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Labour rejects FG’s N62,000 minimum wage offer, may resume strike tomorrow

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The organised labour says it will not accept N62,000 or N100,000 as the minimum wage for workers.

Speaking on ‘Morning Brief’, a Channels Television programme, on Monday, Chris Onyeka, assistant general secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said the union will not negotiate a ”starvation wage”.

On June 4, the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) “relaxed” their nationwide strike for one week.

The labour unions had embarked on the strike after negotiations with the federal government on a new minimum wage hit a brick wall.

The organised labour had repeatedly proposed N615,500 and N494,000 as the new national minimum wage, which the government said was unrealistic.

On June 7, the federal government increased its offer for the new minimum wage for workers from N60,000 to N62,000; the labour unions insisted on ₦250,000 at the last meeting of the tripartite committee on minimum wage as the living wage for an average Nigerian worker.

Afterwards, Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo state, said the tripartite committee on the minimum wage is close to reaching a consensus.

Meanwhile, governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have said the N60,000 minimum wage for workers is not sustainable.

Speaking on Monday, Onyeka insisted that labour won’t accept the latest offer of ₦62,000 and the ₦100,000 proposal by some individuals and economists.

“Our position is very clear, we have never considered accepting ₦62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what Nigerian workers can take home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage,” Onyeka said.

“We have never contemplated ₦100,000 let alone of ₦62,000. We are still at ₦250,000; that is where we are, and that is what we considered enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation. We are not just driven by frivolities but also by the realities of the market place—the realities of things we buy every day: bags of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.”

Onyeka said the one-week ultimatum given to the federal government since the ”relaxation of its strike” would expire by midnight on Tuesday, June 11.

He said that should the federal government and national assembly fail to act on the demands of workers by tomorrow, the joint NLC and TUC would meet to decide on the resumption of the nationwide industrial action.

“The federal government and the national assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for the government to look at and send an executive bill to the national assembly and for the national assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various facts of the law, and then come up with a national minimum act that meets our demands,” he said.

“If that does not meet our demand, we have given the federal government one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow. If, after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the organised labour will meet to decide what to do next.

“It was clear what we said. We said we were relaxing a nationwide indefinite strike. It’s like putting a pause on it. So, if you put a pause on something and the organs that govern us as trade unions decide that we should remove that pause, it means that we go back to what was in existence before.”

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Cholera patients in Eti-Osa LGA took unregistered tiger nut drink, says Lagos state government

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The Lagos state government says patients who contracted cholera in Eti-Osa LGA had an unregistered tiger nut drink.

Eti-Osa is the epicentre of the latest cholera outbreak in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city and commercial capital.

As of June 21, Lagos had recorded 24 deaths and 35 confirmed cholera cases.

Speaking in an interview with Punch on Saturday, Kemi Ogunyemi, special adviser to the Lagos state governor on health, said when the government noticed a spike in suspected cholera cases in Eti-Osa LGA, it visited the neighbourhood for a firsthand assessment.

Ogunyemi said a survey showed that people who visited hospitals all said they had consumed a particular tiger nut drink.

She said officials were then dispatched to find the drink in other to test samples for cholera.

“We found empty bottles with a name on them, but we discovered that it wasn’t even registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the regulatory body that ensures the safety of consumables,” she said.

“There was a phone number and a name on the bottle, and we started tracing. We did contact tracing, similar to what we did with COVID-19.

“We combed the area to ask people where they got the drinks from. We couldn’t find any full bottles. We only found empty ones, which were of no use because we could not test them. The phone number on the bottle was not reachable.

“Cholera is also water-borne, so we took samples of the water to test it. The bottom line is that we took stool samples because different things cause diarrhoea.

“It could be anything else. We found out that it was confirmed cholera, specifically Vibrio cholera subtype 01, which is the most infectious and aggressive type.

“There are different types, but we identified this one. In Lagos Island, Eti-osa, and Kosofe, we recorded the highest number of cases that went to the hospital.

“I’m not talking about reported cases. These are the people who did the right thing by going to the hospital to complain of symptoms, and they were treated. That’s when we were alerted.”

Ogunyemi added that the government has ramped up sensitisation and awareness to ensure that the outbreak does not morph into an epidemic.

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Immigration service warns Nigerians against fake employment letters

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The Nigerian Immigration Service has raised the alarm over fake and invalid employment letters in circulation purportedly issued by the service.

The NIS made this known in a statement by its Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Mr Kenneth Udo, in Abuja.

Udo warned desperate job seekers to exercise caution so as not to fall victim to the fraudsters.

According to him, the fraudulent letters falsely claim that the recipients have been offered employment with the NIS.

He said “The Service categorically denies any involvement in this fraudulent scheme and refutes the misinformation being spread on social media platforms regarding an ongoing recruitment/replacement exercise.

“The NIS shall continue to ensure that any unscrupulous elements engaging in this criminality will be made to face the wrath of the law.

“The public is hereby advised to report these scammers to the nearest NIS office or law enforcement agencies.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment exercise is exclusively advertised through reputable national dailies, television broadcasts, and our official website, http://www.immigration.gov.ng.

Udo said that the Service was resolutely committed to safeguarding the interest of Nigerians and upholding the integrity of its recruitment processes.

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Court orders final forfeiture of N12bn properties linked to Emefiele

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A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture of properties worth N12.18 billion.

The properties were linked to Godwin Emefiele, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The court ordered the final forfeiture of the properties after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a motion to that effect.

Chukwujekwu Aneke, the judge, had ordered an interim forfeiture of the properties on June 5.

The properties are located in upmarket areas of the federal capital territory (FCT).

Aneke ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the order in a national newspaper, for any interested party to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made.

The properties were listed by the EFCC in two schedules — A and B.

The judge said: “Having carefully considered the application and submission of counsel, it is hereby ordered as follows: that a final forfeiture order of this honorable court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule A herein which were traced and reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.

“That a final forfeiture order of this Honourable Court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule B herein which properties were traced to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

Emefiele is facing multiple counts of fraud and abuse of office.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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