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FG shifts talks with NLC, TUC, others to Tuesday

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THE peace talks between the Federal Government organised labour and the civil rights groups on the recent hike in fuel price and electricity tariffs will now take place on Tuesday in Abuja.

The meeting was originally scheduled for yesterday but had to be postponed to enable as many interest groups as possible to take part in it.

Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan confirmed the development in a text message yesterday.

He said the meeting will come up at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige first informed reporters of the talks on Friday as he emerged from a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ngige said the meeting, called on behalf of Buhari, would provide the government team an opportunity to open its books to organised labour and explain why it took recent decisions.

President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, told The Nation moments after the minister’s announcement that the notice of the meeting went out late and labour leaders from different parts of the country would not be able to reach Abuja under 24 hours for the talks.

He said labour had proposed that the meeting be rescheduled.

Akpan, confirming the meeting’s postponement yesterday, said the leadership of organised labour and other civil society organisations were not likely to be available in one fold.

He said: “The meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday, 15th Sept at 10 am. The venue is Banquet Hall of Presidential Villa.

“This is to accommodate all participants.”

NLC to come out with a position on petrol, electricity hike soon – Wabba

In a separate interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday, Wabba said organised labour would soon come out with a position on the recent increases in prices of various essential commodities, including fuel and electricity.

He said organised labour would not protest until the Central Working Committee (CWC) had met and agreed on appropriate action.

“Labour takes one battle at a time; it does not make an announcement without backing its action,” the labour leader said.

He noted that NLC had remained consistent on neo-liberal policies, and would take appropriate action in respect of the increases in order to achieve the desired result.

He also said that it was high time Nigeria started refining products locally to solve importation challenges.

On the suspended planned protest against the Rivers State Government, Wabba said that there was the need to mend fences between the state and labour to ensure a harmonious relationship.

According to him, the will of the people should not always be taken for granted “as injury to one is an injury to all”.

The NLC president called on other state governments to take appropriate steps toward addressing labour issues so as to avoid the wrath of the organised labour.

“We will take up any state that undermines the rights of workers. Workers should be conscious of their rights.

“There is synergy and we will confront recalcitrant employers to respect the law so that we don’t give room for sudden situations to rise,” Wabba said.

He further said that the Rivers State Government and labour had concluded negotiations on minimum wage, and the enabling circular would be released for a collective bargaining agreement to be signed.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) penultimate week increased the pump price of premium motor spirit (petrol) to N151, 60 per litre from N145 with effect from September 2.

Also, electricity tariff was increased effective September 1, by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) from N30.23 per one kWh to N62.33.

 

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NIGERIA

EDO 2020 UPDATES: Godwin Obaseki wins polling unit

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has won his polling unit in the ongoing governorship election in the state.

Voting at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area, Obaseki polled 184 votes while All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, got 62 votes.

In Unit 21 of the same ward, the PDP garnered 53 votes while the APC polled 33 votes.

Obaseki’s PDP polled 70 votes ahead of Ize-Iyamu’s APC that garnered 65 votes. In Unit 23, it was PDP 101, APC 32.

In Unit 24 of the same Oredo Ward 4, PDP won with 94 votes, while the APC got 50 votes.

Also in the same ward, Unit 25, the PDP got 33 votes ahead of the APC’s 22 votes.

Casting of ballots ended in most of the areas at 2:30pm

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NIGERIA

School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

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A three-story building belonging to a private school in the Ejigbo area in Lagos state collapsed on Saturday, September 19.

The affected school, Excel College, which is located at 15, Ansarudeen Street, Ile-Epo Bus-Stop, collapsed at about 8.15 am. So far, there are no reports of casualties recorded.

According to eyewitnesses, the privately-owned building belonging to Excel College had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate the structure before the collapse.

 

School building collapses in Lagos (photos)School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

by Linda Ike

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NIGERIA

Edo election: I’m disappointed, says Obaseki after voting

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed displeasure over the conduct of the ongoing governorship election in the state.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission should have prepared better for the election.

Obaseki spoke after casting his vote at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area.

The governor lamented that he stayed for over one and a half hours in the queue.

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the election said he was delayed because the card reader was slow.

He said, “I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and a half hours in the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a bit disappointing.

“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor, Crusoe Osagie, alleged that there was manipulation in areas where Obaseki is popular.

He said, “Suddenly card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.

“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage.

“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”

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