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New fuel hike: We’ll close down Nigeria without notice — NLC

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Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has sworn to shut the nation’s socio-economic activities without notice should the government increase the pump price of petrol with a cent of naira as blurted by different state governors.

NLC in a communique after its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting, said its leaders viewed the proposal by the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, for a 300 percent increase in the price of petrol as the height of provocation, arbitrariness, detachment, and insensitivity to the current economic realities in the country and the severe adversity that Nigerians, especially workers were going through.

The communique signed by President of NLC and Acting General Secretary, Ayuba Wabba and Ishmail Bello respectively, said: “NEC also noted that there is currently no negotiation with government over fuel price increase. The NEC recalled that the last meeting with Government in February 2021 was adjourned sine die. Since then, no other meeting has been called by the government. The NEC recalled and reiterated the decision it took on February 17, 2021, after the last meeting between labor and the Federal Government team on the fuel price increase.

“The NEC reiterated that it still stands solidly by its decision taken at its meeting which took place on 17th February 2021 to reject further increases in the price of refined petroleum products particularly the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); The NEC also re-echoed its decision that the only sustainable way out of the crisis of fuel importation and associated dislocations in the downstream petroleum sub-sector is for government to rehabilitate all four public refineries in Nigeria and build new ones;

“The NEC resolved that any decision to increase by even one cent the price of refined petroleum products especially PMS will attract an immediate withdrawal of services by Nigerian workers all over the country without any further notice; and NEC resolved to write officially to the Federal Government of Nigeria conveying the plight of Nigerian workers, the concerns of Congress and the resolutions of the NEC on the matter of fresh proposals for an increase in the pump price of fuel especially as informed by the stance of the Nigeria Governors Forum.”

On the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution, NLC has called on the National Assembly to retain Labour administration, National Minimum Wage, Pension, and Industrial Relations in the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution. According to the communique

“The NEC reviewed the preparation of Congress for appearance and presentation of workers’ demands at the Zonal Public Hearings on the Review of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The NEC re-echoed the resolve of Nigerian workers to steadfastly defend the retention of the core Labour issues of Labour administration, the National Minimum Wage, Pension and Industrial Relations in the Exclusive Legislative List of the Nigerian Constitution.

“The NEC also deliberated on how to robustly promote autonomy for local government, autonomy for the judiciary and autonomy for the state legislatures during its engagement at the Zonal hearings.” The NEC also stated that issues including those canvassed in the foregoing and others that promote good governance and inclusive national development and as already captured in a published Memorandum to be submitted by representatives of Congress at the Zonal Public Hearings to be strongly advocated for at the Zonal Public Hearings.”
It directed the full mobilization of workers at all the Zonal Public Hearings to lend weight to the demands and aspirations of Nigerian workers in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution

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ATTAH SEEKS SUPPORT FOR GOV. EMMANUEL’S SUCCESSION PLAN

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By Edet Ikotidem

A former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Arc ( Obong) Victor Attah has canvassed support for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s succession plan.

Obong Attah made the call in Uyo during an audience with members of the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum .

The ‘Eduek Ekpe’ who expressed interest in the Governor’s succession plan, expressed his concern about who becomes the next governor of Akwa Ibom State

“As a Governor, I could not have left the state the way i met it and the development of Akwa Ibom has been dear to my heart”, he said.

“Any person who wants to govern Akwa Ibom must tell the people what he wants to do and how he intends to go about it, he added”.

The former Governor called on Governor Emmanuel to dialogue with the people to guide against avoidable mistakes in the choice of a successor.

Obong Attah also noted that naming anyone now without the acceptance of the people may frustrate the process from being actualized.

He further stressed that the idea of a University of Technology in Akwa Ibom was to meet the technology needs of the state and nation at large for wealth creation and accelerated economic development.

“Any Science Park in the world is a centre for foreign exchange where millions of dollars are made through incubation of ideas and software production. So, the idea of a Science Park and the University of Technology should not be jettisoned “, he said.

In his remarks, , the former governor commended the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum for her initiatives and support for the government of Mr Udom Emmanuel and his succession plan

Reacting to the former Governor’s remarks, Chairman of the Forum, Elder Ofonimeh Isong appealed to Obong Attah not to relent in his support and assistance to Governor Emmanuel, especially in the choice of a successor.

He informed the former governor that the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum is in strategic partnership with relevant agencies to ensure the success of the completion agenda of His Excellency, the governor.

Those in the audience with Obong Attah were the Vice Chairman of the Forum and Publisher, Dailynews Newspaper, Prince. Emmanuel Ndon, Director, Contact and Mobilization, Mr. Victor Ukpong, Chairman Board of Trustees, Comrade Joseph Okon, Special Assistant to the State Governor on Project Monitoring, Comrade Ernest Akpan, Reverend Osendu Ahirika, Secretary Board of Trustees, Reverend Richard Peters.

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NDDC should be given necessary supports from stakeholders – President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all contributors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to remit all outstanding funds owed the Commission to enable it pursue its mandate of developing the Niger Delta region.

President Buhari gave the order in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while commissioning the ultra modern 1050-bed space hostel built by NDDC and donated to University of Uyo.

He stated: “I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the Commission, because the Management has shown that it can manage its affairs with prudence, transparency and accountability.”

According to figures released by NDDC, the Federal Government and the oil companies owe the Commission N1.9 trillion and $4billion (about N2.2 trillion), respectively, according to the NDDC Establishment Act 2000.

President Buhari stated that “the forensic audit, which was completed a few months ago, is achieving one of its core objectives, adding: “That objective is to rebuild NDDC into an agency that is well equipped and better placed to facilitate sustainable regional development.”

He said that NDDC “should be given all necessary support it deserves from stakeholders and commended the Commission’s management, led by its interim administrator, Dr. Efiong Akwa, for a job well done.

In his welcome address, Dr. Akwa assured that there is a new spirit in the NDDC “permeating the Commission’s affairs and how it approaches its mandate of sustainable regional development.”

He stated: “It is a spirit, the New NDDC spirit, inspired by President Muhammadu Buhari and fuelled by the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, which compels greater enthusiasm that we can deliver on our collective promise to the Niger Delta region and our people.”

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Rep. Emmanuel Ukpong-udo canvasses the support of the House to tackle a key problem in the Nigeria’s education sector

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated the Committees on Basic Education, and Science and Technology to address the issues of

falling standards of education in Government-owned schools to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and ensure the training and retraining of Teachers across the Federation.

This resolution followed a motion on the “Need for Continuous Training and Retraining of Teachers in Nigeria” moved by Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo (PDP, Akwa Ibom).

Presenting the motion in the House, the lawmaker noted that the Federal Ministry of Education is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of
minimum standards in Primary and Secondary schools across the Federation.

Hon. Ukpong-Udo expressed worries that the current standard of education in government-owned schools does not equip the pupils and students to compete effectively in the modern age of science and technology and to raise a creative generation of entrepreneurs that will be self-sufficient.

The lawmakers expressed grave concern that even when the curriculum is appropriately reviewed to promote STEM education, the teachers are not trained and sensitized to teach the same.

The motion further noted that there is a need to engage the Primary and Secondary School Teachers in continuous training and retraining to enhance their capacity and productivity to be in line with modern-day realities.

“This motion is seeking to improve the performance and management responsibilities and to also improve quality teaching and learning processes.

“The quality of any educational system depends to a great extent on the quality of teachers.

“Teachers are the most important component any of any educational system because they are the people to shape the behavior, thinking, and attitude of the pupils and students in the teaching and learning situation,” he said.

The Lawmaker insisted saying, “we all know that quality of teachers determines the quality of knowledge imparted to the students and the quality of learning outcomes.”

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