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FG, Labour fail to reach agreement over minimum wage

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Chairman of the Tripartite Committee and former Head of Service of the Federation, Ms Ama Pepple, disclosed this to reporters on Monday in Abuja.

Ms Pepple made the disclosure following a meeting of the committee which lasted for more than nine hours with representatives of the government and labour leaders in attendance.

The meeting held at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.

According to her, the committee will have to submit both the N30,000 minimum wage demanded by the organised labour and the N24,000 proposed by the government to President Muhammadu Buhari for onward submission to the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the government is optimistic that the labour will not proceed on the planned industrial action scheduled to commence on Tuesday.

But the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have yet to take a decision whether or not the strike would go as planned.

The tripartite meeting held a day after the labour leaders failed to attend a meeting convened by the government to continue negotiations on the national minimum wage.

The government had, however, continued the dialogue with the organised private sector.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, as well as the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, represented the government at the meeting.

The discussion followed a statement credited to Dr Ngige who had announced that the negotiation would be trailed by the meeting of the National Tripartite Minimum Wage Committee which held today.

 

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APC condemns postponement of elections

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The party faulted the decision of the electoral umpire in a statement on Saturday by the spokesperson for its Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Festus Keyamo.

Keyamo, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said they received the news of INEC’s decision with “great disappointment and disillusionment”.

“We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible,” he said.

“President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it.”

The APC campaign council spokesman noted that the postponement was a disappointment to his party and their supporters across the country.

He, therefore, warned INEC against bowing to the purported pressure of the opposition which he said was not ready for the elections.

According to Keyamo, credible demographic projections have predicted a defeat of the opposition party and it needs the breather to halt President Muhammadu Buhari’s momentum.

“We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process as the rumour mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition,” he alleged.

The council spokesman added, “It is in the light of the above that we wish to appeal to Nigerians and our supporters to be patient, calm and resolute despite this temporary setback.

“Let us not give anyone … the opportunity to plunge this nation into a crisis, which is what they earnestly desire.”

INEC had postponed the general elections by a week, less than five hours to the start of the polls.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced the decision at a short press briefing held at 2:44 am on Saturday morning in Abuja.

According to him, the Presidential and National Assembly elections, initially scheduled for today, February 16, will now hold on February 23, while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections will take place on March 9.

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BREAKING: INEC postpones elections to February 23

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The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria (INEC) on Friday night announced a shift in the general elections dates to February 23 and March 9 respectively.

The new schedule was announced by the Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, early Saturday morning after an emergency meeting with security officials, election observers and other political stakeholders.

He said the postponement was due to logistic and operational reasons.

According to him, the new dates for the elections are 23 February and 9 March for the Presidential and National Assembly, as well as the governorship, state houses of assembly and FCT Area Council elections respectively.

It would be recalled that the Presidential/National Assembly Election was initially billed for today February 16 while the Governorship/States Assemblies election was billed for Saturday, March 2.

According to Prof. Yakubu, “the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the election is no longer feasible.”

He added that “This was a difficult decision for the commission to take but necessary” for the success of the elections.

The National Assembly had in October last year approved the sum of N242.245bn for this year’s elections.

Out of the amount, INEC got N189bn, while the police was allocated N27.3bn. The DSS got N10.2bn; NSA’s office, N9.4bn; N2.628bn for Nigerian Immigration Service, and N3.573bn for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

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BREAKING: CCT orders Onnoghen’s arrest

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has issued an arrest warrant against Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria.

At its resumed trial on Wednesday, the tribunal ordered the nation’s security agencies to arrest Onnoghen after he failed to appear before it.

Aliyu Umar, lead prosecution counsel for the federal government, had asked the tribunal to order Onnoghen’s arrest over his refusal to appear before it.

The suspended CJN has not been in court for at least five times since his trial started.

The federal government is prosecuting him for alleged false assets declaration.

Umar, while making an oral application for the arrest warrant, kicked against Onnoghen’s continued absence.

He said both the administration of criminal justice act and the practice direction of the CCT mandates a defendant to be present in court before any proceedings can be conducted in respect of a pending charge.

Adegboyega Awomolo, lead defense counsel, however, kicked against the application.

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