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JOHESU issues seven-day warning strike notice to Fed Govt

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The leadership of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has announced that it will begin a nationwide warning strike over Federal Government’s alleged failure to meet the union’s outstanding demands with effect from September 13.

Its JOHESU Chairman, Mr. Biobelemoye Josiah, who said this during a news conference in Abuja, listed the alleged inability of the government to pay COVID-19 Special Inducement and Hazard Allowance (SIHA) to frontline health workers as part of the union’s demands.

“It becomes imperative to inform you that if the Federal Government does not meet these demands by midnight of September 13, JOHESU will have no choice than to commence a nationwide seven days warning strike.

“The strike will include our members in all the Federal Health Institutions (FHIs), states, and local government health institutions,” Josiah said.

According to him, JOHESU is forced to draw attention to the deliberate short-changing of our members in the payment of COVID-19 inducement allowances.

“The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) ought to redress and supervise the adherence to the payment of 40 percent or 50 per cent COVID-19 SIHA as appropriate to all health workers in Isolation Centres, FHIs and other related health facilities.

“This is without discrimination bordering on clinical or non-clinical status based on our Memorandum of Understanding of April 21 and as admitted by the FMoH at a meeting of July 1 that the payment of 10 per cent was done in error.

“Consequently, FMoH agreed to correct the anomaly and pay the outstanding balance of 40 percent of Consolidated Basic Salary to all the beneficiaries hitherto earning N5,000 as hazard allowance.

“The Federal Government did not ensure total and full implementation of the July 1 agreement with JOHESU when it disbursed the third tranche of the allowance for June.

“This has created grumbling across our membership and the challenge of assuaging the affected and restive members.

“The situation has made it impossible to guarantee industrial harmony within the generality of JOHESU members,” Josiah said.

He expressed concern that the government was not forthcoming in the payment of all withheld salaries of members at Jos University Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, including the April and May 2018 salaries and adjustment of CONHESS salary structure.

The JOHESU chairman also decried the recent increase in the pump price of fuel and hike in electricity tariff in the country.

“We at JOHESU take cognizance of the deregulation of fuel prices by the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency.

“We, in strong terms, reject the hike in electricity tariff, especially at this critical period occasioned by COVID-19 because it clearly increases the sufferings of poor Nigerians.

“As a short term solution, we demand urgent fixing of our refineries to begin local refining and mitigate the volatility of the petroleum products prices with attendant anti-masses effect,” he said.

The union also called on the Federal Inland Revenue Service to reverse the new stamp duties to be paid by tenants in properties, describing its introduction as unacceptable.

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NIGERIA

No going back on Water Resources Bill – FG

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The Federal Government has declared it will go ahead with the Water Resources Bill.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed told reporters the bill was not designed to cause water wars in the country.

He said the bill is a panacea to likely water conflicts in the country.

He said critics of the bill have either not read it or might be mischievous.

He said there is no hidden agenda behind the bill.

He said it is not a subterfuge reintroduction of RUGA.

Mohammed made the clarifications at a joint briefing with the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu in Abuja.

He said: “There is nothing new about the National Water Resources Bill. This is because it is an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence for a long time.

These are:

– Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004

– The River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004

– The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A, LFN 2004

– National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004

“So, why are the laws being re-packaged as the National Water Resources Bill 2020?

“The answer is that they are being re-enacted with necessary modifications to bring them in line with current global trends as well as best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

“The overall objective of this amalgamation is the efficient management of the Water Resources Sector for the economic development of Nigeria and the well-being of its citizens.

“The Bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of the people (i.e. for domestic and non-domestic use, irrigation, agricultural purposes, generation of hydro-electric energy, navigation, fisheries and recreation).

“The Bill will ensure that the nation’s water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all persons.

“Critics contend that the Bill is aimed at taking the resources of a certain part of the country for the use of herders. In other words, the Federal Government is seeking to implement RUGA by subterfuge.

“We also want to state that the Bill is for the good of the nation, and has no hidden agenda whatsoever.”

Adamu said the bill was sent to all the states for concurrence without any object.

He said the bill predated the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said:” This was never a Buhari bill, it is a bill for Nigeria. It started 2008 long before the President thought of winning election.”

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NIGERIA

#Fuel hike: No going back on strike, protest – NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has vowed to proceed with its planned strike and protest with effect from September 28 following the failure of the Federal Government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price.

Rising from its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja a few minutes ago, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the proposed action by the organised labour would proceed from next week.

He stated that the decision was unanimously taken by the chairmen of the 36 states and FCT chapters of the NLC.

Details later…

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Business

#Technology: Sanusi Urges Youths To Explore and not Rely on Government

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The Former Central Bank Governor, CBN, Mohammed Sanusi (II), has urged Nigeria youths not to rely on government but to explore and create opportunities for themselves, especially with technology.

The former CBN governor who was the guest speaker on the second day of the Kaduna Investment Summit explained that over-reliance on oil has left the country unproductive.

“We need to think over and over again as to how we understand economics and what we see. How do we understand technology or electricity are we consumers or are we producers and that’s why investment in human capital is so important.

“Produce young men who know that they are worth more than just using their phone to import a pair of shoes,” he said.

Sanusi said Nigeria has to take economic diversification more seriously in order to experience growth and development.

Referencing Malaysia, Sanusi gave a breakdown of the economic growth of both countries within a 30-year period.

According to him, for Nigeria “there was an increase in wealth but without any structural transformation”.

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“We were growing but we did not diversify and that explains the huge levels of poverty in the country, it explains the huge levels of inequality in the country, it explains the vulnerability of the economy to shocks, it also explains the relatively slow pace of growth because when Malaysia started, they started from a GDP per capita level lower than Nigeria’s GDP per capita in 1985. It started from $310 to $4,045 while we started from $345 to $2,055”.

He also stressed the importance of the government creating the right environment and infrastructure for private businesses to thrive.

The former CBN governor who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency noted that with the right environment, the country can move away from being only consumers to producers of technology.

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