Not a few Nigerians were taken aback, when the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) declared a general strike on Wednesday 11th December, 2019 and threw the country into a total blackout.
The workers embarked on the strike action following crisis in the power sector at the expiration of the 21 days issued by the union.
However, the swift initiative of Minister of State (Power), Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba in extensively engaging the stakeholders in the sector including those from the Ministry of Power, Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh, representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, leadership of NUEE and others.
The meeting addressed several issues that led to the suspension of the strike action by the electricity workers, who resumed duty after 24 hours of the exercise.
The communique issued at the end of the meeting was jointly signed by the Honourable Minister of State (Power), Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba (OFR), Director General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, President (NUEE), Comrade Engr. Martin Uzoegwu, General Secretary (NUEE), Comrade Joe Ajaero, and a representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Hosea Akayi Musa, JP..
On the non-payment of over 2000 disengaged PHCN staff, the Director General of BPE confirmed that over N360 Billion had been paid and that the verification of 600 staff processed and forwarded to Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) for payment, while 200 could not be verified.
On the issue of 16-month underpayment of severance benefit as well as the 7.5% Pension component, DG BPE acknowledged that this was pending and promised that modalities would be worked out on the payment.
On ownership of the schools, the DG gave his words that anytime they provided documentary evidence providing ownership of the school, the process of handing over would commence accordingly.
Director General, BPE promised to obtain the Condition of Service (COE) from the GenCos and DisCos within a week and hand them over to the Honourable Minister of State (Power).
The Honourable Minister of Power (State) promised to visit the GenCos in company of the Managing Director of NELMCO along with some officials of the union to see things for himself and resolve the issue of unionization in the GenCos and the non-remittance of the deducted check-off dues.
The meeting resolved that DisCos/GenCos be advised to negotiate with their bankers to ensure sufficient cash flow to enable them pay salaries as at when due.
The Director General -BPE promised to intervene on the non-remittance of Contributory Pension to PFA, especially for Kaduna, Kano and Jos.
The meeting also resolved that the DisCos could be advised to stop casualization of workers where or exists.
On the issue of harassment by security personnel, the Honourable Minister of State (Power) informed that he was not aware of the incident, apologised and promised that such an unfortunate incident would not occur again.
The meeting also resolved that all staff who participated in the Industrial action would not be victimised in any way.
Director General-BPE explained that the pre-retirement training was processed, but that there was no cash backing to carry out the training.
On 10% equity, the Director General BPE explained that the percentage share had not been worked out because the 40% was yet to be determined and that until then staff could access their own share.
It was generally agreed by watchers of events that the move by the Minister of State (Power), Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba averted what would have led to a setback for the economy of the county at this time that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to restore the nation’s economy and a led ding festive season.
This has further increased the belief of people in many quarters that Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba is a round peg in a round hole as the Minister of State (Power) at this crucial time of the nation.
Aregbesola Insists On Digitalisation Of Security Agencies
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said for the country to get things right with the security challenges in Nigeria, digitalization of intelligence gathering and monitoring is the best approach.
He emphasized that the world had gone past the manual process of operation as it is still being done in Nigeria presently.
Responding at the IT Audit Presentation on the Ministry of Interior and its Agencies to the Minister by Mr. Folusho Philips, Chairman of Philips Consult, Aregbesola pledged that he would make sure his Ministry put the necessary efforts and tools in place to ensure maximum capacity building for digitalization in the Ministry and the agencies under his watch.
He said “What distinguished the individual is how he can challenge and overcome situations”. He advised that Nigerian leaders should put in all their best to overcome the security challenges facing the country to distinguish the country to meet world digital standard.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, mentioned that significant efforts have already commenced to fully digitalize operations in the Ministry.
He stated that the Electronic Data Management System which would ensure digitalization of file records and implementation of the Human Resource Module of the IPPIS are set to take off in the Ministry. He however emphasized the need for more funding to be appropriated to further strengthen the Ministry’s Information Technology backbone.
The presentation identified that the Ministry and its agencies are yet to update in the digital world’s standard and needed to braze up to the world acceptable practices in the quest to curb insecurity and bring peace to the Nation.
The Directors commended the Minister’s initiative and efforts to see that insecurity is a thing of the past in Nigeria.
Present during the presentation are the Permanent Secretary, Directors in the Ministry, representatives of the agencies and the delegation of Philips Consultant.
”Its Not Our Building” Senators Reject Ownership Of Leaky National Assembly Building
Senate President Ahmad Lawan has urged Nigerians to stop bashing the National Assembly management for the parliament’s leaky roof, even as it is being maintained that the building housing the National Assembly belong to the FCTA.
During Tuesday’s downpour, the roof of the White House, where the two chambers of the National Assembly are started leaking, resulting to the lobby being taken over by flood.
Many Nigerians and civic groups described the incident as a national embarrassment.
Reacting to the media reports on the incident, the Deputy Whip of the Senate, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, raised a point of order, saying the reports breached the privilege of the lawmakers.
He clarified that the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) was in charge of the maintenance of the complex and not the lawmakers against the belief of many Nigerians.
Abdullahi noted that the N37 billion earmarked for the renovation of the National Assembly complex in the 2020 budget was slashed to N9 billion in the revised one.
He said up till now, nothing has been done.
The Senate President said the roof leakage confirmed the position of the lawmakers that the building was due for renovation.
Lawan said: “The fact that there was a leakage to me is a clear testimony, confirmation and vindication of the position the national assembly took initially.
“Everyone knows that this place is overdue for rehabilitation. We went to see Mr President and he was gracious and he asked us to meet with FCTA, the owners of the building.
“Myself, the speaker, late chief of staff and minister of finance met to look for money for the rehabilitation of the national assembly.
“When the N37 billion was approved, it was not a National Assembly budget, it was an FCDA budget.
“If this place leaks, we are not holding our democracy with the respect it has. We expect the press to inform the people responsibly.
“This house is the house of Nigerians. It belongs to Nigerians and it deserves to be rehabilitated.”
Guest Flees As Hotel Uncovers Murdered Female Companion
The Kwara State Police Command has begun searching for a man who allegedly killed a lady in a hotel in Ilorin, the state capital, about three weeks ago.
The suspect, whom the police identified as Adegboye James of Okelowo Street, Ede, Osun State, was alleged to have murdered the lady whom he brought to the hotel on Adewole Housing Estate, Ilorin, on May 27, 2021.
The police, in a statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the address given by the suspect was fake and could not be traced.
He called on members of the public whose daughter or female relation was missing since May 28, 2021, to check the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department for possible identification of the corpse.
The statement read, “On May 28, 2021, around 7.30pm, we responded to a call from one Olalekan Anafi, the supervisor of Premium Diamond Hotel, in the Adewole area of Ilorin that on May 27, 2021, around 2pm, one Adegboye James, lodged at their hotel.
“The said Adegboye James went out and came back with a lady. The said Adegboye James later checked out of the hotel without the knowledge of any of the hotel staff.
“In the morning of the following day when nothing was heard from the room occupied by the said lodger, a spare key was used to open the room and the hotel was confronted by the dead body of the lady.
“Investigation into the incident is already at an advanced stage as ordered by the Commissioner of Police, Kwara State, CP Mohammed Bagega, to arrest the lodger whose name and address as reflected in the hotel’s logbook is fake.”
In another development, the Kwara State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps said its operatives are searching for a motorist who allegedly cut off the hand of a seven-year-old Alimanjiri student, Usman Abubakar, of Malam Aliu Adamu School, Patigi, in the Patigi Local Government Area of the state.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Babawale Afolabi, said the child was allegedly kidnapped together with his schoolmate by the unknown motorist, who promised to take them to where they would eat on Monday night.
Babawale said the suspect, who is now at large with the boy’s hand, later escaped into the bush.
He said the victim lost much blood and was treated at the Patigi General Hospital.
The PRO said the NSCDC had commenced investigation into the incident.
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