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NLC insists nationwide strike, protest to go ahead from September 28

The NLC has set Monday, September 28, 2020, as the date for it’s proposed strike.

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted on going ahead with its earlier planned strike and protest, with effect from September 28, 2020, following the failure of the Federal Government to reverse the increases in electricity tariff and fuel price.

According to a monitored media report, this disclosure was made by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, after the National Executive Council meeting of the labour organization in Abuja.

While restating that the proposed strike action by the organized labour would still go ahead next week, he also disclosed that the decision was unanimously taken by the chairmen of the 36 states and FCT chapters of the NLC.

This is coming as the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), extended its 7 day strike notice to September 28, to tally with NLC’s deadline for a united labour action against the increase in electricity tariff and petrol pump price.

While faulting the timing of the increase, the NEC at a meeting held at Labour House Abuja, directed the councils at 36 NLC states and Abuja to intensify mobilization of workers and other Nigerians.

Ayuba Wabba, advised the federal government to, in the interest of industrial peace and social order, listen to cries of workers and other suffering Nigerians and rescind the increases, warning that failure to meet the demands would make the planned strike and mass protest inevitable.

He said, “The National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress comprising members of the National Administrative Council, President and General Secretary of members of the affiliate unions and our state council chairpersons and secretaries of the 36 states and FCT met today (yesterday) and resolved as follows: NEC resolved to reject in its entirety the issue of hike in electricity tariffs by almost 100% as well as the fuel price increase in the name of full deregulation.’’

‘’This decision is premised on the fact that these twin decisions alongside other decisions of government including the increase of VAT by 7.5%, numerous charges being charged by commercial banks on depositors without any explanations will further impoverish Nigerian workers and citizens, including their families.

“Therefore, this increase, coming in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, is not only ill-timed, but it is also counterproductive. NEC also observed that the privatization of the electricity sub-sector seven years down the line has not yielded any positive result. Whereas, the entire privatization process, the entire sector was sold at about N400 billion, we are also surprised that government within the last four years injected N1.5 trillion over and above the amount that accrued from this important asset.’’

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Lagos to totally close Third Mainland Bridge again ahead of full reopening

Lagos State Government has announced a 24hour closure of the Third Mainland Bridge from midnight Friday, February 26.

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The Lagos State Government has announced that it will shut down the Third Mainland Bridge for 24 hours from midnight Friday, February 26 to midnight Saturday, February 27.

The expected total closure of the bridge is to enable the contractors to move the equipment used for its rehabilitation and maintenance ahead of the full reopening of both the Oworonshoki and Adeniji bound lanes open to traffic.

The disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

Oladeinde, therefore, advised motorists approaching the Third Mainland bridge from Ogudu, Alapere and Gbagada to use Ikorodu Road, Jibowu and Yaba, as alternative routes, while Iyana Oworoshoki-bound traffic from Lagos-Island, Iddo, Oyingbo, Adekunle and Yaba are to use Herbert Macaulay Way, Jibowu and Ikorodu Road as alternative routes.

The Commissioner assured that traffic management personnel would be deployed along the affected routes to minimize the impact of the shutdown and address any traffic impediments during the closure.

He was also full of commendation for Lagosians for their cooperation during the prolonged repair works of the bridge and assured that the bridge is now safe for use by everybody.

What you should know

  • The Federal Government had on July 24, 2020, announced the partial shutdown of the Third Mainland Bridge for a period of 6 months for another round of rehabilitation works.
  • This was extended by an extra one month due to disruption caused by the #EndSARS protests last year, when the re-opening date moved to February 15, 2021.
  • The Federal Government later announced that the bridge, which was to reopen on February 15 will no longer be opened as work was expected to commence on the casting of the last expansion joint on the bridge before it will be finally reopened.
  • The 11.8km bridge, which was commissioned in 1990 by the then Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, is the longest of the 3 bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
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FG urged to sell-off “unproductive” Ajaokuta Steel Plant

The FG has been urged to sell the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant located in Kogi State.

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The Federal Government has been urged to sell the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State. The FG was advised to sell the defunct facility to the private sector, which would be more capable to turn the massive structural investment into a profitable venture.

The call was made by the Chairman and Managing Director of Energy Services Limited, Chief Sunny Onuesoke who spoke to newsmen in Warri after visiting the plant last week.

He lamented that no Nigerian would feel good about the country after visiting the $8bn structural investment which has never“produced a single bar of steel since reaching 98% completion as far back as 1994.”

On his visit to the plant, he reported that it was a very emotional experience for him.

“I went there, I cried and asked what exactly is the problem?” he said.

He reflected on the numbers associated with the moribund Ajaokuta steel Plant from its flag off in 1979 to date.

  • 3.9bn was budgeted for the resuscitation of the facility in 2016
  • 4.27bn was budgeted for the same purpose in 2017

Onuesoke said that successive governments have plunged about $8bn into the complex since 1979. He lamented that the FG has been wasting the huge sum of N2 billion for payment of staff salaries every year for doing nothing.

“Why would anyone continue to pump money into an unproductive enterprise? Why do government keep promoting, paying staff salaries, pensioning, and retiring them?

“Why does government spend an appropriation budget on the maintenance of a plant that is not working? How do you maintain a non-commission plant?” Onuesoke queried.

The Ajaokuta steel plant has been in a moribund state for four decades with no concrete plans on the ground for its full resuscitation.

What you should know 

  • It was earlier reported on the 3 key reasons why the Ajaokuta Steel Plant has remained moribund for more than 4 decades. You can find them here
  • The Ajaokuta steel company was constructed by the Soviet Union in 1979 under a cooperation agreement with Nigeria, the complex reached 98% completion by 1994.
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SEC denies knowledge of Oando shareholder’s court case

SEC has denied ever being served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied the claim by one of Oando Plc’s shareholders, Engr Patrick Ajudua, that he won a court case against the capital market apex regulator.

SEC disclosed in a statement it issued and seen by Themoneymetrics on Wednesday that there was never a time it was served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court.

It stated, “The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) has been drawn to several publications in the media, where it is reported that a shareholder of OandoPlc, purportedly obtained a judgment from the Federal Capital Territory High Court against the Commission.

“The Commission wishes to inform the general public that it was never at any time served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court. The Commission will consequently take all necessary steps to verify and set aside the purported decision of the said Court.”

What you should know

  • On Tuesday, Ajudua, reportedly won a legal suit, which was filed at the High Court of the FCT against SEC, according to Our source.
  • He filed that the directive of the SEC suspending Oando’s Annual General Meeting is in breach of his right to freedom of association as guaranteed under Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 9, 10 & 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
  • In the said hearing presided over by Honorable Justice O. A Musa, all cases filed were granted in his favor.
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