Connect with us


Subsidy Removal: NASU bemoans absence of palliatives



The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has bemoaned absence of palliatives more than two months after the removal petrol subsidy.

Mr Michael Adebola, Chairman, NASU FCT Council said this at the Quadrennial Conference/Election of the council on Monday in Abuja.

Adebola noted that the unending upward adjustment in the pump prices of petrol which have moved from the initial N540 to over N617 per litre.

According to him, we are not oblivious to the cries of our members in the FCT council on the high cost of transportation with a resultant effect on the cost of living.

“We demand that the government should work on policies that can alleviate the suffering of the masses through well-packaged palliatives.


“Also, they have to improved the salary structure, and our refineries should be refurbished and be put under good use,” he said.

On the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as a salary payment system, he noted that the platform was ineffective.

Adebola said that the payment platform has brought inconsistency and tears to workers and unions in tertiary institutions.

“The IPPIS which would have been a good system for union dues remittance is ineffective and full of fraudulent activities. There are lots of irregularities and short payments of union dues.

“A lot of branches in the FCT council are facing pending and unresolved issues with the IPPIS despite all the efforts to ensure corrections.


“We, therefore, appeal to the government to scrap IPPIS and replace it with a better system of unified payment.

“A lot of our members’ dues deductions are going to other unions’ accounts due to the mistakes of IPPIS,”he said. In his remarks,

Mr Hassan Makolo, National President of NASU commended the giant stride the out-gone exco recorded, cautioned state governments against reducing the number of work days.

Makolo said that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had prescribed five work days in a week and eight hours per day of work.

“It says any practice that is contrary to the specifications of the ILO is likely going to affect national productivity adversely.


“All we know is that workers are expected to work for five days a week and eight hours per day.

“That ought to be maintained. Now if we reduce the number of workdays, that is going to affect productivity negatively,” he said.

NASU president however faulted the issue of working from home.

He added that, there is no infrastructure to make that happen now, especially with low broadband penetration and epileptic power supply.

He also cautioned labour unions against accepting a reduction of days of work in a week, saying accepting the practice could lead to job loss soon.


“If the number of work days is reduced, it means that government could reduce the workforce by half.

“This is because if tasks that are executed in five days can be done in three days, it will mean that half of the workforce can do the job.

“So, the workers could become endangered species, ‘he said.

He urged the Federal Government to introduce palliatives that will ensure cheaper means of transportation to and from work rather than contemplate a reduction in the number of work days.

He added that what they expect is for government to provide palliatives that will make meaning to the people.


According to him, why can’t the government get buses that can take workers to their workplaces free of any charges to and back?

“So, the manpower that will be lost staying at home can translate that into productivity,”he add. On additional N10,000 to workers’ salaries which some state governments have begun to implement, Makolo said it was wrong.

“What does N10,000 do to help workers in the present circumstances? I do not like discussing states because the majority of the state governments are not even implementing N30,000 minimum wage as a national law.

“Some of them pay in per cent and not that they will offset the balance at a later date. They are owing the workers in perpetuity,”he added.

Also, Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim Director General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), urged labour leaders to stand on the cusp of a remarkable juncture.


He said that is where collaboration and dialogue hold the potential to shape the positive trajectory of industrial relations. Ibrahim said that RMRDC was collaborating with labour unions to execute the regular promotion of staff, welfare packages, local and international training for staff of all cadres among others.

At the end of the delegates’ conference, Hassan Gorroh was elected FCT council while Bola Ajayi was returned secretary.

Others include Zakari Tso, who was elected treasurer and Bosun Olajubu that emerged as an executive member of the FCT council.


Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

Continue Reading


WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

Continue Reading