The Big 5: As ASUU warms up, organised labour commences strike Thursday; FG reportedly withdraws Benue’s Paris club refund | More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Following the failure of the Federal government to honour the 14-day ultimatum handed to it by organised labour on the issue of the new minimum wage, the labour unions have on Tuesday, agreed to commence strike from the early hours of Thursday.

As contained in a statement signed by the Secretary general of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Musa-Lawal Ozigi,in Abuja, the decision to embark on strike was sequel to the resolve of the Central Working Committee of the congress on Monday, adding that mobilisation of members would commence immediately.

Strike is hereby declared to commence from early hours of Thursday, September 27, 2018,” the statement read.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned that it will proceed on indefinite strike, if the Federal Government fails to honour its agreement that led to the suspension of 2017 strike.

Zonal Coordinator of the Union, Professor Olusiji Sowande who disclosed this on Tuesday during a press briefing held at the ASUU Secretariat, UNILAG, listed the key outstanding issues to include: “Payment of fractions and non-payment of salaries, earned academic allowances, non-release of operational license of NUPEMCO. “non-implementation of the provisions of the 2014 Pension Reform Act with respect to retired professors and their salaries, removal of Universities Staff Schools from funding by government.”

He added that in the MoA of 2017, government promised a total sum of N20 billion as a sign of its commitment to revitalise public universities but as at the time of signing the MoA, government was still owning a revitalization fund of 220 billion.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday approved the mode of primaries for Saturday, September 29th, 2018 governorship primary elections scheduled to hold across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to the schedule, direct primaries will be conducted in Lagos; Kano; Niger; Ogun; Imo; Akwa Ibom; Edo; Taraba; Ondo; Osun; Ekiti; Anambra;  Abia; Bauchi; Bayelsa; Cross River; Zamfara and the FCT.

Indirect primaries was however adopted in the other 19 states namely: Kaduna; Adamawa; Delta; Oyo; Rivers; Plateau; Jigawa; Benue; Borno; Ebonyi; Enugu; Gombe; Katsina; Kebbi; Kogi; Kwara; Nasarawa;  Sokoto  and Yobe

Hundreds of workers in Benue have reacted to the alleged recall of the final tranche of the Paris Club refund earlier paid to the state government, with reports of two workers alleged to have slumped as soon as they received the news.

Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress in the state, Godwin Anya, who expressed shock over the development said, “I don’t know the reason for the recall of the Paris Club loan refund. Everybody has been expecting to be paid because the governor on Monday directed the payment of salary arrears.”

Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua, who also reacted to the development described it as a “trajectory of victimisation” and another form of impunity by the All Progressives Congress Federal Government, stressing that it was strange in accounting parlance to pay money into somebody’s or government’s account and suddenly withdraw it.

Civil servants in the state are currently owed seven months’ salary arrears while local government workers are being owed 11 months’ salaries.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has faulted the claims that the National carrier project, Nigeria Air was suspended due to lack of investors, as he said “the national carrier project has an avalanche of well-grounded and ready investors.”

According to a statement by the Deputy Director in the Ministry of Transportation, James Odaudu, on Tuesday, he listed the investors to include international finance institutions such as the Afro-Exim Bank, African Development Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, aircraft manufacturers – Airbus and Boeing.

Other investors according to the statement also include airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Air etc. and some reputable individuals and entrepreneurs.

And stories from around the world:

US President Donald Trump called for Iran’s international isolation in a combative and unashamedly boastful speech at the United Nations Tuesday, prompting accusations from his Iranian counterpart that he was trying to topple his government. (AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renounced the United Nations Security for “standing idle to the oppression” in Myanmar, Palestine and Bosnia among other nations. (Al Jazeera)

Pope Francis on Tuesday defended a landmark deal between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops, saying he, and not the Beijing government, will have the final say on who is named. (Reuters)

The European Union has more pressing priorities than Britain’s future relationship with the bloc, starting with its own future, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. (Reuters)

A son of Angola’s ex-President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been arrested on suspicion of money-laundering, embezzlement of public funds and fraud.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos is the most high-profile person to be targeted in new President Joao Lourenco’s campaign against alleged corruption. (BBC)


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