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President Tinubu declares additional ₦‎25,000 pay

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Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Fellow Press

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that for the next six months, an average low-grade worker shall receive an additional N25,000 per month.

The president said this in his nationwide broadcast as part of the programme of events marking Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary celebration.

“Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation. For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional N25,000 per month,” he announced, while outlining measures being taken to relieve the stress on families and households after the removal of fuel subsidy and unification of exchange rates.

President Tinubu said his government was doing all it could to ease the load, stating, “We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilise the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policy to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.”

The president said THAT commencing this month, the social safety net was being extended through the expansion of cash transfer programmes to an additional 15 million vulnerable households.

He added that the government had set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas to ensure better grassroots development, stressing, “States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.”

President Tinubu said the government had also opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses across the country, adding that “These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.

New CNG conversion kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process. We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the country to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs. This is a groundbreaking moment where, as a country, we embrace more efficient means to power our economy. In making this change, we also make history.”

The president said his administration was providing investment funding for enterprises with great potential to boost employment and urban incomes.

He added that the government was equally “increasing investment in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.”

President Tinubu, who restated the reasons behind the ongoing reforms in the country, appealed for more understanding from citizens.

He said, “I said bold reforms were necessary to place our nation on the path of prosperity and growth. On that occasion, I announced the end of the fuel subsidy.

“I am attuned to the hardships that have come. I have a heart that feels and eyes that see. I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment. Those who sought to perpetuate the fuel subsidy and broken foreign exchange policies are people who would build their family mansion in the middle of a swamp. I am different. I am not a man to erect our national home on a foundation of mud. To endure, our home must be constructed on safe and pleasant ground.

Reforms may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the cost of reaching a future Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few; a Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever fading past.

“There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago. I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.”

On his pledge of a thorough housecleaning of the den of malfeasance the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had become, President Tinubu said, “That housecleaning is well underway. A new leadership for the Central Bank has been constituted.”

He added that his special investigator would soon present his findings on past lapses and how to prevent similar reoccurrences, stressing, “Henceforth, monetary policy shall be for the benefit of all and not the exclusive province of the powerful and wealthy.”

The president, who said his administration shall always accord the highest priority to the safety of the people, stated that inter-service collaboration and intelligence sharing had been enhanced.

He said service chiefs had been tasked with the vital responsibility of rebuilding the capacities of our security services.

Tinubu also commended security forces for their gallantry.

The president congratulated the National Assembly for its role in the quick take-off of his administration through the performance of its constitutional duties of confirmation and oversight and the judiciary as a pillar of democracy and fairness.

He also thanked members of civil society organisations and labour unions for their dedication to Nigeria’s democracy, saying, “We may not always agree, but I value your advice and recommendations. You are my brothers and sisters and you have my due respect.”

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Breaking: Rotten tomatoes, pepper dangerous — Doctor warns Nigerians

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Last Updated on June 15, 2024 by Fellow Press

A medical doctor, identified simply as Wales, has warned Nigerians to stay away from rotten tomatoes and pepper, known as ‘eesa’ or ‘baaje’ tomatoes.

In a clip that went viral on social media, Wales stated that the continuous consumption of rotten tomatoes and/or pepper posed several health risks, and could lead to cancers, due to the presence of harmful microorganisms such as fungi, known to produce mycotoxins.

Displaying rotten tomatoes on a plate, the doctor stressed that the tough economic situation should not be a reason for people to eat ‘poison’.

He said, “Fellow Nigerians, good morning. I know that, because of the economy, you are saving money on so many things. But please, if you see this thing, (rotten tomatoes and peppers) in the market, run away.

“Just because we are in a ‘rogbodiyan’ (tough) economy does not mean you should start eating poison, because this type of tomato can cause cancer.

“Fresh tomatoes are vegetables rich in Vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants. Rotten tomatoes, however, aren’t fresh in any way but are soft pieces of piled tomatoes sold at cheaper prices to people who cannot afford the fresher options.

“And, because they are broken, this type of tomatoes are easily accessible to flies, which deposit germs and eggs inside them. But, that’s not the worst part. As these tomatoes break, microorganisms invade them, causing them to rot. Among these microorganisms are fungi known to produce something known as mycotoxins. Meanwhile, mycotoxins have been linked to cancers and induction of immune deficiency in humans. And, because tomatoes contain lots of fluid, these mycotoxins spread faster to all parts of the tomatoes.”

The medical doctor also stated that boiling and washing the tomatoes would not rid them of the mycotoxins, which not only cause cancer but can also damage the kidney and liver.

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Minimum Wage: ₦‎250,000 demand not sacrosanct – TUC

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Last Updated on June 15, 2024 by Fellow Press

Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Festus Osifo said yesterday that there was nothing sacrosanct about the N250,000, adding that labour was receptive to adjustments.

There was no immediate response from the federal government last night on the latest stance of organised labour, although the Senate yesterday pledged to grant accelerated consideration and passage of the new minimum wage bill from President Bola Tinubu.

Only last Wednesday, the acting President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Prince Adewale Adeyanju, said labour’s demand “remains N250,000, and we have not been given any compelling reasons to change this position, which we consider a great concession by Nigerian workers during the tripartite negotiation process.”

Adeyanju was responding to the Democracy Day broadcast of President Bola Tinubu in which he said an agreement had been reached on the new national minimum wage.

Osifo himself in his first reaction to the FG and OPS agreement on N62,000 as minimum wage penultimate Friday had said “for us (labour), we felt that with the current economic hardship and the difficulty in the land, the sum of N250,000 should be what will be okay as the minimum wage.

But speaking yesterday on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, The Morning Brief, he said there was “no figure that is sacrosanct; there is no figure that is cast in stone that both parties will be fixated on it.”

He added: “What we said is that for us, when we give figures, there is always a room to meander; there is always a room for us to do some adjustment here and there.

“One of the reasons that we went on industrial action the last time was because when it got to N60,000, they told us that a kobo could not even join the N60,000; that they could not even add one naira to it.

“So that was one of the reasons that led to that industrial action beyond the fact that there were also delays.”

President Tinubu is expected to send an executive bill to the National Assembly on the new minimum wage for legislative action.

The TUC President said that they are not going to pre-empt the President, but they are making all efforts to justify why Tinubu should tilt towards the figure presented by the labour instead of the one by the organised private sector and the government.

He said that if the President sends a figure that is not favourable to the labour to the National Assembly, they will still approach the lawmakers and push them to do much more.

Osifo vowed that the work of the labour leaders will not end until the Minimum Wage Act 2024 becomes law. He said it is premature to predict what labour will do if what is passed is not acceptable to them at the end of the day.

The FG and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) had on Friday, May 31 reached an agreement to pay N62,000 to their least paid worker; an increase of N2,000 on the N60,000 rejected two weeks ago by labour.

The 36 states, which were represented on the Tripartite Committee on the minimum wage, said on the same day that they could not afford to pay even N60,000 while the NLC and the TUC disagreed with government and the OPS.

They said the minimum they would accept was N250,000, which is N244,000 less than the N494,000 they initially demanded.

The Tripartite Committee has already submitted its report and recommendation to the President, who is expected to take a decision on the final figure to be sent by way of an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for consideration.

The TUC President said while labour was not disposed to pre-empting the President on his decision, the unions were keen on ensuring that Tinubu tilts toward the figure presented by labour instead of the N62,000 by government and OPS.

He said should the President decide on a figure labour finds unfavourable, it will take its struggle to the lawmakers to convince them for an increase.

He said it was premature to predict labour’s reaction if the action of the executive and the legislature turns out to be unfavourable.

Tinubu, at a state dinner to mark Democracy Day on Wednesday had declared that his planned minimum wage is “what Nigerians can afford, what you can afford and what I can afford.”

He added: “Cut your coat according to your size, if you have size at all.”

Apart from the state governments which have expressed their inability to pay even the N60,000 which labour had rejected prior to the June 3 and 4 strike, signals from the local governments also suggest that they cannot pay N62,000.

National President of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Aminu Muazu-Maifata, said on Thursday that the LGs could not pay that amount.

Muazu-Maifata said some local governments have not even been paying their workers the ₦30,000 approved as minimum wage in 2019.

He said an affordable minimum wage should be set and not something unsustainable.

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