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Government Meets Labour Over Wage Saga As Pensioners Threaten Protest

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has met with organised labour over the minimum wage imbroglio.

The Guardian learnt yesterday in Abuja that the meeting with the president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Bobboi Kaigama, was to avert the October 30 rally and November 6 nationwide strike by the unions.

It was also learnt that the scribe demanded a full account of what transpired during earlier negotiations with a view to engaging state governments on an acceptable figure ahead of the threatened industrial action.

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Also, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has threatened to picket the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) over their alleged 12-month arrears in the wake of the 33 per cent pension increase of 2010.

NUP’s national president, Dr Abel Afolayan, also demanded a harmonised pension upon approval of a new national wage. Speaking yesterday in Abuja, he cited sections 173 (3) and 210 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to justify their position. Specifically, the provisions say: “Pensions shall be reviewed every five years or together with any Federal Civil Service salary reviews whichever is earlier.”

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He pointed out that the last pension review was in July 2010 and the next ought to be 2015 according to extant law, adding: “In other words, whatever amount is approved as minimum wage for workers should also apply as minimum pension for pensioners. We believe that whatever is good for the goose is also good for the gander, as both workers and pensioners go to the same market for their daily needs.”

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Afolayan held that it was sheer wickedness for any government officials to oppose an upward review of workers’ pay considering the economic realities in the country. He flayed the states for claiming to be financially incapable to pay the proposed new wage, saying their action contravenes the aforementioned sections of the constitution.The pensioners therefore gave government 21 days to defray the backlog.

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Breaking: Court Grants Dino Melaye Bail On Health Ground

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Dino Melaye Granted Bail On Health Condition

Senator Dino Melaye has been granted bail by a High Court in Maitama, Abuja. Justice Yusuf Halilu granted bail to Melaye on health ground. Halilu was of the view that the Senator must be healthy to stand trial.

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The ruling was granted after an application by Melaye’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN). The senator is currently being held in a police health facility in Abuja.

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As terms for his bail, the defendant is expected to produce three sureties, one of whom must be the Clerk of the National Assembly.

The judge said the other two sureties must be owners of properties within the Abuja metropolis.

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African News

Eight Robbers Sentence To Death Attack Journalists In Yola

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Eight Robbers Sentence To Death Attack Journalists In Yola

Four years ago, eight men were arraigned for armed robbery in Adamawa State.  When they were sentenced to death by hanging on Thursday in a court room in Yola, they attacked some journalists covering the trial.

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The convicts became extremely agitated and pounced on journalists after their judgment was pronounced.  Although they were hand-cuffed at the time, and with prison officials standing by their side, they attacked a journalist from state TV station, ATV, and another from the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA.

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Justice Abdulaziz Waziri, pronounced the death sentence on the convicts but said they had ninety days to appeal the judgment.

State Controller of Prisons, Umar Audu, said the convicts were back in prison and were showing remorse for their court room outbursts.

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FG Plans To Commence Production Of E-Passport To Create Jobs

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FG Plans To Commence Production Of E-Passport To Create Jobs

Minister of Interior, Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazau has said the federal government plans to begin local production of E-passports to conserve foreign exchange and create local jobs.

He said the country will soon cease the production of passports outside the country and embark on local production through a private-public partnership.

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Dambazau said the ministry has been instrumental in setting up the visa-on-arrival at different international airports in the country to attract and ease the movement of genuine investors.

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The minister also said his ministry had collaborated with Nigeria immigration service to introduce enhancements to the process, one of which was the introduction of harmonized arrival-departure cards that phased out the need for multiple cards from various agencies at the ports.

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