Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has stressed the need for the Federal Government to allocate more fund to the states in order to make them more responsible and responsive to the yearnings of the people.
Fayemi who expressed his displeasure on the present revenue sharing formula where the larger chunk is allocated to the Federal Government, leaving the federating states and local governments with low allocation, said approval of the new minimum wage by the Federal Government required that government make moves to increase states’ funding to enable them effectively take up the responsibility.
The Governor, who spoke on a Television/Radio network programme in Ado-Ekiti on Monday evening, however, assured workers that his colleagues in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum are committed to the payment of the new minimum wage as soon as the Federal Government releases the template.
He reiterated the need for government at all levels to diversify the economy and think of ways to generate more revenue to enable them effectively address the socio-economic challenges facing them.
“We have a bigger issue, which does not necessarily apply to workers, it’s about re-ordering the revenue allocation formula in the country, because you cannot continue to impose on states a tyranny of unfunded mandate. If you want us to take responsibility for certain things then it’s only fair that we are funded to take responsibility for them. So, right now, 52 percent of the Nigerian resources goes to the Federal Government; 26 percent to state governments; and 20 percent to local governments. We feel that this ought to be revisited and the allocation formula needs to be reviewed.
“The ability of the Federal Government and the federation account to also respond to this would depend largely on the capacity of the Nigerian state to generate more resources, so everybody has a role to play in baking the pie if we want the pie to provide the resources that would be available to all Nigerians particularly workers”. Governor Fayemi said.
On the issue of minimum wage, Fayemi said “Governors were part of the negotiations, there is no uncertainty around government’s commitment. It’s been signed into law, so, governors definitely would honour the law as it is. The issue that needs to be addressed fundamentally by workers and employers is one clear issue, is a minimum wage review also a general wage review?
“What do I mean by that? Minimum wage apply to anyone earning anything less than N30,000 now. It should not apply to people who are earning above that. However, because the increase is going to have an implication on those who already earn above N30,000, there necessarily ought to be some adjustment to make provision for that shift, that is where the sticky point is. From what I gathered, Federal Government that is supposed to provide the template for the implementation of the minimum wage review has offered a general increase of, I think, 5 percent to workers that may not fall within the minimum wage category but who might be affected by the increase that the junior workers would benefit from.
“ I have reassured the union leaders in Ekiti that once we get the template, difficult as it might be for us, we are committed to honouring the minimum wage review that we have signed up to at the Governors’ Forum and I can assure you that my colleagues in the governors’ forum are also committed to doing this”.
While assuring workers that his government would continue to ensure prompt payment of their salaries, the governor urged them to improve on their level of productivity to justify the huge resources government was expending on them
He further assured that his administration would fulfil its promise to pay all outstanding arrears owed by the immediate past administration within one year.
He said, “A labourer deserves his wage and that is why we’ve made it a duty to ensure that workers earn their salaries as at when due so that they can plan their lives, part of the problem that we met on ground when we came to office was that workers had not received their salaries in some cases for about ten months, so how do you plan your life if you don’t even know when your next salary is going to come, but that has become a thing of the past now.
“In the course of that period, we also said we would clear the outstanding arrears owed workers by the previous administration and we are on course to doing that. I gave a year of clearing arrears and we are working assiduously to ensure that we would clear the arrears We’ve made sure that workers earn their salaries every month since I came into office. But I don’t think this is extraordinary anyway, that is what it should be. I know Ekiti people are appreciative because this was a problem in the past, but really, if you work, you should be paid, it’s not something to praise the governor for frankly and I’m not being modest about it, I just think it’s a duty, it’s not a favour done to workers.
“What they need to do in response is to ensure that the level of productivity increases so that Ekiti people can also feel the impact of the improvement in the regular payment of their salaries, to whom much is given, as they say much is expected”. He added.
Abuja School Refutes Oath Of Secrecy Claim Over Death Of Student
The management of the Premiere Academy in Lugbe area of Abuja, on Sunday, faulted the claims by the Coalition of Gender Based Violence Responders that its students had sworn to an oath of secrecy on many issues, including the death of a 14-year-old SS1 student, Keren-Happuch Akpagher.
The institution also picked holes in the allegation that it was one of the schools engaged in sexual harassment, which culminated in Keren-Happuch’s Death
The acting Principal of the school, Chris Akinsowon, was responding to allegations by the leader of the coalition, Lemmy Ughegbe, during a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday and attended by Keren-Happuch’s mother, Vivien Akpagher.
Ughegbe had alleged that a preliminary report of the autopsy conducted on the deceased by the doctor appointed by the police, Dr Desmond Okonkwo of the Maitama General Hospital, revealed that she was raped.
The activist had challenged the school management to a media dialogue to discuss the alleged rape and death of Keren-Happuch and other cases of sexual molestation, which he claimed the organisation had the records of and which the school was allegedly covering up instead of handing paedophiles over to the police.
But Akinsowon said in the event that any form of sexual assault happened to the deceased in the school and leading to her death, the management would join hands with all relevant security agencies to prosecute such a person in line with the laws of the land.
He maintained that the autopsy result had yet to come out, stressing that it was part of the investigation the school insisted must be done, adding that Premiere Academy was earnestly awaiting the result.
“The autopsy result is not out yet. It is a part of the investigation process the school insists must be allowed to take its course. We earnestly await the result and plead that nothing should be said to pre-empt whatever the outcome may be,” he stated.
Speaking about the staff member of the school, who was allegedly sent on an indefinite suspension and later dismissed, Akinsowon said it was “based on careless talk with a student as part of our commitment to making the school safe for our students and earning the confidence of our parents.”
He described reports that the students had sworn to an oath of secrecy as very disturbing, stating, “How can secondary students take an oath of secrecy? This is nothing but blackmail and an attempt to divert the minds of the public from the truth
Come After Me If You Can, Bakare Dares Top FG Official
Serving Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, formerly called The Latter Rain Assembly Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has dared an unidentified official of the Federal Government to come after him based on his recent public pronouncements.
Speaking on Sunday during a sermon in his church, Bakare said: “I dare you to come after me since that is the usual style now. You might have done it to others; you are about to learn a lesson if you touch me.”
He added: “If you know what I have done in secret, bring it to the open. I dare you to come after me if you can. I worked with you; I worked for you; I supported you to get there (where you are). When I talk now, I now have a smelly mouth.
“I’m not interested in meeting you any longer; no more visits. Now, it is war, because Nigeria must be set free.”
Rather than work towards justice, he accused the Federal Government of using intimidation and brutality.
Bakare, who was running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, recalled how he backed the unnamed top official to his current position.
Addressing the official, Bakare added: “Have you forgotten that you vowed never to contest again. I said ‘not so’. I showed you how you can win the next election and you agreed to run and you won. I was not considering myself but concerned about how Nigeria can become great.
“Winning an election is a different thing; doing the right thing is another. No one must behave as if Nigeria is a personal property. Nigeria must be set free and any obstruction along the way must be removed; it must get out of the way.”
He told Nigerians to be prepared for baton of change, recalling how he pronounced the late Gen Sani Abacha’s days numbered during his fist rule.
“I don’t support any act of violence, taking up arms against the country and killing people. Those are in the realm of criminality and anybody doing that must be brought to book,” Bakare stated to a rousing round of prayers and declarations.
BREAKING: Buhari Departs To London For Medical Check, Summit
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will leave Abuja today for London to see his doctors and participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education 2021-2025.
This was contained in a statement by the president’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.
He is expected to be back by the second week of August 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari will today Monday July 26, 2021, travel to the United Kingdom to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.
“The Summit, which will be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, will bring together Heads of State and Government as well as stakeholders and youth leaders, and provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through exchange of best practices.
“It will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.
“Deliberations at the Summit will focus on: The Power of Education –A Conversation between Global Champions; Transforming Education for Girls; Financing for Impact and Recovery and; What Now? Priorities for Transforming Education in the Coming Five Years, among others.
“President Buhari will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
After the Summit, the President will spend a few days for an earlier scheduled medical check-up. He is due back by second week of August, 2021.
“The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.”
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