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What we expect of new Minister — Labour leaders

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NLC, TUC

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Fellow Press

Two labour leaders on Sunday said the incoming Minister of Labour needed to empathise with workers, especially at a critical time where the economy was faced with challenges affecting them.

The leaders spoke in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, ahead of President Bola Tinubu’s swearing-in of new ministers on Monday.

The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos Chapter, Mrs Funmi Sessi, expressed optimism in Mr Simon Lalong, assigned the portfolio of the Minister of Labour and Employment, to do well, given his experience.

Sessi said Lalong should use the experience he had garnered as a former governor of Plateau State to also deal with the issues of labour.

“The future is bright with labour and Lalong as the minister, all things being equal, if he will not change, and with the good industrial relationship that he maintained with the labour unions in his state.

“I hope he will extend it to the labour centres in Nigeria, including Nigeria Labour Congress, all workers, not only in the public sector, but private as well; both formal and informal.

” This is necessary so that we can have the working people in Nigeria partake in the same wealth that they create; it will be a commonwealth, and that is our hope, “ she said.

The labour leader said that the sector would need a minister with compassion, experience; one who was humane.

Sessi said, “Someone that will give all to ensure that he will create more ground for employment, productivity, high yield of productivity.”

Also, the Secretary, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Lagos State Council, Mr Aladetan Abiodun, said the new Minister for Labour would be facing an inherited tense industrial space due the fuel subsidy removal.

According to him, the removal has impacted negatively on all fixed income earners.

“I strongly believe that if this issue is not properly managed, it may snowball into full scale industrial crisis.

“It is precisely this reason that we want a minister who will hit the ground running.

“Also, we want the issue of the new minimum wage to be quickly settled; this is another area where we are going to need quick intervention.

“Furthermore, we hope under this new administration, the ministry of labour will wake up to some of its statutory responsibilities in the area of labour inspections.

“This includes bringing employers of labour who often breach their contract of agreement with employees to order, as well as ensuring that the laws of our land are respected, particularly by foreign companies who usually show utter disrespect to our labour laws, “ Aladetan said.

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Food inflation soars by 61 per cent in one year– NBS

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Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Nigerians are finding it more difficult to feed themselves, as food inflation rose to 40.66 per cent in May.

This was as the cost of food rose by 61 per cent from 25.25 per cent in June 2023 to 40.66 per cent in May 2024, highlighting a steady rise in the cost of living.

This is according to an analysis of the latest Consumer Price Index and Inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.

On Saturday, the NBS disclosed that headline inflation moved by 0.26 per cent to 33.95 per cent from 33.69 per cent recorded in April.

The report noted that the inflation rate climbed to a 28-year high since March 1996 on higher food and transport prices.

It said, “In May 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent relative to the April 2024 headline inflation rate which was 33.69 per cent.”

The statistics agency also reported major contributing items to headline inflation in May 2024 including food & non-alcoholic beverages (contributing 17.59 per cent), housing, water, and electricity, gas & other fuel (contributing 5.68 per cent), and clothing & footwear (contributing 2.60 per cent).

A breakdown of the data showed that the price of food commodities increased steadily from 25.25 per cent in June, to 26.98 per cent in July, 29.34 per cent, 30.64 per cent in August, 31.52 per cent in September, 31.52 per cent October, 32.84 per cent in November and 33.93 per cent as the end of December 2023.

The rate further increased to 35.41 per cent in January, 37.92 per cent in February, crossed the 40 per cent mark in March, 40.53 per cent in April and 40.66 per cent in May.

NBS said the rate rose to 40.66 per cent in May, compared to the 24.82 per cent reported in the same month last year — indicating an increase of 15.84 per cent points.

The bureau said semovita, oatflake, yam flour prepackage, garri, bean, etc (which are under bread and cereals class), Irish potatoes, yam, water yam, etc (under potatoes, yam and other tubers class), contributed to the year-on-year increase in the food inflation rate.

Other contributors are palm oil, vegetable oil, etc (under oil and fat), stockfish, mudfish, crayfish, etc (under fish class), beef head, chicken-live, pork head, and bush meat (under meat class).

“The food inflation rate in May 2024 was 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 (24.82 per cent).

“The average annual rate of Food inflation for the twelve months ending May 2024 over the previous twelve-month average was 34.06 per cent, which was 10.41 per cent points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in May 2023 (23.65 per cent),” the report said.

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Omokri tackles Peter Obi over his criticism of ‘new’ presidential jet for Tinubu

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Peter Obi

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, on Monday accused the 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, of lying over the reported purchase of a presidential jet for President Bola Tinubu.

Omokri said, contrary to Obi’s claim, the Nigerian government has no plans to buy a new private jet for Tinubu.

He clarified that the idea to change Tinubu’s presidential jet did not emanate from the presidency.

On Friday, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence asked the FG to purchase new aircraft for Tinubu and Shettima.

Reacting, Obi said: “It’s on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford basic necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need.”

However, Omokri faulted Obi’s comment, which he described as “another Gbajue lie.”

Posting on X, Omokri wrote: “The statement by Peter Obi condemning the Federal Government’s plan to buy new presidential jet for President Tinubu is another Gbajue lie from a man who has elevated lying to an art.

“The reason for this is because there is no such plan. It was the National Assembly that mooted the idea, as is their right. The Executive did not make such plans and has not budgeted any money for such a purpose.

“It is the same way he lied and blamed the Tinubu administration for spending N21 billion on the new residence of the Vice President. What he failed to tell his gullible supporters is that that project was initiated and funded by previous administrations, dating to when our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was in office. Please note that Peter Obi was then our card-carrying member, but he did not attack the project.

“Mr. Peter Obi counts on your gullibility and refusal to research what you read before believing him. That is why he tells such fibs.”

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