City Voice Newspaper - Lagos News, Nigeria News and world news Fri, 18 Sep 2020 19:25:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Imo Governor signs law empowering him to detain anyone for as long as he wants Fri, 18 Sep 2020 19:25:23 +0000 Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, has signed into law the Imo State Administration Of Criminal bill No 2 of 2020 (ISACJL, 2020), which empowers him to arrest and detain any resident of the state for as long as he wishes.

In the documents obtained by IGBERE TV, any person detained on the orders of Uzodinma can only be released when he grants a license to the said individual.

It also abolished all forms of preliminary inquiry or preliminary investigation into a criminal charge by a magistrate or any court in the state and replaced them with preparation of proof of evidence.

“Chapter 38 (section 484 to 485) deals with detention during governor’s pleasure.

“Section 484 of the ISACJL, 2020 provides that where any person is ordered to be detained during the governor’s pleasure, he shall notwithstanding anything in the ISACJL, 2020 or contained in any other written law liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the governor may direct and whilst so detained shall be in proper custody.

“Section 485(1) of ISACJL, 2020 enacts that a person detained during the governor’s pleasure may at any time be discharged by the governor on license which said license may be in such form and in such conditions as the governor may direct under section 485(2).

“Finally, in section 485(3) of the ISACJL, 2020 a license may at any time be revoked or varied by the governor and where license has been revoked, the person to whom the person the license relates shall proceed to such place as the governor may direct and if he fails to do so, may be arrested without warrant and taken to such place.”

Speaking with journalists, a policy analyst, Akwarandu Izuchukwu, said, “The law for me is draconian and sets a bad precedence. It also contradicts the constitution of the Federal Republic.

“There is suspicion also that the law is targeted at vocal opposition voices and activists in the state who have been tormented in several ways since the inception of Uzodinma administration.

“That very S.484 was smuggled into that law. It wasn’t in the original draft. Ouster clause provisions are not only anarchronistic but undemocratic. The government should send it back to the House of Assembly for amendment of that provision.”

Yiaga Africa to deploy Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology for Edo election Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:30:25 +0000 To ensure credibility of Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State, Yiaga Africa, through the Watching The Vote citizens movement, said it would deploy its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology for the election.

The PVT is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technologies in providing timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting, and it independently verifies the official governorship results as announced by the INEC.

In a statement jointly signed by Dr. Aisha Abdullahi and Samson Itodo, Chairman and Executive Director of Yiaga Africa election observation mission for Edo state respectively, Yiaga Africa noted that PVTs are not opinion polls, and as such, its observers do not ask voters for whom they cast their ballot, but will rely solely on official results from polling units.

It however disclosed that it would deploy 500 stationary observers to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 25 mobile observers in all 18 LGAs as well as 18 collation center observers to each of the LGA collation centres.

“This tested and proven election observation methodology has been deployed in over 50 countries worldwide, including Nigeria – most recently by Yiaga Africa in the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections where it detected fraud and manipulation of results collation and declined to verify the official results declared by INEC.

“The observers will observe the conduct of the process and provide systematic, accurate, and timely information on the election day process.

“Specifically, Yiaga Africa will provide accurate information on the quality of the election day process and ascertain if the official results announced by INEC reflects the total votes cast.

“Since PVT is based on official results from a representative random sample of polling units, Yiaga Africa will estimate the state-wide results for the governorship election within a narrow range based on well-established statistical principles.

“If INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated range, then the public, political parties, and candidates should have confidence that the official results reflect the ballots cast at polling units; however, if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling units’ results, Yiaga Africa will expose it.

“The PVT is a component of Yiaga Africa’s comprehensive election observation methodology spanning the electoral cycle.

“ln assessing whether the 2020 Edo governorship satisfies the electoral integrity test, Yiaga Africa will consider a range of issues such as shortcomings in the pre-election period, the quality of election day processes, and the scale and scope of critical incidents.

“On election day, Yiaga Africa will receive 4,500 text messages containing approximately 56,000 individual pieces of information about the 2020 Edo governorship election.

“These messages will be reviewed and analyzed to ensure the information is complete, authentic, and accurate before dissemination.

“On Saturday night, Yiaga Africa will issue its estimated projections based on its preliminary data. On Sunday, September 20, 2020, at HomeVille Plus Hotel, Benin, Yiaga Africa, will share its preliminary WTV findings on the conduct of setup, accreditation, voting, and counting.

“Immediately after INEC announces the official results for the governorship election, Yiaga Africa will hold its press conference and issue its statement on the election result,” the statement said.

Osinbajo, Sanwo-Olu Commission Eko MSME Fashion Hub in Lagos Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:23:42 +0000 Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday commissioned the Eko Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Fashion Hub-1 in Lagos.

The MSME Fashion Hub-1, which is a shared facility in Lagos State under the National MSME Clinic Scheme is situated around Alade Market, off popular Allen Avenue in Ikeja Local Government Area of the State.

It is expected to serve 380 Small and Medium Enterprises daily.

Speaking during the official commissioning of Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1 in Ikeja, Osinbajo and Sanwo-Olu said government at federal and state levels remain committed to promoting and developing small businesses, especially in the areas of skill acquisition.

Osinbajo who joined the commissioning ceremony virtually from Abuja, reiterated the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of MSME during and post COVID-19.

The Vice President who promised to provide two additional MSME Fashion hubs to serve Lagos Central and Lagos East senatorial districts as requested by Governor Sanwo-Olu, said the fashion industry is going to be one of Nigeria’s greatest sources of revenue, bigger than oil in the nearest future.

“MSMEs are the engine for Nigeria’s economy because when they thrive, the country thrives and when they struggle, the country struggles. This is why the Federal Government is committed to creating a conductive environment for MSME to do exceedingly well,” he said.

Osinbajo also charged other state governments and the Organised Private Sector to emulate initiatives that would engender the development of MSME across the country.

Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State is committed to ensuring that micro, small and medium enterprises in the State have the necessary leverage for the generation of lasting wealth, noting that they have an indispensable role to play in the growth and sustainability of Lagos State economy and any other economy.

He also acknowledged the contribution of the Organised Private Sector, especially Access Bank led by Herbert Wigwe, who have partnered both Office of the Vice President and Lagos State, as well as other various Federal Government agencies that have collaborated to make the National MSMEs clinics a success.

He said: “The success of MSMEs in Lagos State translates to the success of small businesses across the entire sub-Saharan of Africa and Africa as a whole.

“This shared facility that we are commissioning today and we are handing over to the community today is certainly a step in the right direction. It is a win-win situation for everybody as it shows our progressive dedication to the eradication of poverty and the economic emancipation of our people.

“The destiny of several Lagosians is about to positively change because of this facility. This is the beginning of many victories over unemployment and poverty that we are passing on to our citizens.

“This fully equipped shared facility is a demonstration of our APC-led government’s people-driven agenda. Our ultimate goal is to make life better for our people. We have selfless service as a rare privilege as well as an opportunity to leave a legacy of prosperity for our teeming population.”

Speaking on his determination to ensure that people of Lagos Central and Lagos East senatorial districts also enjoyed MSME in their senatorial districts, Governor Sanwo-Olu appealed to the Vice President to work with Lagos State to replicate the Shared Facility Scheme in the senatorial districts.

He said: “This is just the first phase of the Shared Facility Scheme. Leaving here today, we much charge ourselves and say we have unveil one in Lagos West, we need to take this same thing to Lagos Central and Lagos East. And so Mr. Vice President, I am challenging you and myself that within the next six to nine months, we need to replicate this in Obalende in Lagos Central and replicate it in Somolu, which will cover Lagos East. When we do this, indeed Lagosians would be happier for both of us.

“We must resiliently ensure that this is replicated in other parts of Lagos State. Apart from building the Made in Lagos brand, we are set to optimally harness the economic growth and opportunities that are inherent in vibrant MSMEs.”

Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, said the shared facility would provide a conducive environment for the SME space.

Katagum, who said that the initiative was one of the key take aways of the MSME clinic chaired by the Vice President, said shared facilities were effective tools that could address infrastructure challenges which had hindered the growth of SMEs.

She also commended the Lagos State Government for the laudable initiative, particularly at this time when support for SMEs was critical amid the pandemic.

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande said the Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1, which was the first phase of the shared MSME Fashion facility, was equipped with state-of-the-art machinery such as industrial button-hole machines.

She added that the facility would also enhance productivity of quality apparel capable of competing favourably globally.

Wigwe, who acknowledged the outstanding growth of the Nigerian fashion industry, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to grow the nation’s fashion industry.

“We will continue to partner with the fashion industry, because we believe it would boost local growth of SMEs in that space,” he said.

Rotimi Bello: The Impact of Virtual Learning during COVID19 and Beyond Fri, 18 Sep 2020 16:35:07 +0000 By Rotimi Bello

COVID19 has opened another vista in the annals of education history in the global arena. The threats and frenzy associated with the coronavirus pandemic have compelled schools globally to embrace Zoom online application to reach out to the learners since physical contact has been restraint to prevent the spread of the novel virus that defy all known medications.

Zoom app is the rave of the moment among all the cloud-based video communications. It can reach out to a large audience, depending on the license subscription of the host. It allows the users to set up virtual video and audio for conferencing, meetings, online teaching, thesis defense, church services, funerals, live chats, webinar, oral interview, marketing and proposal presentations, and defense by companies through screen sharing with others and even recording of the live proceeding of events simultaneously.

It is not only beneficial to the education sector as a host of other sectors and institutions benefit from this cloud-based technology established by an America base Chinese man, Eric Yuan, on the 21st of April 2011. It has been there all along unnoticed with few patronages until the escalation of the COVID19 pandemic which stunts global economic growth and development.

This unprecedented global lockdown webified the educational system through a web interface. This is to say the virtual life audio-visual teaching has come to stay, the absence of a lecturer, boss, head of government, Managing Director, and other heads of the organization is not an excuse for a regular meeting not to take place or be postponed indefinitely. Wherever one may be in the world, a meeting schedule invitation could be sent via zoom to the participants to hook up and commence the meetings, classes, or presentation at the scheduled time.

This is the 21st century and indeed 4G and 5G revolution, an era of endless possibilities. A generation loaded with a lot of surprises, awesome jaw-dropping inventions. Electric cars are no longer conjecture but a reality of our modern existence. Other possibilities of this era postulated by researchers are breakthrough in customized fetal DNA test; gene therapy to eliminate disease at conception stage; digital devices enabled not by moving or a touch screen but by mere thinking and imagination and finally growing new organs in a lab and then transplant them into humans. All these sound incredible to a fickle mind, but they are within the realm of possibility. High-level researches are going in advance developed countries to make these suppositions a reality.

Thus, the Zoom video conferencing platform is all-encompassing, it can accommodate up to a thousand participants depend on the level of subscription. It parades multiple features which make online teaching, lesson, or lecture interesting. There is a chat room to entertain questions from the audience. The toolbar could be used for mathematics, drawing, writing, and elaborate explanation. The pooling (multiple-choice test) could be conducted with the assistance of the host to test learners’ knowledge while the lesson is going on with an embedded automatic computerize marking system and instant display of results to learners. The coverage could be recorded and replayed after the lesson by the learners with easy.

It is noted that few schools that use the Zoom app are leading private schools in the country. Some combine google classroom with zoom why the lesser one resort to WhatsApp interface of sending voice message and text message note to the learners. Google classroom is another well-crafted application that is good for sending materials, questions, quizzes, assignments, and computer markings of learner’s work and returning via a similar application. This virtual learning stemming from the coronavirus pandemic may probably not be the best alternative because it is capital intensive to both participants and the organizers as it consumes large chunks of data. Network fluctuation is another major problem encountered by the end-users. Apart from the identified hitches, it is a promising learning application with greater room for improvement for the global educational system.

Succintly put, the combination of the Zoom app and Google Classroom is a wonderful learning tool of this century that has redefined the educational system. Our educational system should blend and streamline to accommodate and be intuned with cloud-based technology capable of preserving the materials for a long period without been damaged. The recent attempt by the Zoom app company to ensure end-to-end encryption to secure user’s conversations from outsiders including the Zoom platform itself speaks volumes of the need for our public educational institutions to key-in to this platform. If I may ask this simple question, what is our minister of education doing to mobilize public universities to embrace virtual learning?

Almost all private universities in the country effectively used Zoom and other related applications to reach out to their students to complete the second semester during lockdown while our public universities were on strike for welfare-related issues and funding of the university education. Our leaders are less perturbed by the ASUU strike because their children are in private universities, thus they have nothing to lose. The world is not going to wait for us to catch up with this new development, our leaders must wake up from their deep slumber and do the needful to rescue public universities from imminent collapse. For us to be amenable to this modern educational system, our internet speed should be upgraded in-line with the international requirement and the internet providers should increase the capacity of their network provisioning in-tune with the user’s request at all times.
Rotimi S. BELLO wrote this piece from Abuja and could be reached via

Minimum wage: Ogun workers call off seven-day warning strike Fri, 18 Sep 2020 14:57:45 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta

Ogun State Workers on Friday called off the seven-day warning strike over inability of the State government to pay Minimum wage and other entitlements after signing of Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) with the government.

The State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Emmanuel Bankole has directed all workers in the state to resume work from Monday.

Bankole at a joint press conference with top government officials led by Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, held at the governor’s office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the State capital, said the labour has been able to get the commitment of the state government on its demands.

He revealed the agreed to commence payment of Minimum wage to Commence in October 2020, saying the government have released N500 million for quarterly payment of gratuities from January, 2021.

Bankole disclosed that the government also pledged to commence promotion excercise from 2018 till date immediately.

On the Pension Amendment Bill that was passed by the State House of Assembly some weeks back, the NLC Chairman said the State Governor, Biodun Abiodun had suspended assent to the Bill, saying the government would set up review committee on the bill.

The agreement reads: “on behalf of organized labour in the state, I want to inform you that, arising from MOU signed today (Friday), the organized labour have called off the strike. We have been able to get the commitment of government and I want to call and implore our colleagues to resume work.

“Labour and Government reached agreement. Minimum wage to Commence in October, 2020. Promotion exercise from 2018 to commence immediately. Gratuities and BRT to be paying quarterly to commence in January 2021 with the release of N500 million” .

Thee SSG, Tokunbo Talabi said the engagement with the labour leaders is a continuous hence the government would continue to engage them for welfare of it’s workforce.

His words: ” Kudos to all labour leaders and appreciation to all workers in Ogun State for your perseverance, endurance and support during this struggle. As we knew Government and Labour are partner in progress, it’s a matter of Employer and Employee. We shall continue to take the welfare of workers as priority and we promise to keep you abreast as event unfold”.

Simon Cooper, LawPavillion announce confab on Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) law Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:18:50 +0000 As part of necessary engagements to deconstruct and explore the potential of the new Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), leading Lagos law firm, SimonCooper, former law firm of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN will be hosting a virtual interactive session on the controversial subject.

In partnership with LawPavillion Business Solutions, the online conference, with the theme:  Easing Business in Nigeria: CAMA 2020 and Economic Growth, is aimed at driving “an expository conversation geared towards providing clear insights into the regulatory directions necessary to assist Nigeria’s business community and foreign investors in solidifying their business and commercial drive across the country.”

According to a statement by Mr Dapo Akinosun, Founding Partner, SimmonCooper, the programme is designed to take on the “unanswered questions of businesses, startups, investors and other stakeholders across various sectors.”

Discussants will include foremost business regulators, members of the international community and sector/governmental leaders.

Some of those include: Jumoke Oduwole: Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business;  Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive, Federal Competition and Consumer ProtectionCommission (FCCPC) and Garba Abubakar, Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Also on the high profile panel is Jan van Weijen: Consul- General,Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Lagos and Ambrose Oruche, Acting Director General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

Ope Olugasa, Managing Director, LawPavilion Business Solutions and Akinosun, complete the team while Funmilola Mesaiyete, Partner, Public Sector and Regulatory Compliance, SimmonsCooper Partners will be moderating the flow of discussions.

Interested stakeholder are urged to link in via Zoom on September, 2020 at 10am as invitations are being sent.

The organisers note that the goal of the webinar is to equip investors with the information necessary to derive optimal benefits from the emerging economic trends, business models and plans; in view of the new laws regulating the Nigerian business environment.

Participants are also offered the unique opportunity of interacting with business experts and top regulators in Nigeria, the statement added.

UNODC’s ‘Corruption Wahala – An Everyday Tale’ premieres Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:38:22 +0000 On the occasion of the launch of “Corruption Wahala – an Everyday Tale”, a host of Nigerian entertainment industry giants of the likes of Sasha P, Basketmouth and Dakore Akande joined renown anti-corruption activists, social entrepreneurs, journalists and scholars, including Soji Apampa, Achalugo Chioma Ezekobe, Professor Femi Osofisan, Carolyn Seaman, Rev. Fr. George Ehusani and Laila Johnson-Salami, in a discussion moderated by TV anchor Maupe Ogun.

The short animated movie summarizes the key findings of the 2nd Corruption in Nigeria Survey report in a format more attractive for broader national audience. Aligning with the objectives of UNODC’s Education for Justice initiative, the film seeks to engage in particular younger people in the anti-corruption dialogue and to provide Ministries of Education and teachers another tool to teach children and youths about rule of law related topics.

UN Resident Coordinator Edward Kallon in his opening remarks stressed: “We need the power and innovation of youth; we need your strength and ability to not accept the status quo, if we want to tackle the immense challenges we are facing as a global community.

In his remarks, the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, said “This film is a huge step forward in helping people see and understand the value and tangibility of data being produced in the country. Also, the animated nature of the movie makes it especially appealing to the younger demography, thereby helping to ignite their interest in data, and in the wider campaign against corruption in Nigeria.”

Playwright and scholar, Professor Femi Osofisan welcomed the animation film and noted the need for more such educational tools using real live examples of corruption incidents and their impact on people.

Award-winning screen and stage actor, Dakore Akande, stressed the power of film in reinforcing values and hereby changing the narrative of corruption in Nigeria. In order to reach a broader national audience, she proposed to translate the film in other national languages, including pidgin.

Suggesting the use of the film by teachers, Anthonia Yetunde Alabi (Sasha P), added “that ethics education needs to start from primary and secondary schools.”

Lawyer and writer, Achalugo Chioma Ezekobe, highlighted the need to convince citizens to embrace due diligence when accessing public services and to shun a culture of the cutting corners.

While welcoming the film, CEO of Integrity Organisation, Soji Apampa, stated “many young people are at the border in which they can take to anger and frustration because of the current situation”. He pointed out that anticorruption process needs a multiplicity of action and called for more collective actions from ordinary actors in modelling a change further stating “We really need to work on the undecided and those who won’t pay bribes to affect their beliefs and attitudes and allow the law enforcement to go after the 30% who will definitely pay”.

The film, inter-alia, depicted some of the stark differences between the experiences of women and men when it comes to corruption. Reacting to these findings, Carolyn Seaman, Founder of Girls Voices Initiative, underscored the need for gender mainstreaming in tackling corruption in Nigeria. She remarked: “We need to strengthen advocacy for women empowerment; putting women in position of power and influence where they can actually promote those ideals that are best for our society.”

While expressing his dismay about the lack of patriotism, even among high level public officials, Rev. Fr. George Ehusani, said he remained hopeful due to the existence here and there of islands of sanity amidst the sea of corruption in Nigeria.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, in his closing remarks reminded the audience “We will not talk corruption away. We will need to get engaged. We will need to act if we want to put an end to this corruption wahala so that we can create the Nigeria we want and the Nigeria you deserve!”.

Transcorp Hotels hard hit by COVID-19: to diversify business, reduce workforce Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:32:56 +0000 The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the African Hotel and Tourism industry to lose over $50bn in revenue. Amidst this, Transcorp Hotels Plc has suffered unprecedented losses and is looking to restructure the business strategy of its hotels and optimize its operations.

The management of Transcorp Hotels Plc has announced that it will be taking steps to ensure business continuity in the wake of the losses recorded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the hotelier is diversifying its portfolio and reducing its workforce as part of its cost management initiatives.

The Managing Director, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mrs Dupe Olusola, disclosed this during a Press Conference on Thursday saying “The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015. The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than 5%.”

According to her, “Despite the losses incurred we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100% salary payment to our over 900 employees in March and April. We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans. We suspended further commitment to buy fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs. Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive. To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40%, and our reward system will be optimized.”

Mrs Olusola further disclosed that negotiations are ongoing to ensure that our colleagues who will be impacted are adequately compensated given the peculiarities of the economy at this time. A health insurance package to reduce their health burden costs, especially during the pandemic, amongst other payment settlements, will be activated. Equally, all Executives of Transcorp Hilton Abuja have now taken a pay cut.

As one of the leading hospitality brands in Africa, Transcorp Hotels Plc has stated its commitment to uphold service standards and ensure that all guests continue to experience the warmth and hospitality that it is known for.

Ize-Iyamu closes campaign, thanks Edo people, as PDP taunts botched campaign grand finale Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:24:54 +0000 By Peterson Ibi

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign Council has announced the closure of campaign for the governorship ambition of its candidate in Saturday’s election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu,

Chairman of the campaign council, Mr. John Mayaki, said the campaign office closes officially by 10pm on Thursday, 17 September 2020.

While thanking the people of the state for their support and show of love for the party and Ize-Iyamu while the campaign lasted, Mayaki enjoined members of the public to disregard any campaign-related material that may purport to come from their campaign council.

“We are overwhelmed by the massive support, the plethora of endorsements, the approval and reception of our SIMPLE agenda, and the valiant spirit of Edo people, which we encountered in all the 192 wards of our powerful state.

“With all your support and participation, we are assured that our candidate will commence the good work of reinstating democracy and resurrecting Edo state as soon as possible.

“The public is hereby enjoined to disregard any campaign-related material that may purport to come from our council, and we encourage the good people of Edo to remain vigilant, safe, dogged and unyielding to oppression as the election draws closer.”

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has taunted Edo APC and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, over the botched campaign grand finale.

The Secretary, Publicity Sub-Committee of the governorship election in the state, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Thursday, said that Ize-Iyamu’s campaign has collapsed.

He said: “The PDP National Campaign Council for Edo governorship election says the inability of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to hold their campaign grand finale, scheduled for Wednesday, is a clear signal that they have given up.

“The APC and Ize-Iyamu have been weighed down and completely overwhelmed by the soaring popularity of Governor Godwin Obaseki across the state and had no option other than to abandon their campaign.

“We have been made aware that the APC campaign also collapsed under the weight of a bitter division within their ranks over alleged apprehensions of Ize-Iyamu’s possible disqualification due to unresolved legal issues surrounding his nomination; a development for which very influential APC leaders in Edo state as well as APC governors abandoned the campaign.

“Also, the final effort to lift Ize-Iyamu’s campaign with an underhand measure of hiding under the Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme (MEES) to attempt to buy the conscience of voters fell flat as the people of Edo state were quick to see through the plot.

“The campaign became frustrated as governors elected on the platform of APC distanced themselves from Ize-Iyamu campaign on the face of a near global sanctions on those undermining the nation’s electoral process,” Ologbondiyan said.

Let’s meet at negotiation table, Ogun Govt tells labour leaders Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:14:17 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta

Ogun State government on Thursday called on the representative of the Organised Labour in the State, to return to the negotiation table to finalise the grey areas of the demand for better welfare for the workers and in the interest of the generality of the people of the State.

A statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, noted that government considers the abrupt withdrawal of the labour team and unilateral declaration of one week strike as unfair, indecorous and violation of the principles of collective bargaining, adding that it was a surprise that labour would take the step even when the negotiation process was still on.

Tracing the genesis of the crisis to the Pension Reform Bill, passed by the State House of Assembly which labour noted did not seek their opinion and inputs, Mr. Talabi said the government, after due apology for the lapses, set up a team to liaise with the House of Assembly and representatives of Labour to trash out arreas of concerns.

He said government was taken aback as “labour manifested brinkmanship, where instead of labour input into the Pension Reform Bill as agreed, they issued a notice of Trade Dispute with demands that transcended the Pension Reform Bill”.

The SSG said on receipt of Trade Dispute Notice, government mandated its team to engage the Labour with the first meeting held on September 14 progressing to September 15, 2020, were issues were narrowed and approaching amicable resolutions.

But surprisingly, he said, instead of notifying government of the outcome of the meeting the Labour leaders took excuse to attend to their members in order to conclude the negotiation, only to proceed to declare the meeting deadlock and announced the commencement of warning strike the next day (Wednesday, September 16, 2020).

“This is most unfortunate and a negation of civility and expected ethos that should underpin negotiations between government (particularly one that has demonstrated in many ways its commitment to staff welfare) and organised labour who are presumed partners in the task of developing the state and catering for the welfare and wellbeing of all citizens and residents. This behaviour lends credence to insinuations that labour may be acting out a script,” he said.

Mr. Talabi gave the breakdown of the inherited outstanding personnel liabilities from the last administration is as: Gratuity of exited (retired) Personnel: State Personnel, accumulated from 2014 – 2019, N18.5 bn: Local Government & SUBEB 2011 – 2019, N32.5 bn, Sub Total Gratuity, N51.0 bn: Leave Bonus from 2015 to 2019, N9.2bn: Contributory Pension Liabilities: State Government N20.1 bn: Local Government & (SUBEB) N26.4 bn: Sub Total Contributory Pension Liabilities N46.5 bn: Promotion Arrears – N217 Million, total N106.9 bn.

The past Administration, he said, only remitted the deductions from staff salary for check off dues and cooperative deductions in the twilight of its exit, leaving out accumulated Contributory Pensions.

On the financial implications of Labour demands, the State Scribe, said the Pension Reforms Bill was jointly agreed that a committee be set up to fashion out an appropriate pension system for the state, implementation of New Minimum Wage which would increase the monthly wage bill by N1.04bn, payment of Leave Bonus, Labour wants an immediate payment of 3-year arrears, amounting to approximately N9.2B, while on payment of Gratuity, Labour demanded immediate payment of three years arrears which is approximately N24bn and wants additional payment of about N1.2b for the underpayment by the last Administration to some categories of retired personnel.

He said Labour demanded for Gross Salary Payment, regular remittance of deductions from staff salaries as appropriate, adding that government has already commenced regular remittance of these deductions and would continue to do so.

Other demands according to the Mr. Talabi was the outstanding three year Promotion (2018-2020),putting the summary of these demands by labour was immediate disbursement of about N32.5B (Thirty Two Billion and Five Hundred Million Naira) and subsequent additional N2B monthly on top of the current wage bill.

The SSG noted that when government signed the agreement with labour for the implementation of the new minimum wage, “no one envisaged COVID-19 and its debilitating socio-economic impact that has constrained the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State and the unplanned expenditures in its wake. This has forced Ogun State like most states in the country to review our 2020 budget down from approximately N450B (Four Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira) to N280B (Two Hundred and Eighty Billion Naira), about 38% downward review.”

“A cursory look at the financial implications of the demands of labour in comparison to the budget size will see a glaring demonstration of the government to be as accommodating of the demands as possible, even in the face of manifest COVID-19 induced constraints and uncertainty,” he explained.

The SSG further stated that the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on the economy of the state had forced the state to review its 2020 budget down by as much as 38% downward.

On Labour demand for the payment of the new minimum wage, which labour see as its priority, the State scribe said government has agreed to the implementation of the new minimum wage for all categories of workers, commencing from November, 2020, while government would also continue to ensure regular remittance of deductions from staff salary to avoid addition to the backlog and gradually clear any outstanding arrears, adding: “the remaining demands will be subjects of further joint reviews, the first of which will be in March, 2021”.

He said government considers the abrupt withdrawal of the labour team and unilateral declaration of one week strike as unfair, indecorous and violation of the principles of collective bargaining.

“It is therefore a surprise that labour would take the provocative steps it has taken even when the negotiation process was still on.

“As an Administration, we remain committed to the welfare of Ogun State workers as we are to the fulfilment of our electoral promises to the generality of Ogun State citizens and residents,” Talabi concluded.