoroughly investigate the menace with a view to bringing the culprits to book. He, however, did not elaborate.
He used the occasion to announce the suspension of any form of employment in the state civil service.
The governor also warned workers against sabotaging the efforts of his cabinet in whatever guise, noting his administration's resolve to building a formidable workforce in the State.
Journalists in the State wore black band during the march past in honour of three journalists that were killed in a ghastly accident involving the convoy of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, while a minute silence was also observed.
Aregbesola on workers welfare
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State said his administration had taken the welfare of workers to the next level through various incentives put in place to ensure maximum performance, reports GBENGA OLARINOYE.
Aregbesola said: 'We are the first in the country to pay the workers 13th month salary. We are also the first to offer workers more than the N18,000 minimum wage. We are among the few states that pay workers' salaries by the 25th of every month.'
Earlier, the chairman of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Mr. Francis Oladele, had commended the Governor for what he described as 'his welfarist programmes.'
Nyako berates northern elite
In Adamawa State, UMAR YUSUF reports that Governor Murtala Nyako berated northern elite for the socio-economic woes and security crisis plaguing the region.
The governor argued that the most obvious problem was the leadership lapses in the North which became magnified before and after the 2011 general elections, saying: 'While other regions in the country like the
South South and South West are busy harmonizing their economic potentials, the north is bedevilled by insecurity, poverty and ethno-religious crisis.'
The governor expressed worries that poverty, illiteracy and un employment among the citizens had continued to wreak havoc, which he said was alien to the North.
TUC asks Amaechi to complete ongoing projects
May day: Cross section of workers celebrate May day in Abuja yesterday. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan
A report by JIMITOTA ONOYUME said Trade Union Congress, TUC, Rivers State chapter urged Governor Chibuike Amaechi to focus more on completion of ongoing projects in the state.
Chairman Rivers TUC, Comrade Chika Unuegbu lauded the governor for his achievements so far in the state.
The body also appealed to the government to strive to achieve its promise of 24 hour power supply in the state just as it called on the Federal Government to deregulate power distribution in the country, noting that it would enable states to be actively involved in distribution of power.
Amaechi urges Labour to cut down demands
On his part Governor Amaechi urged labour leaders to help reduce the burden of governance by cutting down on some of their demands.
According to him, 'let us also address labour. Labour is helping to create unemployment. The way labour is helping to create unemployment is by their unnecessary demands. Everyday, labour is demanding one form of payment or another. The more money labour collects, the more government will be unable to employ anybody.'
Wamakko laments civil servants' poor attitude to work
In Sokoto, Abdallah el-Kurebe said Governor Aliyu Wamakko lamented what he described as poor attitude to work by the state's civil servants in spite of government's efforts to improve their welfare, saying: 'It is disheartening to note that despite efforts by the government in improving the lot of workers, there has not been any significant reciprocal improvement in productivity of our workforce,'
He observed that indiscipline, laxity and nonchalant attitude were still the order of the day, saying no meaningful development could take place in a situation where workers fail to positively contribute their quota towards the development of the state.
Workers vital factors of production -Yuguda
In Bauchi State, Governor Isa Yuguda described workers as not only creators of wealth but vital factors of production, which no responsible government can afford to neglect, just as he appealed to labour leaders to revive the principle of equity, justice, commitment and service to fatherland, reports SUZAN EDEH.
Yuguda said 'as wealth creators, you are the most vital factor of production and no responsible government can afford to neglect you.'
Represented on the occasion by his deputy, Alhaji Aminu Saleh, Yuguda noted that the history of Nigeria would be incomplete without the great roles played by labour leaders in ensuring that there was an egalitarian society, adding that labour movement were founded on principles of justice, equity, commitment and service to their country.
Jigawa NLC criticises banks over salary delay
ALIYU DANGIDA in Jigawa said NLC, Jigawa State chapter criticised banks in the state for unnecessary delay in the payment of monthly workers' salaries, even as it acknowledged the cordial relationship between the government and workers.
Speaking during yesterday's May Day, Chairman of the NLC, Alhaji Suleiman Kiyawa, said the unnecessary delay in the payment of workers salaries was impacting negatively on their lives, and advised government to liaise with the banks to ensure urgent solution to the problem.
'It is known to every one that Jigawa pays its workers before 25 of every month but now the story has changed because of problems associated with network failure and long queue experienced by workers in their banks,' Kiyawa said.
Yari on minimum wage payment
Saminu Ibrahim in Gusau reports that Governor Abdulaziz Yari described the possibility of implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage in the as a mirage, saying the population of civil servants and political office holders constitutes a very negligible percentage of the state's population.
He said much as his administration desired to meet the demands of the state workforce, it had to strike a balance between payment of the minimum wage and addressing other numerous development challenges.
Enugu workers demand defined salary structure
In Enugu State, Tony Edike said workers called on the state government to work out a defined salary structure for the state civil servants.
The workers operating under the umbrella of the Trade Union Congress, TUC and the Nigeria Labour Congress, Enugu State chapter, made the call during the May Day celebration.
In an address at the ceremony held at the Michael Okpara Square,Chairman TUC, Comrade Chukwuma Igbokwe, said the discussion on minimum wage in the state was inconclusive, thereby making it impossible for the workers to have a defined salary chart.
He said: 'Given that minimum wage negotiation in Enugu State is inconclusive and owing to ther controversy surrounding its implementation, the congress urges your excellency to direct the state joint negotiating team to review the present salary of Enugu public servants and come up with an acceptable salary chart.
''It is worrisome that at present, Enugu does not have a clear salary chart with the breakdown of its components. The N10, 000 and N8, 000 added to the salaries were neither in the baisc salary nor in the allowance as applied in other states.
These short payment and non-standard salary chart, greatly affect the computation of workers' leave allowance, retirment benefits, e.t.c.'
The workers used the occasion to seek government's intervention towards reviving inefficient state-owned establishments such as the Enugu Printing and Publishing Corporation.
In a solidarity message, the Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, said no nation could make meaningful progress without total commitment of its workforce.
Chime who was represented on the occasion by the State Head of Service, Nze Dennis Eze urged workers to always utilitze the option of dialogue, which he said produced better results than industrial actions.
Why 3 parastatals can't get minimum wage -Gov Orji
ANAYO OKOLI reports that Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State said workers of three parastatals in the state were not being paid the new minimum wage of N20100 because of the fictitious names included in the payroll.
Addressing workers, Orji named the affected parastatals to include Agricultural Development Programme, ADP, the State Library Board and the State Council for Arts and Culture.
The governor said he had directed the Office of the Accountant General to look into it and resolve the problem.
According to the governor, 'Abia workers are one of the highest paid workers in the country as we are paying them N20,100 per month as against the N18,000 approved by the Federal Government, as we are determined to ensure that they are well taken care of.'
Orji noted that as the engine room of any state government, his administration was not ready to toy with anything that concerns workers, saying: 'When they are not well taken care of, they can destabilise the system.'
In his speech, the Acting State chairman of NLC, C. Ebeniro said Abia State was still the highest paid 'in the area of the new minimum wage in the country as they are payingN20, 100.'
Dickson threatens to sack workers
Samuel Oyadongha said the workers day rally in Bayelsa State was held at the Peace Park in Yenagoa amidst tight security as Governor Seriake Dickson threatened to sack civil servants who were in the habit of staying away from their duty posts.
About 15 police patrol vehicles were deployed around Melford Okilo expressway and other adjoining streets that linked the venue of the rally.
The Onopa end of the road linking the Peace Park, Government House, State Secretariat Complex and Hospital junction were closed to traffic by security operatives including bomb disposal unit of the police force, prompting motorists and Okada riders to make detour through the Lambert Eradiri Road.
Though the reason for the unusual heavy security presence around the venue of the rally could not be officially ascertained, but a security source told Vanguard that the extra security measure was put in place to ensure effective policing against any form of threat or breach to peace.
Workers, journalists and others who thronged the venue of the event were subjected to thorough search by men of the state police command and the anti bomb unit.
In his address, Gov Dickson urged workers in the state to support his administration restoration agenda, warning that it would not be business as usual for workers who were in the habit of absenting themselves from work.