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Subsidy removal: NLC expresses worry over wage award

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has expressed worry over Federal Government’s promises to dispense wage award to workers since the removal of petrol subsidy in the country.

Mr Joe Ajaero, the NLC President said this in a statement while reacting to the President Bola Tinubu’s speech on Tuesday in Abuja.

The statement was titled, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Speech not the Silver Bullet that Nigerians expected”.

Ajaero said that the president’s statement on working with Organised Labour to review the national minimum wage was out of sync with what had played out since the removal of petrol subsidy.

“In all the meetings scheduled by the government, Organised Labour has been forced to negotiate with empty chairs on the Federal Government’s side.

” As Federal Government has not matched its public promises with firm commitment to negotiate in good faith with labour.

“As a matter of fact, the sub-committee on wage award has not been inaugurated and has not met.

“Furthermore, organised labour is disturbed that while President Tinubu in his speech lavishly praised the Private Sector for quickly dispensing wage award to their employees, the Federal Government has failed to do the same for public workers in its employment.

“This is a clear case of failing woefully to live up to the standards it has set for others to meet,” he said.

He said that it was an open knowledge that the review of the national minimum wage was a matter of the law that was expected to happen in 2024.

“How would Nigerian workers cope with the current reality of hyper inflation and suffering unleashed by the hasty removal of the so-called petrol subsidy till 2024 when the national minimum wage would be reviewed? This is incredible.”

According to Ajaero, the claims of interventions by the Federal Government through palliatives, loans and conditional grants to poor Nigerians, big manufacturing concems and small businesses and provision of CNG buses remain what they are – promises!

According to the NLC president, Nigerians are used to such promises which have never produced any verifiable and meaningful changes in the lives of citizens.

He also noted that the entire speech by Mr President was completely silent on the issue of the repair of the national refineries.

He called on the Federal Government to unmask those behind the looting of Nigeria’s commonwealth under the guise of petrol subsidy.

“What Nigerians expected from Mr President is a firm commitment to bring these economic saboteurs to justice and recover what they have stolen,”he said.

He, therefore, assured Nigerians that NLC remained committed to matching discussions with government with the current realities of sufferings that Nigerians were going through.

“We remain committed to continue with our struggle,” he said.

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I Still Get Attacked By People – Yakubu Aiyegbeni Reveals

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In a recent interview, former Nigerian football star Yakubu Aiyegbeni has revealed that he continues to receive messages and criticisms from fans, years after his infamous miss during the 2010 FIFA World Cup match against South Korea.

The moment, etched into football history, occurred during Nigeria’s crucial group stage game against South Korea. With the score tied at 2-2 and a spot in the knockout stages on the line, Aiyegbeni found himself with what seemed like an open goal opportunity. However, to the shock of fans worldwide, he missed the chance, leaving Nigeria unable to secure the much-needed victory.

Despite this moment happening over a decade ago, Aiyegbeni expressed his surprise at the ongoing messages he receives about the miss. “I still get messages from people, different messages,” he stated in the interview. “It’s surprising how that moment still sticks with people, even after all these years.”

The striker, who had a successful career playing for clubs like Everton and Portsmouth in the English Premier League, admitted that the miss was a tough moment in his career. “Of course, it was a big moment, and I wish it had gone differently. But in football, you have highs and lows,” he remarked.

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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