Browsing Tag

strike

News

Okorocha to remain in EFCC custody till May 30

 

Detained former Imo State Governor, Anayo Rochas Okorocha is to remain in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) till Monday, May 30, when he will be arraigned in court over the N2.9 billion money laundering criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

 

Okorocha, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is to be arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on the date.

 

He was forcefully arrested on Tuesday in his Abuja residence by operatives of the EFCC after over nine hours of siege on the residence.

 

EFCC’S legal department sources revealed on Wednesday that the anti-graft agency arrested Okorocha as a proactive measure to make him appear in court following his persistent refusal to honour court to take his plea in the money laundering charges.

 

Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on Monday, March 28, threatened to strike out the N2.9 billion money laundering charges against Okorocha should the Federal Government fail again to cause his appearance in court.

 

The judge had threatened to throw out the charges following the inability of the Federal Government to serve charges on Okorocha as required by law.

 

At the March 28 proceedings, the Federal Government, for the second time through its counsel, Mr Cosmos Ugwu, had told Justice Ekwo that he has not been able to see Okorocha and serve him with the charges.

 

The cousel had informed the court that Okorocha had been evading service, but that he would make efforts and would continue to make efforts until he succeeds in serving the former Imo State Governor with the court papers.

 

He had subsequently applied for another adjournment to enable EFCC do everything within its power to serve the court papers, in line with provisions of the law.

 

His excuse for not being able to reach Okorocha did not go down well with the Judge who reminded him that same story was played out on February 22 when Okorocha ought to have taken his plea.

 

Justice Ekwo had said categorically that he was not going to continue to take flimsy excuses from the EFCC and would not help it to do its job.

 

The judge grudgingly granted the request for the second adjournment and warned the EFCC to demonstrate seriousness or else, the case would be struck out.

 

EFCC’S sources informed our correspondent at the Federal High Court premises that the anti-graft agency was forced to apply force against Okorocha as he allegedly refused bluntly to honour invitation extended to him thrice to appear at the Commission’s office in Abuja just for purpose of serving him the charge.

 

“EFCC is a civilized organization and would not take laws into its hand but suspects, especially highly placed ones should always try as much as possible to respect the law and due process so that the law can protect them.

 

“Arraignment in court is not a death sentence, so no one should take court for a ride or for granted. In Nigeria today, suspects can only run but cannot hide as in the case of Senator Okorocha,” he said.

 

The source, who did not want his name mentioned, said that nobody would be allowed to bail the Senator until after his appearance and arraignment in court on Monday.

 

Efforts to get EFCC’S lawyer, Mr Cosmos Ugwu comment on the matter were unsuccessful.

 

The Federal Government’s charges against Okorocha dated January 24, 2022, was signed by one A.O Ikota on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

 

Okorocha, who is currently a Senator representing Imo West in the National Assembly, is to face trial alongside six others in the N2.9 billion money laundering criminal charges.

 

The Senator is being put on trial by the Federal Government on 17-count charges involving criminal diversion of public funds and properties.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News

ASUU strike: EKSU resumes academic activities

Ekiti State University in Ado-Ekiti (EKSU) has announced that academic activities would resume on Tuesday, May 24.

Bode Olofinmuagun, Director of Information and Corporate Affairs issued a statement to that effect on Monday.

The decision to resume was taken at a meeting on Monday

Olofinmuagun disclosed that it discussed the impact of the ongoing strike by all the four staff unions.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) commenced an industrial action since February.

EKSU’s spokesman said the management was concerned about the pains experienced by students and parents.

He explained that one academic session (2021/2022) of admission is still outstanding, while the 2020/2021 second semester is yet to be concluded.

“Moreover, the admission process for the 2022/2023 academic session will commence soonest,” he said.

The statement added that the school management decided to reopen in the interest of students, parents, guardians, society and its survival.

News

Unpaid allowances causing financial hardship – NSS personnel

It is difficult to make ends meet on a low salary when the prices of products and services are skyrocketing.

The situation gets worse when payment of allowance delays.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for some National Service Personnel (NSP), whose salaries are in 3 months’ arrears. The personnel say the delay is affecting their living standards as they struggle to survive.

Evans is an NSS person living on a monthly allowance of GH₵559. He revealed that he has not been paid for 3 months. According to him, the situation is worrying as he is unable to meet all his needs.

“We have to pay water and light bills. Plus what I will eat, at the same time looking at the increase of transportation. Moving from my residence to where I work, a day I spend close to 60 cedis. We are not paid on time. At the end of the day, they are not increasing the money. Looking at the current economic crisis we are in, we suffer a lot. They are owing us 3 months arrears, they just paid only one month,” he told JoyNews.

The situation is overbearing such that, he has to take a side job.

“I decided to do a part-time job since the money that we receive is like hand-to-mouth. I decided to venture into teaching so I can get extra money to add to the 559,” he narrated.

Another NSS person, Priscilla, is facing a similar challenge. Priscilla amidst the delayed payment of her allowance has joined a WhatsApp NSS platform to embark on a strike until their arrears are paid. Unlike Evans, she depends on her family for support.

“I’m on strike. We planned it as a group. I’m home watching TV and waiting for the government to pay us then we see what happens. When I call my mother, she would say I’m lying and that I’ve been paid. I tell her I’ve not been paid but she doesn’t believe me. But sometimes she does help.”

Pricilla wants her salary paid on time although she said it is not enough to cater for her expenses.

“At least if they were to pay on time, it would help in one way or the other. But they would wait. I’ve not received my salary in 4 months now which is affecting me. It’s not that much but it would still help.”

When she will return to work is unknown. However, Evans and Pricilla, share a common demand; they want their salaries paid on time and increased to keep up with the escalating living costs. Also, some National Service personnel are expected to demonstrate in the upcoming weeks over their delayed payment of the allowance.

‘They signed up for national service, not national suffering’ – Ablakwa demands payment of NSS allowances

The North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on May 16, asked the government to release funds for the payment of National Service allowance arrears for the months of March and April.

He said the delay in the payment of the allowance “is most unfair and insensitive,” given the current harsh economic conditions.

Mr. Ablakwa argued that although the GH¢559 allowance is inadequate, an early disbursement would go a long way to mitigate the economic challenges and the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.

“I would have thought government would, in the face of prevailing harsh economic circumstances, be increasing the current measly allowances and not delaying payment once again.

“How does the government expect these vulnerable personnel, most of whom have been posted far away from home, to survive under the current cost of living crisis?” he queried.

News

Unpaid allowances causing financial hardship – NSS personnel

It is difficult to make ends meet on a low salary when the prices of products and services are skyrocketing.

The situation gets worse when payment of allowance delays.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for some National Service Personnel (NSP), whose salaries are in 3 months’ arrears. The personnel say the delay is affecting their living standards as they struggle to survive.

Evans is an NSS person living on a monthly allowance of GH₵559. He revealed that he has not been paid for 3 months. According to him, the situation is worrying as he is unable to meet all his needs.

“We have to pay water and light bills. Plus what I will eat, at the same time looking at the increase of transportation. Moving from my residence to where I work, a day I spend close to 60 cedis. We are not paid on time. At the end of the day, they are not increasing the money. Looking at the current economic crisis we are in, we suffer a lot. They are owing us 3 months arrears, they just paid only one month,” he told JoyNews.

The situation is overbearing such that, he has to take a side job.

“I decided to do a part-time job since the money that we receive is like hand-to-mouth. I decided to venture into teaching so I can get extra money to add to the 559,” he narrated.

Another NSS person, Priscilla, is facing a similar challenge. Priscilla amidst the delayed payment of her allowance has joined a WhatsApp NSS platform to embark on a strike until their arrears are paid. Unlike Evans, she depends on her family for support.

“I’m on strike. We planned it as a group. I’m home watching TV and waiting for the government to pay us then we see what happens. When I call my mother, she would say I’m lying and that I’ve been paid. I tell her I’ve not been paid but she doesn’t believe me. But sometimes she does help.”

Pricilla wants her salary paid on time although she said it is not enough to cater for her expenses.

“At least if they were to pay on time, it would help in one way or the other. But they would wait. I’ve not received my salary in 4 months now which is affecting me. It’s not that much but it would still help.”

When she will return to work is unknown. However, Evans and Pricilla, share a common demand; they want their salaries paid on time and increased to keep up with the escalating living costs. Also, some National Service personnel are expected to demonstrate in the upcoming weeks over their delayed payment of the allowance.

The North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on May 16, asked the government to release funds for the payment of National Service allowance arrears for the months of March and April.

He said the delay in the payment of the allowance “is most unfair and insensitive,” given the current harsh economic conditions.

Mr. Ablakwa argued that although the GH¢559 allowance is inadequate, an early disbursement would go a long way to mitigate the economic challenges and the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.

“I would have thought government would, in the face of prevailing harsh economic circumstances, be increasing the current measly allowances and not delaying payment once again.

“How does the government expect these vulnerable personnel, most of whom have been posted far away from home, to survive under the current cost of living crisis?” he queried.

News

Unpaid allowances causing financial hardship – NSS personnel

It is difficult to make ends meet on a low salary when the prices of products and services are skyrocketing.

The situation gets worse when payment of allowance delays.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for some National Service Personnel (NSP), whose salaries are in 3 months’ arrears. The personnel say the delay is affecting their living standards as they struggle to survive.

Evans is an NSS person living on a monthly allowance of GH₵559. He revealed that he has not been paid for 3 months. According to him, the situation is worrying as he is unable to meet all his needs.

“We have to pay water and light bills. Plus what I will eat, at the same time looking at the increase of transportation. Moving from my residence to where I work, a day I spend close to 60 cedis. We are not paid on time. At the end of the day, they are not increasing the money. Looking at the current economic crisis we are in, we suffer a lot. They are owing us 3 months arrears, they just paid only one month,” he told JoyNews.

The situation is overbearing such that, he has to take a side job.

“I decided to do a part-time job since the money that we receive is like hand-to-mouth. I decided to venture into teaching so I can get extra money to add to the 559,” he narrated.

Another NSS person, Priscilla, is facing a similar challenge. Priscilla amidst the delayed payment of her allowance has joined a WhatsApp NSS platform to embark on a strike until their arrears are paid. Unlike Evans, she depends on her family for support.

“I’m on strike. We planned it as a group. I’m home watching TV and waiting for the government to pay us then we see what happens. When I call my mother, she would say I’m lying and that I’ve been paid. I tell her I’ve not been paid but she doesn’t believe me. But sometimes she does help.”

Pricilla wants her salary paid on time although she said it is not enough to cater for her expenses.

“At least if they were to pay on time, it would help in one way or the other. But they would wait. I’ve not received my salary in 4 months now which is affecting me. It’s not that much but it would still help.”

When she will return to work is unknown. However, Evans and Pricilla, share a common demand; they want their salaries paid on time and increased to keep up with the escalating living costs. Also, some National Service personnel are expected to demonstrate in the upcoming weeks over their delayed payment of the allowance.

The North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on May 16, asked the government to release funds for the payment of National Service allowance arrears for the months of March and April.

He said the delay in the payment of the allowance “is most unfair and insensitive,” given the current harsh economic conditions.

Mr. Ablakwa argued that although the GH¢559 allowance is inadequate, an early disbursement would go a long way to mitigate the economic challenges and the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.

“I would have thought government would, in the face of prevailing harsh economic circumstances, be increasing the current measly allowances and not delaying payment once again.

“How does the government expect these vulnerable personnel, most of whom have been posted far away from home, to survive under the current cost of living crisis?” he queried.

News

Unpaid allowances causing financial hardship – NSS personnel

It is difficult to make ends meet on a low salary when the prices of products and services are skyrocketing.

The situation gets worse when payment of allowance delays.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for some National Service Personnel (NSP), whose salaries are in 3 months’ arrears. The personnel say the delay is affecting their living standards as they struggle to survive.

Evans is an NSS person living on a monthly allowance of GH₵559. He revealed that he has not been paid for 3 months. According to him, the situation is worrying as he is unable to meet all his needs.

“We have to pay water and light bills. Plus what I will eat, at the same time looking at the increase of transportation. Moving from my residence to where I work, a day I spend close to 60 cedis. We are not paid on time. At the end of the day, they are not increasing the money. Looking at the current economic crisis we are in, we suffer a lot. They are owing us 3 months arrears, they just paid only one month,” he told JoyNews.

The situation is overbearing such that, he has to take a side job.

“I decided to do a part-time job since the money that we receive is like hand-to-mouth. I decided to venture into teaching so I can get extra money to add to the 559,” he narrated.

Another NSS person, Priscilla, is facing a similar challenge. Priscilla amidst the delayed payment of her allowance has joined a WhatsApp NSS platform to embark on a strike until their arrears are paid. Unlike Evans, she depends on her family for support.

“I’m on strike. We planned it as a group. I’m home watching TV and waiting for the government to pay us then we see what happens. When I call my mother, she would say I’m lying and that I’ve been paid. I tell her I’ve not been paid but she doesn’t believe me. But sometimes she does help.”

Pricilla wants her salary paid on time although she said it is not enough to cater for her expenses.

“At least if they were to pay on time, it would help in one way or the other. But they would wait. I’ve not received my salary in 4 months now which is affecting me. It’s not that much but it would still help.”

When she will return to work is unknown. However, Evans and Pricilla, share a common demand; they want their salaries paid on time and increased to keep up with the escalating living costs. Also, some National Service personnel are expected to demonstrate in the upcoming weeks over their delayed payment of the allowance.

The North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on May 16, asked the government to release funds for the payment of National Service allowance arrears for the months of March and April.

He said the delay in the payment of the allowance “is most unfair and insensitive,” given the current harsh economic conditions.

Mr. Ablakwa argued that although the GH¢559 allowance is inadequate, an early disbursement would go a long way to mitigate the economic challenges and the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.

“I would have thought government would, in the face of prevailing harsh economic circumstances, be increasing the current measly allowances and not delaying payment once again.

“How does the government expect these vulnerable personnel, most of whom have been posted far away from home, to survive under the current cost of living crisis?” he queried.

News

Unpaid allowances causing financial hardship – NSS personnel

It is difficult to make ends meet on a low salary when the prices of products and services are skyrocketing.

The situation gets worse when payment of allowance delays.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for some National Service Personnel (NSP), whose salaries are in 3 months’ arrears. The personnel say the delay is affecting their living standards as they struggle to survive.

Evans is an NSS person living on a monthly allowance of GH₵559. He revealed that he has not been paid for 3 months. According to him, the situation is worrying as he is unable to meet all his needs.

“We have to pay water and light bills. Plus what I will eat, at the same time looking at the increase of transportation. Moving from my residence to where I work, a day I spend close to 60 cedis. We are not paid on time. At the end of the day, they are not increasing the money. Looking at the current economic crisis we are in, we suffer a lot. They are owing us 3 months arrears, they just paid only one month,” he told JoyNews.

The situation is overbearing such that, he has to take a side job.

“I decided to do a part-time job since the money that we receive is like hand-to-mouth. I decided to venture into teaching so I can get extra money to add to the 559,” he narrated.

Another NSS person, Priscilla, is facing a similar challenge. Priscilla amidst the delayed payment of her allowance has joined a WhatsApp NSS platform to embark on a strike until their arrears are paid. Unlike Evans, she depends on her family for support.

“I’m on strike. We planned it as a group. I’m home watching TV and waiting for the government to pay us then we see what happens. When I call my mother, she would say I’m lying and that I’ve been paid. I tell her I’ve not been paid but she doesn’t believe me. But sometimes she does help.”

Pricilla wants her salary paid on time although she said it is not enough to cater for her expenses.

“At least if they were to pay on time, it would help in one way or the other. But they would wait. I’ve not received my salary in 4 months now which is affecting me. It’s not that much but it would still help.”

When she will return to work is unknown. However, Evans and Pricilla, share a common demand; they want their salaries paid on time and increased to keep up with the escalating living costs. Also, some National Service personnel are expected to demonstrate in the upcoming weeks over their delayed payment of the allowance.

The North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on May 16, asked the government to release funds for the payment of National Service allowance arrears for the months of March and April.

He said the delay in the payment of the allowance “is most unfair and insensitive,” given the current harsh economic conditions.

Mr. Ablakwa argued that although the GH¢559 allowance is inadequate, an early disbursement would go a long way to mitigate the economic challenges and the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.

“I would have thought government would, in the face of prevailing harsh economic circumstances, be increasing the current measly allowances and not delaying payment once again.

“How does the government expect these vulnerable personnel, most of whom have been posted far away from home, to survive under the current cost of living crisis?” he queried.

News

Unpaid allowances causing financial hardship – NSS personnel

It is difficult to make ends meet on a low salary when the prices of products and services are skyrocketing.

The situation gets worse when payment of allowance delays.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for some National Service Personnel (NSP), whose salaries are in 3 months’ arrears. The personnel say the delay is affecting their living standards as they struggle to survive.

Evans is an NSS person living on a monthly allowance of GH₵559. He revealed that he has not been paid for 3 months. According to him, the situation is worrying as he is unable to meet all his needs.

“We have to pay water and light bills. Plus what I will eat, at the same time looking at the increase of transportation. Moving from my residence to where I work, a day I spend close to 60 cedis. We are not paid on time. At the end of the day, they are not increasing the money. Looking at the current economic crisis we are in, we suffer a lot. They are owing us 3 months arrears, they just paid only one month,” he told JoyNews.

The situation is overbearing such that, he has to take a side job.

“I decided to do a part-time job since the money that we receive is like hand-to-mouth. I decided to venture into teaching so I can get extra money to add to the 559,” he narrated.

Another NSS person, Priscilla, is facing a similar challenge. Priscilla amidst the delayed payment of her allowance has joined a WhatsApp NSS platform to embark on a strike until their arrears are paid. Unlike Evans, she depends on her family for support.

“I’m on strike. We planned it as a group. I’m home watching TV and waiting for the government to pay us then we see what happens. When I call my mother, she would say I’m lying and that I’ve been paid. I tell her I’ve not been paid but she doesn’t believe me. But sometimes she does help.”

Pricilla wants her salary paid on time although she said it is not enough to cater for her expenses.

“At least if they were to pay on time, it would help in one way or the other. But they would wait. I’ve not received my salary in 4 months now which is affecting me. It’s not that much but it would still help.”

When she will return to work is unknown. However, Evans and Pricilla, share a common demand; they want their salaries paid on time and increased to keep up with the escalating living costs. Also, some National Service personnel are expected to demonstrate in the upcoming weeks over their delayed payment of the allowance.

The North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on May 16, asked the government to release funds for the payment of National Service allowance arrears for the months of March and April.

He said the delay in the payment of the allowance “is most unfair and insensitive,” given the current harsh economic conditions.

Mr. Ablakwa argued that although the GH¢559 allowance is inadequate, an early disbursement would go a long way to mitigate the economic challenges and the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.

“I would have thought government would, in the face of prevailing harsh economic circumstances, be increasing the current measly allowances and not delaying payment once again.

“How does the government expect these vulnerable personnel, most of whom have been posted far away from home, to survive under the current cost of living crisis?” he queried.

News

2023: Nigerian students storm APC secretariat, vow to shut down airports

Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, South West Zone D, on Monday, stormed the National Secretariat of All Progressives Congress, APC, Abuja, to protest against a petition and call by a group to disqualify the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun from running for the second term in office.

According to the protesters, a group had called for the prosecution and disqualification of the governor from contesting for a second term in office.

The students also vowed that they would not relent in the ongoing nationwide protest against the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), noting that the next phase of the protest would target the shutdown of airports and other sources of the Federal Government revenue until the strike is called off.

They also called on the Federal Government, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to ensure diligent prosecution of the arrested Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.

Recall that Idris was arrested by EFCC in connection with the alleged diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80 billion.

The students who were led by the NANS South West Coordinator, Comrade Adegboye Olatunji, and Chairman of NANS Ogun Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Comrade Kehinde Damilola Simeon, during the protest, asked APC leadership to clear Governor Abiodun to contest for re-election as Ogun State Governor.

The protesters wielded placards of various inscriptions saying the governor prioritized education in the state.

NANS South West Coordinator, Adegboye Olatunji, told newsmen that the students were led by their leaders to APC Secretariat to present their position to the leadership of APC and to dissociate themselves from the recently “sponsored and ill-motivated” protest against Dapo Abiodun.

“We call on the leadership of the All Progressive Congress to discountenance their frivolous petition and trash it because to us as students leaders of South West, they are an illegitimate group.

“May we equally use this opportunity to pass a vote of confidence on Prince Dr Dapo Abiodun, the Executive Governor of Ogun State, for his commitment and sacrifices towards education development in the State,” Olatunji said.

Speaking on the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Chairman of NANS Ogun JCC, Comrade Kehinde Damilola Simeon, called on the Federal Government to look into the plight of the lecturers and by extension the students who bear the brunt of the strike with the view to acceding to the demands of the Union.

He warned that the students would not relent in the ongoing protest until the strike is called off for campuses to be reopened to students, saying the South West students only broke from the nationwide protest to come on solidarity protest at the APC Secretariat.

He said: “We have been the ones at the forefront of protest against the strike by ASUU in the South West starting with the blockade of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and Ijabu Ode-Ore road that was done last week.

“We have been leading the agitation that the Federal Government listens to the plight of ASUU. Our coming here today does not mean that we have sheathed our swords in the aspect of fighting for the rights of our lecturers and by extension, the generality of the Nigerian students. ASUU is asking for what is their right,” he said.

On the arrest of Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, by EFCC, he said it was quite unfortunate and “a slap on the dignity of Nigeria as a nation when some lecturers are on strike for demands that are not even up to half of the money that one person is embezzling”.

Simeon said, “It’s high time the Federal Government takes up their responsibility and does what is right by using some of these people as examples to serve as a deterrent to others.

“The educational sector is suffering and UNESCO recommended that 26% of every nation’s budget should be spent on education but we are not near this in Nigeria.

“I can assure you that we will be back on the streets as soon as possible until our voices are heard and the Federal Government does the needful, we won’t relent. We are planning to see that all sources of revenue to the government, including Federal Government properties like airports will be shut down soon”.

News

NASU to FG: Our strike far from over

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has said its strike action is still in full force, contrary to speculations that it intends to suspend it soon.

Peters Adeyemi, NASU’s General Secretary confirmed the position in a statement on Monday, in Abuja, noting that the union will be meeting on Tuesday, in the nation’s capital to consult with its members on the state of the strike.

He, however, hinted that the Federal Government has begun paying NASU members the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage, though not all members have received the payment so far.

According to Adeyemi, no other financial commitment made to the unions has been actionized except the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage, saying the payment is not enough for the striking workers to suspend the ongoing industrial action.

His words, “There are seven demands which we have gotten the commitment of the government to implement. There are six outstanding items yet to be acted upon. We cannot be because of the ongoing payment which is yet to be concluded to be talking about suspension of the strike. However, we are consulting with our members.

” A consultation meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday. But it is very naïve and mischievous for anyone to start saying we are planning to suspend the strike. I read in a section of the media that reported that we are planning to suspend the strike on Tuesday. Whoever reports that is a paid agent of the Federal Government. Let me use this opportunity to debunk the report”.

While repudiating the report further, Adeyemi revealed that NASU can not take a unilateral decision to suspend a strike that is being prosecuted under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both NASU and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).

He added, “There are four unions in the universities and inter-university centres that are involved in this struggle. How can any reporter claim that NASU is meeting to suspend the strike? There is no way NASU can suspend the strike when SSANU is clamouring for an extension of the strike by another one month to allow the government to address our grievances.”

Adeyemi also denied knowledge of another meeting with the Federal Government on the crisis, saying the first meeting was more on concerns of ASUU.

”Indeed, the meeting mandated NITDA to conclude its integrity test for the alternative salary payment platforms proposed by ASUU and the non-teaching unions and report back. The Salary, Income and Wages Commission was told to look at the salary structure and report back to the meeting” he explained.

News Sports

EPL: Prize money for Manchester City after winning title revealed

 

The prize money for Manchester City after winning the 2021/22 Premier League title has been revealed.

 

Manchester City, on Sunday, clinched the Premier League title after beating Aston Villa 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

 

A brace from Ilkay Gundogan and a strike from Rodri ensured Man City defeated Aston Villa to retain the Premier League title.

 

According to AS, Pep Guardiola’s side will collect a tidy enough £44 million ($54.4 million) from the Premier League for winning the title.

 

It’s a sliding scale from there down £38.8 million ($40 million) to the team that finishes rock bottom, who take an extra £2.2 million ($2.7 million) as they trundle down to the Championship.

 

However, all clubs in the Premier League will take the same central share from television rights and commercial revenue from the £2.5 billion prize pot.

News Sports

Five key moments that won Man City the Premier League

Manchester City are champions of England for a fourth time in five years after holding off Liverpool in a titanic tussle for the Premier League title.

City’s failure to land a natural striker to replace Sergio Aguero cast doubt on their title credentials as Liverpool and Chelsea strengthened their squads with eyes on the crown.

Pep Guardiola’s men again proved to be well-suited to the marathon grind of a 38-game season, but needed to summon the spirit of champions to seal the deal on the final day.

Trailing 2-0 to Aston Villa with 14 minutes remaining, City needed to score three times to avoid a trophyless season and pulled it off thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s double either side of Rodri’s strike.

SuperSport.com looks at five defining moments that swung the title race City’s way:

CHELSEA PUT IN THEIR PLACE

Chelsea had City’s number towards the end of last season, beating them three times in three different competitions, culminating in lifting the Champions League in Porto.

The Blues were expected to carry that momentum into a title challenge and started the season strongly.

City were three points behind Chelsea and Liverpool when they travelled to Stamford Bridge in early September having dropped points in two of their first five games.

However, Guardiola’s men laid down a marker with a dominant display that deserved a more comprehensive result than their 1-0 victory.

The same day, Liverpool were held 3-3 at Brentford to nullify the impact of City’s slow start.

WINTER WINS

Fans were back in the stands all season but coronavirus still had a major impact as outbreaks among squads led to mass postponements in the winter months.

City were one of the few clubs to escape without a single match being rearranged and produced a 12-game winning run between November and February that took the title race away from the chasing pack.

Rodri’s 92nd-minute winner at Arsenal in an early kick-off on January 1 amid a packed schedule was the stuff that champions are made of.

But there was plenty of the exhilarating football Guardiola’s sides are synonymous with too as Leeds were dispatched 7-0, Leicester hit for six and Newcastle and Norwich thrashed 4-0.

LIVERPOOL PAY PENALTY AT LEICESTER

As City motored through the festive period, Liverpool’s title bid came off the rails.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have lost just three of 62 games all season that kept their bid for an unprecedented quadruple alive into the final week of the campaign.

However, one of them came in the most unlikely circumstances at Leicester on December 28.

The postponement of Liverpool’s Boxing Day game with Leeds had given Klopp’s men a rare six-day rest amid the busiest time of the English football calendar.

Leicester, by contrast, had lost 6-3 at City only 48 hours previously and were severely weakened by injuries and Covid cases.

Mohamed Salah missed a Premier League penalty for the first time in four years before Ademola Lookman gave Leicester an unlikely 1-0 win.

Draws at Tottenham and Chelsea either side of Liverpool’s trip to the King Power allowed City to move 12 points ahead on New Year’s Day.

‘TITLE DECIDER’ STALEMATE SUITS CITY

Liverpool’s stunning form in 2022 gave Klopp’s men the chance to leapfrog City when the top two faced off at the Etihad in early April.

But City maintained a one-point lead at the top after a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Guardiola bemoaned his side had left the Reds “alive” after missing the best chances to win the game.

However, ultimately it proved to be a vital point in retaining the title.

NO HAMMER BLOW

Liverpool’s first dropped points at Anfield since October in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham allowed City to extend their lead to three points going into the final two games of the season.

But they twice nearly threw it away by falling behind 2-0 to both West Ham and Aston Villa.

Jarrod Bowen punished an injury-decimated City defence scoring twice for the Hammers before Jack Grealish and Vladimir Coufal’s own goal did enough to salvage a point and keep the destiny of the title in their own hands.

City did not learn their lesson as Villa also counter-attacked to good effect to take a 2-0 lead at the Etihad on Sunday.

This time Gundogan was the hero off the bench to spark scenes reminiscent of Aguero’s 93rd minute title winner to start City’s era of dominance 10 years ago.

News

U-17 WWCQ: Ghana beats Morocco 2-0 to claim first leg advantage

The Black Maidens of Ghana recorded a first leg advantage win over Morocco in their FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday, May 20.

The Maidens, who are hoping to be present at the U-17 Women’s World Cup for a seventh time, earned the victory through Stella Nyamekye’s first half strike while Nancy Amoh scored from a direct free-kick, giving them a much needed comfort heading into the second leg.

Baba Nuhu’s side missed some key players in Friday’s crucial fixture with skipper, Georgina Aisha Aoyem sitting out the encounter.

In what looked more like a one-sided game, Ghana had almost all of the games’ opportunities in both halves of the game.

Nyamekye, who had a great game throughout the fixture opened the scoring in the 18th minute, sending into the net, a stunning strike from outside the box to give Ghana the lead.

The Maidens should have put the game to bed with the opportunities that came their way in the latter minutes of the first 45 minutes but couldn’t take their chances.

Back from recess, Ghana continued their dominance and were rewarded for their persistence as Amoh scored from a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box to give Ghana a two-goal lead.

The win on Friday means the Black Maidens will now go into the second leg in Morocco with a 2-0 advantage on June 4.

News

Court adjourns Ghana Mine Workers, Asanko Gold Ghana Limited case of wrongful laying off of over 200 staff

The Amasaman High Court has on Thursday adjourned the case involving 299 Asanko Gold Ghana employees who were sacked without proper compensation.

It was after the counsel of the plaintiff – Asanko Gold Ghana Limited – claimed it had not received any affidavits in opposition to their motion from Ghana Mine Workers Union.

So, the court adjourned the case to be heard on June 1, to afford them opportunity to be served.

The two – Asanko Gold Ghana Limited and The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) –   are in court over non-adherence to the collective bargaining agreement relating to payment of severance to the laid-off staff who are members of the Ghana Mine Workers Union.

According to the mine workers, the condition of service agreed have not been adhered to by the Asanko Gold, especially, the compensation for severance, for its members.

The Lay-Off
These two hundred and ninety-nine (299) mine workers have been engaged as permanent workers for more than two years in Asanko Gold Ghana Limited.

But unfortunately, early this year, the workers’ claim that Asanko Gold Ghana Mine terminated their employment as permanent workers and made contract staff.

This saw their salaries reduced by 40 percent worsening their conditions of service and unfortunately didn’t come with agreed severance package in the collective bargaining agreement.

The MoU
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated February 10, 2022, was signed by the Ghana Mine Workers Union and Asanko Gold Ghana Limited to finalize payments of redundancy compensations to workers affected after Asanko Gold Ghana Limited announced its decision to embark on a redundancy exercise on February 2022.

Under the MOU signed by both parties, paragraph one and ten require that:

1.       “a total of 299 permanent employees will be severed effective 31st March 2022 and paid appropriate redundancy packages in line with their applicable Collective Agreements, inclusive of the one (1) month notice required”.

2.       “payment of appropriate compensation due all affected employees shall be paid on or before 31st March 2022”.

The Mine Workers Union says the interlocutory injunction was necessary because, despite repeated calls for Asanko Gold Ghana Limited to strictly comply with the relevant provisions of the collective agreement and MoU, the mining company has neglected and bent on violating the agreement without recourse.

In court
The GMWU are worried that upon several meetings with management of Asanko Gold Ghana Limited, they still did not see any changes on the need for the mining company to pay the appropriate severance as agreed and hence their decision to resort to court action.

Counsel for the GMWU further disclosed that Asanko Gold Ghana Limited wanted the case strike out because, according to them, the case was ‘premature’.

But the Ghana Mine Workers Union filed an affidavit objecting to that motion.

That was meant to be argued in court on Thursday, but Counsel for Asanko Gold Ghana Limited told the court that the court bailiff is yet to served them with the affidavit and so pleaded for an adjournment.

The presiding judge therefore obliged and adjourned the case to June 1, 2022.

News

Resolve ASUU strike or face protest worse than EndSARS – Lokoja varsity students warn FG

The Student Union Government (SUG) of Federal University in Lokoja, has joined their counterparts across the federation in issuing a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government of Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, resolve all the lingering issues with the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU).

The body stated that at the expiration of the ultimatum, they would be left without any option but to embark on a nationwide protest to drive home their demands.

President of the students union body at the Federal University in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, Comrade Oguche Ojofeyo, who led his members on a peaceful protest on Thursday, made this known while speaking with newsmen at the university’s main campus in Lokoja.

Comrade Oguche stated that their demand is for the Federal Government to urgently resolve all the lingering rancour with ASUU warning that the Student Union Government as a body might be forced to block all the highways and Federal Government infrastructures if the three months old strike action embarked upon by ASUU is not resolved appropriately within the next seven days.

He noted that the nationwide protests might be far beyond the EndSARS protest of 2020, saying that Nigerian students are fed up with the incessant strike action.

He decried the situation in which Nigerian students have been subjected to the stagnated academic calendar as unbearable and unacceptable saying that “employment has age limit and NYSC also comes with an age limit.”

The SUG President further decried that the incessant strike action has taken its toll on the students’ mental and physiological states.

He expressed sadness, that the Federal Government’s actions or inaction would have enormous jeopardy to the future of the students since their ages are counting by the day.

Some of the students, who spoke with newsmen equally lamented the adverse effects of the strike action on the students’ economic well-being which includes extended payment of house rents that is more than necessary.

News

Resolve ASUU strike or face protest worse than EndSARS – Lokoja varsity students warn FG

The Student Union Government (SUG) of Federal University in Lokoja, has joined their counterparts across the federation in issuing a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government of Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, resolve all the lingering issues with the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU).

The body stated that at the expiration of the ultimatum, they would be left without any option but to embark on a nationwide protest to drive home their demands.

President of the students union body at the Federal University in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, Comrade Oguche Ojofeyo, who led his members on a peaceful protest on Thursday, made this known while speaking with newsmen at the university’s main campus in Lokoja.

Comrade Oguche stated that their demand is for the Federal Government to urgently resolve all the lingering rancour with ASUU warning that the Student Union Government as a body might be forced to block all the highways and Federal Government infrastructures if the three months old strike action embarked upon by ASUU is not resolved appropriately within the next seven days.

He noted that the nationwide protests might be far beyond the EndSARS protest of 2020, saying that Nigerian students are fed up with the incessant strike action.

He decried the situation in which Nigerian students have been subjected to the stagnated academic calendar as unbearable and unacceptable saying that “employment has age limit and NYSC also comes with an age limit.”

The SUG President further decried that the incessant strike action has taken its toll on the students’ mental and physiological states.

He expressed sadness, that the Federal Government’s actions or inaction would have enormous jeopardy to the future of the students since their ages are counting by the day.

Some of the students, who spoke with newsmen equally lamented the adverse effects of the strike action on the students’ economic well-being which includes extended payment of house rents that is more than necessary.