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WE’LL PROTECT INTERESTS OF NIGERIAN WORKERS IN CONSTITUTION REVIEW, NASS ASSURES

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Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege
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Ahead of consideration of the report of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Constitution Review, the National Assembly has assured Nigerian workers that their interests would be protected.

This assurance was given by the Co-Chairmen, Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Rt. Hon. Idris Wase when the adhoc panel hosted a delegation of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja, Tuesday.

Addressing the delegation led by the NLC President, Com. Ayuba Wabba, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution and Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Omo-Agege assured that committee members would not impose their personal views on Nigerians at the ongoing Constitution Amendment exercise.

According to him, committee members would  be guided strictly by best legislative practices, highest ethical standards, integrity, open mindedness, and patriotism in carrying out their assignments.

Omo-Agege said the desire of every Nigerian is that the ongoing process produces positive transformations to the country, adding that all hands should be on deck to enable the 9th National Assembly bequeath to the country a constitution that speaks to every citizen’s yearnings and aspirations.

His words: “Some have been making the case that there should be total devolution of anything labour not limited to just the core labour issues which is also inclusive of minimum wage.

“For some of us, our position is very clear on the issue of the minimum wage. That to me is a no-go area not out of fear but out of the case you have laid as to why that must remain in the  Exclusive Legislative List.

“Anything provided for in the Concurrent Legislative List by way of information, it is just on paper and what do I mean by that? The only way a state can make any law in respect to any of these issues is only if that area has not been covered by the Federal Government and that is the doctrine of covering the field. Once the field has been covered, no state legislature can make a law in that respect.

“To the extent it is not even covered, if they were to make any law, that law can only be in addition to it and not inconsistent with the extant federal law”.

While noting that there was no cause for alarm, he pointed out that once an area has been covered in the Exclusive List in the Constitution, no state legislature can legislate on it.

He said due to importance attached to labour, the committee thought it wise to interact with labour leaders before the final vote on the floor of both legislative chambers at the end of February.

“At the end of the day, we are looking forward to coming up with about 69 to 70 bills from several areas that require intervention. This is just one of several. But because of the importance that we attach to labour, and also given the relationship, we thought at all times we needed to carry you along,” he said.

On his part, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Idris Wase emphasised that the National Assembly is wholeheartedly committed to upholding all tenets of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions that Nigeria is signatory to.

“The committee would not do anything that would go against internationally acceptable labour practices,” he said.

Other Principal Officers who joined the Co-Chairmen to receive the labour leaders include the Senate Leader, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya; his Deputy, Senator Robert Ajayi; Deputy Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi among others.

Earlier, NLC President, Com. Ayuba Wabba, urged the National Assembly not to transfer core labour mandates from the Exclusive to Concurrent Legislative List.

Wabba went down memory lane about the introduction of the minimum wage, noting that it would be difficult to come to the rescue of the private sector if states were allowed to fix their wages?

The labour leader said for the sake of our national interest, security and industrial harmony, Labour should not be devolved to states, adding that the reason for Nigeria’s relative industrial growth and development into investors haven are largely attributed to the willingness of the country to subject itself to international labour standards, norms and practices.

He said: “It is thoroughly harrowing to even imagine the chaotic scenario for businesses and investors to deal with 37 different set of labour laws across the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. There is certainly no deadlier death knell for the Nigerian economy and social fabrics than the suggestion and or recommendation to transfer Labour Matters from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List. It is simply what it is — an Invitation to an unprecedented industrial anarchy of unimaginable proportions.

“We demand that the recommendations of the Joint Committee to transfer all labour matters apart from the National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List be withdrawn and should be shot down if it is ever presented for debate in the chambers of the National Assembly”.

On the delegation of the NLC President are the General Secretary, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Com. Musa Lawal; NLC Deputy Presidents, Com. Joe Ajaero, Com. Muhammed Idris, Com. Najeem Yasim, Com. Amaechi Asugwuini; Vice President NLC, Com. Salamatu Aliu among others.

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Let’s move on – Ningi Tells Colleagues On Resumption From Suspension

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Senator Abdul Ningi ( PDP Bauchi Central ), on resumption from suspension , told fellow Senators on Tuesday at plenary that ” It’s time to move on ” , just as the Senate President , Godswill Akpabio , said ” bygone should be bygone .

Senator Ningi made the ‘ time to move on ‘ assertion while expressing his appreciation to the Senate for recalling him from suspension after spending 75 out of 90 days slammed on him on March 12, 2024 at the committee of the whole .

Ningi who expressed his appreciation through Order 42 of the Senate standing rules , said he was in Turkey when he had of his being recalled from suspension.

He said : Mr President , Distinguished colleagues , I rise with profound humility to commend the Senate , its President , Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Senate leadership and the minority caucus for recalling me from suspension .

” I was in Turkey when the news got to me last week and I’m very much appreciative of the gesture .

” I’m happy to be back at home because National Assembly is like home to me , having served as House leader , Deputy Senate Leader in the past and now as one pf the Distinguished serving senators .

” I also thank my State Governor , Senator Bala Mohammed , the people of Bauchi State and other Nigerians who reached out to me in one way or the other during the period that has now been put behind “.

In his response , the President of the Senate , Senator Godswill Akpabio , on behalf of the Senate , said bygone should be bygone .

” Distinguished Senator Abdul Ningi , you are a very resourceful person needed in the 10th Senate , electorates from Bauchi Central Senatorial District voted you for .

” You are welcome and let bygone be bygone

The Senate had on Tuesday last week on the strength of motion sponsored by the minority leader , Senator Abba Moro on behalf of minority caucus , recalled Senator Ningi from the three months suspension .

Recall that Senator Ningi was suspended by the Senate at the committee of the whole on 2024 budget padding allegation leveled against the Senate during interview he had with the BBC Hausa service.

Apparently elated to be back in the Senate , Senator Ningi was among the first set of Senators and House of Representatives members to arrive the National Assembly for plenary on Tuesday .

Senator Ningi who along with some few other Senators like Suleiman Kawu ( NNPP Kano South) , Aminu Waziri Tambuwal ( PDP Sokoto South) etc , came into the National Assembly through the Villa Gate , arrived exactly at 10: 40am , 20minutes to 11:00am fixed for commencement of plenary which even started at about 12:10 pm .

However as a result of his suspension , Senator Ningi lost his Chairmanship position of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population , which was allocated to Senator Mustapha Musa ( APC Yobe East ) ,two days after the now lifted suspension .

 

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Commissioner of Police Dies At Force Headquarters

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mr. Abubakar Muhammad Guri was reported to have slumped and passed away on Monday at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

According to sources, DCP Muhammad collapsed shortly after entering his office at the Louis Edet House, without displaying any prior signs of illness.

Eyewitnesses recounted that the late police chief, dressed in his uniform, collapsed on his seat within his office premises. Swift action was taken as fellow officers rushed him to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

Sadly, despite all efforts to revive him, DCP Muhammad was pronounced dead upon arrival at the medical facility.

An unnamed source familiar with the situation shared, “Some officers rushed him to the hospital and even before reaching there, he had already passed away.”

Despite the gravity of the incident, official statements from police authorities are yet to be issued regarding the untimely demise of DCP Muhammad.

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INEC Extends Voter Registration In Edo, Ondo

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Following a review meeting held with stakeholders, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), said it has extended voters’ registration for Edo and Ondo States respectively.

Registration was earlier slated to end on the 5th of June, 2024 in the two states.

However, a statement by the commission said following appeals by stakeholders, the date has been extended from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th, June 2024, to allow more eligible persons to register.

The commission, similarly, extended the duration of the exercise from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily.

Furthermore, it said the number of centres has been increased beyond 397 wards, and the two states’ offices in Benin City and Akure to include all the 36 Local Government offices of the commission.

“More machines will also be deployed to areas identified to have peculiar needs such as difficult terrain or communal issues,” the statement partly said.

Like the ward registration centres, INEC explained that the detailed information on the names and location addresses of the LGA offices, have also been uploaded on its websites and social media platforms for the guidance of registration in the two states.

Meanwhile, the commission said the exercise is progressing in the two states.

It said, “As of Monday, 3rd June 2024, eight days after the commencement of the CVR, a cumulative of 120, 1458 new voters have registered. Of this figure, 55, 861 (46.4%) are male, while 120, 458 (53.6%) are female,”

It added that the majority of the 82, 003 registered voters, representing 68.8 per cent, are youth between the ages of 18-34 years.

In terms of occupation, 43, 419 or 36.8 per cent are students, while 812, 0.67 per cent, are persons with disability.

It, however, noted that the figures were preliminary, adding that the final figures will be published on a state basis and for all categories of registration at the end of the exercise, and after data clean-up, using Automated Biometric Identified System (ABIS).

 

 

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