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Relocation Of CBN: There’ll Be Consequences If Tinubu Doesn’t Reverse – Ndume

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Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by Fellow Press

Ali Ndume represents Borno South Senatorial District and is Chief Whip in the 10th Senate

Ndume & Seun Okin

On the relocation of some agencies of the FG to Abuja and the apprehension of the Northern elite

Ndume: It’s not just about our Northern colleagues, this is a consensus because we only have one Federal Capital and that is Abuja. All these “Lagos boys_ that are thinking that Lagos is Nigeria are just misinforming or advising the President wrongly.

The Regulators of the financial institutions are supposed to be or are in Abuja. You want them to move because they say Lagos is the commercial capital. These are one of the mistakes and I am sure Mr President will reverse it because it doesn’t work. You can’t have two capitals or is the CBN Governor going to be operating from Lagos or the headquarters of the CBN is in Lagos?

Do you now say majority of our oil is extracted from the South South, you take NNPC to South South or is it because Nigeria’s agricultural base is more in the North, you take the Ministry of Agriculture to anywhere in the North. It doesn’t work that way and that is one of the problems that is cropping up but I am very sure and confident that Mr President will look at this because he is a Nationalist and not just a Lagos man. Some of these people, I repeat, some of these people think Lagos is Nigeria. Lagos is not Nigeria, Lagos is not the headquarters of Nigeria, the headquarters of Nigeria is in Abuja.

Seun Okin: …but the CBN is saying some departments are only moving to Lagos for operational purposes

Ndume: Which operational purposes? Why was the headquarters moved from Lagos to Abuja, is it not because of the same congestion?

Seun Okin: …only some units and departments are moving…

Ndume: If you are talking about proximity and space, why not you take them to Nasarawa, Kogi or Kaduna just nearby so that you can decongest the place and I even don’t see any issue of congestion, because there is just going to be cost because they will also be running from Lagos to Abuja everytime spending more money and even exposing the workers to unnecessary risks. This is a decision that is not well-thought out and I think the President will do something about it, I am confident of that. If that does not happen, of course this is democracy, we know what to do.

Seun Okin: ..and what will that be?

Ndume: That will be when the President refuses to reverse it

Seun Okin: What will be the reaction?

Ndume: The reaction right now is don’t try to bring in the case of tribalism into it. I am not a Hausa or Fulani man but I am a Northerner and I am a Nigerian first. And we say that since the headquarters of Nigeria was moved from Lagos because of congestion and inefficiency to Abuja where it is more Central and more of no man’s land because the Gwaris and Gbagyis are the only people there. We have enough space there, CBN can rent any office or even build from scratch to increase efficiency but moving some departments to Lagos is not the best of ideas at all or even moving any agency for that matter.

Seun Okin: Is there any political undertone or ulterior motive ..?

Ndume: I don’t want to believe there is, because I know the President that much, just that those political cartels that I told you, are in the corridors of power and trying to misinform the President.

The President will take action because he is a man that listens and corrects anything.

Some of them (political cartels) think they know better than everybody but they don’t know anything.

When you don’t know Nigeria, you only know Lagos then you start doing things as if Nigeria is Lagos.

Besides, they are not doing any favour to Mr President because this could have political consequences.

Seun Okin: Really?

Ndume: Yes, I am telling you this and those guys who are just sitting in their offices trying to hang onto Mr President will not be there to amend the political mistakes or even to correct it because they only know their offices and they only know that they have brains. It’s politics.. Was it not politics that brought them to that office in the first place? If Tinubu had not won the election as the President, will the CBN Governor be where he is today?

Who brought Mr President to that office? Was it votes from Lagos that brought him to that office? No way, Lagos is in Nigeria and we will not accept this wrong decision.

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Nigeria marks 25 years of democracy with special parade

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Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

As part of activities to mark the 2024 Democracy Day, the Guards Brigade Nigerian Army on Wednesday led the Nigerian Armed Forces and Nigeria Police in a special parade.

Nigeria is also celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy.

The theme for the Democracy Day Celebration is “25 Years of Enduring Democracy: Prospects for the Future”.

The parade was mounted by the personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Police who displayed a colourful parade.

President Bola Tinubu, who is the reviewing officer for the parade mounted the special military parade vehicle with his Aide de Camp to inspect the parade at about 10.15 am.

Afterward, the troops began the match past, first to salute the dignitaries and seek permission to commence the quick match past.

This was followed by the silent drill display by the Guards Brigade, mass bang and cultural troupes display and other important activities

President Tinubu and his wife, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu arrived the venue at exactly at 10.00 am heralding the commencement of the programme.

The President of the Senate and Speaker, House of Representatives, Godswill Akpabio and Tajudeen Abbas as well as the Chief Justice of Nigerian and Secretary to the Government of the Federation arrived earlier.

Also present were Ministers, state governors, lawmakers and security chiefs.

Earlier in a nationwide broadcast, President Tinubu praised the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola and other heroes of democracy, including General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Pa Alfred Rewane, among others.

In his Democracy Day broadcast on Wednesday, the President also celebrated other heroes including Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Commodore Dan Suleiman, Chief Arthur Nwankwo, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief Frank Kokori, and Chief Bola Ige, and other eminent Nigerians who made great sacrifices for the restoration of democracy in the country.

The President urged Nigerians to beware of elements who might want to undermine the current democratic dispensation.

He acknowledged the economic hardships in the country and expressed his commitment to supporting the citizens.

He said, “On this day, 31 years ago, we entered our rites of passage to becoming a true and enduring democratic society.

“Going through this passage was hard and dangerous. During the fateful six years that followed, we fought and struggled for our natural rights as human beings put on this earth by the divine hand of our Creator.

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Minumum Wage: Govs should resign if they can’t pay, says Labour

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Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Fellow Press

Organised Labour on Saturday tackled the state governors, accusing them of acting in bad faith towards the new minimum wage negotiations ongoing in the country.

Recall that the governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum rejected the proposed N60,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

In a statement issued on Friday by the Director of Media and Public Affairs for NGF, Halimah Ahmed, the governors said the proposed minimum wage was too high and not sustainable.

The governors said if the N60,000 minimum wage is adopted, many states would allocate their entire Federal Account Allocation Committee funds to salaries, leaving no resources for development projects.

However reacting on Saturday, the Organised Labour faulted the NGF’s position, saying every part of the new minimum wage agreement should be implemented and any of the state governors who can’t pay it should resign.

According to Punch, the Deputy National President of the Trade Union Congress, Tommy Etim, said, “There is no minimum wage. Every segment of it should be implemented. For the governors, we have said it very clearly. If you cannot pay minimum wage, please resign because you were voted for governance not for only infrastructure.”

“If you build the entire infrastructure and the people are not living to use it, who will use it? When they were campaigning did they tell us that? They didn’t tell us that. They make use of the poor to get to the top and when they get there, they start thinking outside the box. All the money they spent in electioneering campaigns, if they applied that to build infrastructure, to develop the revenue generation that would have solved some socio-economic challenges in their domain,” Etim said.

Describing the NGF statement as a recipe for industrial unrest, he said, “In this same country, the governors said that N30,000 was too much for governors to pay but it is in the same country that a governor emerged with over N80bn. What an irony! We cannot jump processes. We will also look at it together. Labour will be meeting. We are giving Mr President the benefit of the doubt to work the talk. The end will justify the means.”

Also reacting in a statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Benson Upah, the Nigerian Labour Congress said, “We do believe the Governors have acted in bad faith. It is unheard of for such a statement to be issued to the world in the middle of an on-going negotiation. It is certainly in bad taste.

“As for the veracity of their claim, nothing can be further from the truth as FAAC allocations have since moved from N700bn to N1.2tn, making the governments extremely rich at the expense of the people.

“All that the governors need to do to be able to pay a reasonable national minimum wage (not even the N60,000) is cut on the high cost of governance, minimise corruption as well as prioritise the welfare of workers.”

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