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New Minimum Wage Will Cost FG N580 Billion Annually

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Strike

The federal government will cough out N580 billion annually if it hopes to meet up with the new minimum wage.

This much was revealedr by the Minister  of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

Speaking on Thursday, October 3rd, Ngige said that the demand of labour over the implementation of the new minimum wage would cost the Federal Government N580 billion annually.

He said that such adjustment, in line with labour’s demand, was not sustainable as the government would have to lay off some workers to be able to meet their demands. The minister said government cannot afford that kind of money now, adding that the focus of President Buhari’s government is on workers on grade level 1 step 1 and level 6 step 1 where the impact of the wage would be felt by workers.

The Minister spoke in Abuja when the leadership of United Labour Congress (ULC) led by its President, Joe Ajeiro, paid him a courtesy at the ministry.

Urging workers to show more understanding to the plight of the federal government, Ngige said the current economic realities, may make the new wage bill not feasible. He said that the government was avoiding a situation where it would have to lay off workers, adding that this would add to the burden of the citizenry.

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Ngige appealed to the labour to accept the consequential adjustment from levels 7 to 17, adding that the federal government had only three months left to implement the new minimum wage.

His words: “There is no problem with disagreement in the labour system, when can sometimes disagree to later agree, on the national minimum wage, it will translate to an additional N580billion if government agrees to the consequential adjustment labour is proposing.

“Government cannot afford that kind of money now, besides the administration of President Buhari is more interested in the lowest cadre of workers which are those on grade level 1 step 1 and level 6 step 1, these are the ones who the N30,000 will have greater impact on.

“Government has done their own homework and brought out what they can use to defend this consequential adjustment. Grade 1 to 6 does not have any problem, but 7 to 14 band and 15 to 17 band this is where we have the problem. Once you finish a minimum wage and go into consequential adjustment you are trying to reach a collective bargaining agreement and once you are trying to reach and once you are the principle of ability to pay comes in.

“So if you push government to go and accede to an increment which its resources cannot accommodate, you are indirectly asking them to retrench workers so that the few that are remaining will get this big big money.

“We don’t want that, from 2015 the president has made it clear that he is not out to inflict pains on Nigerians and that he does not want to create unemployment but even at that our increase in population is galloping and our resources is not consequentialy increasing to meet up that is why we have a lot of unemployed youths on the street today.

“We need to arrive at an agreement as soon as possible so that we can use the 2019 budget allocation to deframe this consequential adjustment because it will be bad if we are unable to do it and we finish this financial year by December because the budget circle is going to return to January/December 2020 so we we have three months only before this recurrent funds as well are swept back into government treasury, that is the law.”

The organised labour has started mobilising their members to embark on strike on the 16th of this month

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ICPC Declares Obono-Obla Wanted

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Okoi Obono-Obla

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared the former chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, wanted.

The agency, The Cable reported on Tuesday, said that it took the decision because of Obono-Obla’s “repeated failure to appear before it to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.”

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Court Grants FG Request For Interim Forfeiture Of Maina’s 23 Properties

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Maina

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted an order of interim forfeiture of 23  properties belonging to Abdulrasheed Maina.

Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo gave the order on Tuesday, October 22, after hearing an exparte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Maina was the Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team.

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The court also made an order directing the publication of the Interim Order of Forfeiture in any national daily newspaper inviting any person(s) or body(ies) who may have interest in the assets and properties listed in the schedule to show cause, within 14 days of such publication, why a Final Order of forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria of the said assets and properties should not be made.

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The exparte motion was moved by M.S Abubakar.

It was brought pursuant to section 17(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.

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Court Orders Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Ikoyi Properties

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Trouble

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties of Bukola Saraki, a former Senate President of Nigeria.

The properties are located at 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government, Lagos state.

Nnaemeka Omewa,  counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), had approached the court, seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties.

According to Omewa, they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.

Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC included “An order of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.

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According to the commission, while serving as governor of Kwara state, Saraki allegedly withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid the same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.

Delivering ruling on the application, Mohammed Liman, the presiding judge, ordered interim forfeiture of the two properties.

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He also instructed that the EFCC should publish the order in a national newspaper within 14 days, for anyone with interest in the properties to show cause, why they should not be finally forfeited to the federal government.

Recall that the federal government had arraigned Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) while he was Senate President.

He was accused of failing to declare his assets, an allegation he denied, before the supreme court subsequently dismissed the false assets declaration trial.

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