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Court removes civil service in FCC, disengaged staff suit



The National Industrial Court on Tuesday removed the name of Civil Service of the Federation from a suit against the Federal Character Commission (FCC), by its seven disengaged staff suit.

Justice Edith Agbakoba in the ruling stated that the civil service as the fourth defendant in the suit was not a necessary party.

The judge also ruled that the other three defendants, comprising of the commission itself and its Executive Chairman and Dr. Mubeeba Dankaka, can proceed with the adjudication of the matter without the civil service.

The court in addition submitted that though the fourth defendant is a juristic entity that can sue and be sued, that however, in the extant suit, there is no case against it.

“The fourth defendant application for its name to be struck out from this suit is granted and the first defendant’s objection to the application is dismissed.

” The fourth defendant’s name is hereby struck out from the suit and ruling ie entered accordingly.

” The matter is adjourned until Oct. 31 and Nov.1, for hearing”, Agbakoba ruled.

From facts, the claimants who alleged that they were employed by the first defendant, FCC in 2020 and their employment terminated unlawfully dragged the defendants to court praying for their termination to be set aside.

The fourth defendant however had objected being a party in the suit and applied for its name to be removed from the suit.

The claimant’s counsel, R.N Odumegwu in response had aligned for the name to be struck out, admitting that the name was erroneously included in the suit.

The first defendant, FCC in its submission objected to the fourth defendant’s application, stating that civil service was a necessary party in the suit.

FCC argued that the commission usually receives waiver for employment from civil service and therefore that made it a necessary party that ought to be in the suit.

The court in its ruling aligned with the first defendant and claimants’ submission and struck out the fourth defendant’s name from the suit.

News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the claimants in the suit are Uzuakpundu Anita, Adebiyi Babatunde, Unogwu Elizabeth.

Others are Rahman Faosiyat, Idoko Victor, Ahmed Halimat and Awoyo Adeola.

The claimants alleged that their employment on March 30,2020, they were enrolled on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System ( IPPIS) in June 2020 and they received their first salary in July 2020.

In addition they averred that due to the Federal Government directive of ‘ stay at home’ for civil servants on Grade level 1-12, due to covid-19 pandemic, they remained at home when public offices reopened in Aug.2020.

They added that they were not paid for Aug.2020 and by the time they demanded to know why they did not get their salaries, they were not given justifiable reasons.

According to the claimants, they only got to know about their disengagement through a notice of disengagement published in Daily Trust newspaper on March 11,2021.

They claimed every effort for them to be reinstated proved abortive, hence their instituting the suit praying for some reliefs.

Part of the reliefs sought by the claimants are; an order of court that their employment is valid and subsisting

The claimants are also seeking for an order of court for payment of their salary aggregate.

In addition, the claimants are praying for order of court directing the defendants to reinstate them to their various offices.

The defendants in response to the claimants allegation averred that the claimants’ appointment were terminated because the acting chairman of the commission when the claimants were employed did not get the mandatory waiver and approval from Civil Service Commission before they were employed.

The defendants therefore reiterated that the claimants employment did not follow due process.


We’ll reshape hospitality industry, tourism in Abia – Otti



Alex Otti

Gov. Alex Otti of Abia has expressed readiness to reshape the hospitality industry and tourism sector through creative strategies to boost the state’s economy.

Otti said this on Thursday during a meeting with members of Nigeria Hotel Association and Hotel Proprietors Association in Umuahia.

The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Caleb Ajagba, said that he was desirous to develop and strengthen the hospitality industry as well as tourism sector to meet global standards.

He said that the rebuilding agenda of the government was focused on achievement of even distribution of socioeconomic development and added that the hotel owners had a vital role to play in this regard.

“We are here to kick start what would be an enduring legacy in terms of reshaping the perception of stakeholders in the hospitality industry.

“Also looking at creative ways to move the hospitality industry, and one of the take aways we are looking at, is building partnership with stakeholders.

“Government cannot do everything, however, government will create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, but it is the responsibility of entrepreneurs to drive the process to boost wealth creation,” he said.

Otti said that the government would create channels that would enhance the visibility of Abia’s hospitality industry on the digital space, and further drive the hospitality businesses to deliver world class services.

The Commissioner for Digital Economy, Dr Matthew Ekwuruibe, urged stakeholders in the hospitality industry to align with government’s rebuilding agenda.

Ekwuruibe said that plans were underway to build a website for hotels listing and booking , as well as connecting the hotels to Google Map, and added that the website would contain information about tourism centres in Abia.

He said that the use of digital technology to reinvent the hospitality industry had a lot of benefits such as increased visibility, enhanced ease of doing business, among others.

Also, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr Okey Kanu, said that the hospitality industry played a central role in improving the economy of any state.

Kanu said that “the hospitality industry is central to any government that is interested in growing its economy.

“The relationship between government and the hotel owners is a relationship that needs to grow into a partnership to transform the hospitality industry,”
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Kazie Uko, described the meeting as a deliberate effort by the government to transform the hospitality industry in the state.

Uko said that the engagement between the government and stakeholders had created a viable opportunity to address the issues inhibiting the growth of the industry in the state.

Furthermore, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism and Entertainment, Mr Martins Justice, described the hospitality industry as the bedrock of the tourism sector.

Justice said that the government was working to build a hospitality industry that would meet the demands of the 21st Century as well as develop the tourism sector.

Earlier, the National Treasurer of Nigeria Hotel Association, Mr Charles Ezeala, called on the state government to create an enabling environment for hotel businesses to thrive.

Ezeala said that the government had a great role to play in assisting hotel businesses to thrive, for the hospitality industry to be transformed.

Also, Mr Nnanna Ngwakwe, a member of Hotel Proprietors Association, Aba branch, said that insecurity, poor power supply and bad roads were the bane of hotel businesses in Abia and added that this was affecting the growth of the hospitality industry in the state.

Ngwakwe called for the urgent intervention of the state government in addressing the challenges threatening the advancement of the industry in Abia.

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Gov Sule charges real sector conference to proffer practical solutions to economy



Abdullahi Sule

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has charged participants at the Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) 1st International Real Sector Conference to proffer practical solutions to rejuvenate the economy.

He gave the charge on the first day of the two days conference on real sector productivity held at the University in Keffi Local Government Area of the state.

The theme of the conference is “Rejuvenating the sector productivity in Nigeria”.

Sule challenged participants to get real and proffer workable and practical solutions that would rejuvenate the real sector in Nigeria for optimal productivity which in turn would impact on the economy of the country positively.

“The question we should be asking ourselves here is that why are we not getting it right in the real sector in Nigeria?

“So let us proffer practical solutions so that we don’t just end up having an event and having all the communique and all that and then they end up in our offices. Let us ask ourselves what is that is possible and how do we contribute,” he said.

He said their recommendations should also be useful in shaping a better future for the real sector in Nigeria so that future Nigerians could build on that.

“So we must sit down and deliberate on what exactly is our problems in this sector. Are we ready to make sacrifices? And we must make sacrifices because that is the only way we can move forward.

“I want to assure you that in Nigeria we can change the narratives but it will take all of you here to convince the rest,” he said.

Prof. Suleiman Bala-Mohammed, Vice Chancellor, NSUK, commended the university’s Department of Business Administration for organizing the conference and urged the department to sustain it as it would be a platform for cross fertilisation of ideas and wider conversations on local and international issues.

He also urged participants to brainstorm and come up with policy recommendations on how to rejuvenate the real sector in Nigeria.

Mr John Mamman, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Education, however, told NAN that he expected the outcome of the conference would change the narratives because the real sector, according to him, is the driver of the economy.

“The manufacturing, construction, engineering and others are the real movers of the economy. Once we get it right from the drivers of the economy, other sectors will also be impacted positively,” he said.

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