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TUC gives FG 7-day ultimatum to reverse petrol, electricity prices



images 70 1 TUC gives FG 7-day ultimatum to reverse petrol, electricity prices

Organised Labour under the umbrella of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), yesterday, gave the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to reverse the hike in prices of electricity, petrol and all other social services.

This is even as it mandated the government to provide adequate and quality healthcare and education for all to save the poor and the vulnerable.

In a letter to President Muhammad Buhari on Monday, September 14, titled: “We cannot bear the burden any longer, issuance of seven days ultimatum,” TUC warned that failure to comply would leave the labour centre with no other option than to commence an indefinite industrial action and national protest from Wednesday, September 23.

The letter jointly signed by President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye and Secretary General, Musa Lawal Ozigi, said the decision was taken at the just concluded meeting of its organs, adding that the demands were made in good faith, and to save the dying masses and the vulnerable in the society.

“In the event of not showing empathy for this class of people by adhering to above demands, we shall, together with our civil societies and allies, sympathetic to the suffering masses of our people commence an indefinite industrial action and national protest from Wednesday 23rd September 2020.”

The TUC said it had observed the gradual and steady annihilation of Nigeria and Nigerians in the light of government’s actions for the umpteenth time.

It said some of the issues that have become worrisome to the working class, their families and the masses included the sudden increase in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petroleum, without any definitive and concrete efforts to make the nation’s refineries functional, which it stated has a devastating multiplier effect on the working people and their families.

The congress also listed the increase in electricity tariff, stating it was done without proper consultation and consideration of the effect of COVID-19, commensurate electricity supply, non-provision of prepaid meters and other biting economic realities.

Others include non-implementation of the negotiated national minimum wage by most of the states and federal governments’ inability to create and sustain salary date and calendar to ensure transparency, corruption in government agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health over failure to explain and lack of transparency on how funds received in the fight against COVID-19 was spent among others.

The labour centre said there had been loss of jobs across industries, high cost of living and businesses not moving in the light of the effects of COVID-19. It also lamented the palliative that never got to those that needed them.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the Federal Government to listen to the voice of the people and discontinue the hike in petroleum price and new electricity tariff.

NANS Zone C Coordinator, Suleiman Sarki, told newsmen in Maiduguri during a road work to protest against fuel hike and new electricity tariff, said all the increment would lead to hikes in the process of goods and services.

The union leader said it was inhuman for the government to suddenly introduce fuel hike and new power tariff at a period Nigerians were struggling with the economic impact of COVID-19.

“The increase in petrol price could further heighten insecurity in the nation and further explosion of crisis.
“We call on the government to stop pushing Nigerians to the wall. This is too daring,” he said.

In his reaction, National Publicity Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Emmah Isong, also decried the increase, describing it as a policy somersault.

He advised leaders and those in government to be consistent in policy and have integrity especially after elections.

Isong, who doubles as the Chairman of Cross River State Anti-Tax Agency, said millions of Nigerians were begging for food and crying for help and urged the Federal Government to fulfil its campaign promises rather than impoverishing the populace the more by removing fuel subsidy.

The founder and president of Christian Central Chapel International (CCCI), Calabar, wondered why the same leaders, who protested against fuel subsidy removal under President Goodluck Jonathan should now turn around to say no going back on subsidy removal.

“I can tell you that we were deceived and hoodwinked into believing that if Jonathan goes, heaven will come, Paradise will come. All of us believed this. Today, see where we are. We are all guilty. So, we should come and confess our sins. We should apologies to Goodluck Jonathan.”

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The Emir of Zazzau Alhaji Shehu Idris has died l Fact Print



Alhaji Shehu Idris,

The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, has passed away this morning, August 20, in Abuja.

Earlier this year, the King celebrated his 45th year on the throne of Zazzau.

He was the 18th king of the Zazzau kingdom from the Fulani tribe, who died at the age of 84.

Sources in the kingdom said he had been rushed to hospital on Friday, where he succumbed to his injuries.

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How FG Delegation To Silicon Valley Benefited Nigerian Startups – Osinbajo



images 13 4 How FG Delegation To Silicon Valley Benefited Nigerian Startups - Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has outlined how is trip to the Silicon Valley in the United States has benefitted Nigerian start-ups, some of whom have gotten funds to grow their business.
Osinbajo disclosed this milestone when he spoke on the Fire Side Chat with Nick Clegg, Facebook VP of Policy and Communication, a former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
He explained that there have been active partnerships between Nigerian start-ups and some US tech firms, assuring Nigerians that more investment is expected to pour in.
“Both tours were extremely successful. At the Silicon Valley, Nigerian start-ups got a chance to pitch their products to tech sector investors, that was very good, in fact before we left Silicon Valley, one of our venture platforms was able to sign a deal of about $10m with the Nigerian US Council, even before we left,” he said
“Since then we have seen tremendous activities post-trip. We were also at the Facebook campus, which was an absolute delight, we enjoyed being around there, seeing the excitement and a great deal of energy that was encouraging for many start ups seeing at close quarters what a comparable giant was doing, and I think this was very helpful.”
He explained that the entertainment sector has also benefitted from his trip to Hollywood. “Asides from that, we think that the visit helped in showing our seriousness of the tech sector and through the entertainment industry also, we did quite a few meetings also with the entertainment industry.”
“In fact, as of 2018/2019, we had gotten about $377million in investments in the tech sector. This is excellent even though it is still scratching the surface if one considers the size of our economy and the size of the country, but there were very significant gains and I am very happy to have been able to do it.”
“Of course, two visits or one visit doesn’t ever answer the various challenges, but I think we started the interactions that have been very useful and we will continue to engage.”
Speaking on how government will fix the challenges and manage the peculiarities of Nigeria’s tech and creative industry, he said, “With regulation, we are dealing with uncharted territory, because quite a few of what we are seeing are entirely new, and I must say that the regulatory authorities have done quite a decent work, trying to grapple with some of the newness of the things that they are seeing.
“For example, we worked on the payment services licenses, these are licenses for fintech companies that are doing some kind of banking type jobs but are not deposit banks, we had to create some room for them, and what has happened is that a collaborative effort of government, and the tech and entertainment sector worked on this and set up a technology and creativity advisory group, and these are young innovators, entrepreneurs etc. who worked with us on the industrial and competitiveness council to craft some of these regulations and to think through some of these problems.”
“Those licenses were particularly important because it carved out space that was previously dominated entirely by deposit money banks. Of course you know that they are the least willing to have their lunch taken away from them.”
“There have been other ways that the government is trying to fix the issues such as access to credit, which we have worked very hard to ensure that there is some access to credit for innovators, we’ve spoken a bit about foreign investments in Nigeria, but more importantly, what the Bank of Industry is doing is creating a tech fund, the CBN has also established a technology fund and we are working with the AfDB which has a $500m fund which we are at the final stage of trying to bring that into existence.”
“So there is quite a bit going on in order to ensure that there is access to funding while we are improving the environment for business as well as the environment for tech companies to operate. I think that one thing that is certain is the change in the technology space which is so rapid that you know, regulators are practically chasing after the innovation, to see how best to regulate without stifling these companies.”
Speaking on the amended National Broadcasting Commission code, he said, “The NBC code you mentioned is one where there is activity around and we are trying to take a second look at it, there are those who say it is anti-competitive and there are those who claim that it is pro competition.”
“It is one which I think we should take a second look at. Basically what it says is that if you have a licensed product, for TV or film, you are expected to share it with other platforms.”
“I understand the argument of those who say it is a violation of copyrights and intellectual properties in other ways which is a very strong point and which is why I think it deserves to be given a second look and see where there are ways of moderating that to be more acceptable, so as not to stifle the works of very hardworking creative people who are creating content in film, music etc.”

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Osinbajo , Facebook ‘ s Vice President To Hold Informal Chat Today



images 2020 09 18T102448.124 Osinbajo , Facebook ' s Vice President To Hold Informal Chat Today

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Facebook’s Vice President, Policy and Communication, Nick Clegg, are set to hold a virtual informal chat on Facebook on Friday.
Facebook, in a statement issued on Thursday, said the chat would be held as part of its activities during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The 75th session of the U.N. General Assembly commenced on Tuesday with a moment of silence against the unprecedented backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It will close on Sept. 22.
Facebook said that the event, which would be moderated by Omowale David-Ashiru, Vice President, Global Operations at Andela, would explore the growth of digital economy in Nigeria.
According to the statement, the session will also highlight Facebook’s role in economic development across Sub-Saharan Africa.
“As the Chair of Person of Nigeria’s Economic Sustainability Committee, Vice President Osinbajo will highlight the importance of digital technologies, innovation hubs and private equity funding in ensuring economic growth and development in the country,” it said.
The session would also provide Osinbajo a platform to share further insight into Nigeria’s Post-COVID Economic Recovery Plan (ERP), Facebook said.
The company stated that the 45-minute virtual event will be streamed on Facebook Live.

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