The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has given the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum to reverse the recent hike in electricity tariff and fuel price or face a “total shutdown of the country’s economy”.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, while addressing newsmen at the end of the body’s Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, said that workers and Nigerians were disappointment that government decided to increase the cost of both items.
“We are surprised that at a time other countries across the world are giving palliatives to their citizens to cushion the effect of COVID-19, Nigerians are asked to pay more for fuel and electricity,” he said.
“A hike, as announced by government, has reduced the purchasing power of Nigerians and Nigerian workers.
“It has also brought about a high cost of goods and services which has completely eroded the gains of the N30,000 minimum wage.
“After examining the outcome of the meeting, we resolved to issue a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse the fuel price hike or face industrial action.
“This is to also give effect to the decision because the proposed action will commence on Monday, September 28, 2020 `if the issues are not addressed.”
Wabba said that the CWC would also mobilise its members, civil society allies and other social partners to try to resist the policies as it had driven many into poverty.
He added that the declining economic power was evident among many as the N30,000 minimum wage could not actually pay for electricity in many homes.
“The experience we have here is that somebody actually loaded a credit of N30,000 and it could not take him two weeks. That is the general experience all over the country.
“The hike is one decision that is biting every worker and every family. I think it is a decision that certainly requires reversion,” he said.
Edited By: Ephraims Sheyin
Edo poll: Gov. Wike commends INEC, security agencies for peaceful conduct
Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers on Saturday commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for the peaceful conduct of Edo governorship election.
Wike made the commendation while addressing journalists at Government House, Benin.
He said: “For now I don’t have power to announce results, but from the reports we are getting so far from the field, I think we are happy.
“I want to commend INEC so far for making sure that people voted in different polling units.
“I will also commend the security agencies so far for making sure that there was no much violence and if that continues I think it’s progress.
“Election is a process, the collation has not be done; it’s after the collation we can now give final conclusion of our appraisal.
“So far, I can say they ‘ve done well.
“What we are saying is that they should maintain what has happened and INEC should make sure that nobody tries to change the will of the people; that is what we are saying.
I think we are very happy with what we have now. I think we have over 2, 000 polling units results now.
“I think we are very happy and if it continues this way this election will be one of the best elections we will have had in Nigeria.
“It’s not just about voting. After voting, votes are counted and then you go for collation.
“This is the critical period and they should protect their collation centers wether at the ward level, local government level or state level so that everybody who has voted will be happy that there will must prevail.”
On the alleged sieged laid on him by over 300 policemen in his hotel room in Benin on Friday, he said the episode was now history.
“What happened yesterday has happened; you have seen me now, I have not left Edo,” he added
Edited By: Ejike Obeta
Vulture Day: NCF advocates Vulture Conservation
As the world marks the International Vulture Awareness Day, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on Saturday underscored the importance of Vultures in the maintenance of balance in the ecosystem.
The NCF in a communique released after its five days webinar forum on Vultures and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, noted that vultures were sanitary officers with a clean-up service on the environment.
Dr Joseph Onoja, Director of Technical Programmes, NCF, in his presentation, revealed that nature had bestowed on humanity vultures with the role of environmental sanitary officers with a clean-up service worth $11,000 a year.
Onoja said: “Without vultures, humans are vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases, because in the absence of vultures, dogs and rats become the clean-up crew.
“’The danger in this is that these animals are not equipped for such and are close to human population, exposing us to diseases.”
In his presentation, Mr Aniekan-Abasi Emmah Uwatt, a conservation biologist and ornithologist, observed that human activities were the major drivers to the vultures’ threatened status.
He added that the world could suffer from negligence if something drastic was not done to preserve the remaining vulture species in Nigeria.
“Imagine a world without vultures, it will lead to disease outbreaks such as anthrax; rabies and botulism.
‘“We would also have dirty environment with dead carcasses and foul smells,” he said.
Another facilitator, Mr Apeverga Paul Tersoo, Lecturer, Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State , said that Vultures might not be very appealing by their looks, but these birds, also known as scavengers do the dirty jobs of cleaning our environment.
Tersoo said they do this by taking care of carcasses and preventing the spread of diseases, which in turn keeps the ecosystem healthy.
“’The importance of these natural environmental cleaners cannot be over emphasised because the benefits we derive from them for free will cost us so much that it can only be imagined.
“A case study is seen in India where a crash in the vulture population was observed after the birds fed on carcasses of livestock that were treated with Diclofenac.
“The Indian white-rumped vulture was the most hit, with a decline rate of 99.9 per cent.
“What followed was a surge in population of feral dogs that were infected with rabies from litters of carcasses as a result of the absence of our natural cleaners (the vultures).
“Consequently, an increase in human deaths from rabies nearly caused a public health catastrophe that saw the government of India spending about $34 billion to fight the spread of the disease,” he said.
Malam Samaila Mohammed Alkali, Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Coordinator, Kano Airport, said that aviation was a major threat to the survival of vultures.
“This is due to bird strike. Bird strikes occur when bird physically collide with aircraft,” Alkali said
According to him, approximately 10,692 vultures were killed by aircraft between 2008 and 2015, these may represent 1,500 Vultures killed every year for the period of seven years.
Meanwhile, in his presentation, Mr Adewale Awoyemi, Head of Forest Centre, Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan observed that the vanishing vultures had critical implications on human health and existence.
Awoyemi said that the destruction of their habitats by deforestation was a threat to vulture conservation.
International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) is celebrated on the first Saturday of September every year to reflect on the importance of vultures and the essential role they play in a healthy ecosystem.
It also aims at spreading awareness about range of threat facing vultures and urge the people to take action and prevent extinction of the ecological bird specie.
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
Crawford University appoints new V-C, other principal officers
The Management of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun, on Saturday announced the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor, Prof Reuben Kolo and other principal Officers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Prof. Kolo becomes the 4th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the 15-year old faith-based University owned by the Apostolic Faith Mission, West and Central Africa (WECA).
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Layi Olajumoke, has it that two other principal officers were ratified by the institution’s Senate.
Mr Moses Itauma becomes the Registrar and Ms. Olukemi Ojo was appointed the institution’s Bursar.
“The outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Rotimi Ajayi, announced that the University’s Board of Trustees and the Governing Council have approved the appointment of Prof Reuben Kolo as the next Vice-Chancellor.
“Also, Mr Moses Itauma as the Registrar and Ms. Olukemi Ojo as the institution’s Bursar,” he said.
Olajumoke added: “Prof Kolo is from the Department of Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology, which is from the larger School of Agriculture and Agriculture Technology, SAAT, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.
“Prof Kolo was born in Doko, Lavun Local Government, Niger State in 1962. He obtained his first degree from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University( ABU), Zaria in Zoology in 1987.
“He bagged his second degree, M.Sc, Hydrobiology and Fisheries from the University of Ibadan. He completed his doctoral studies in FUT, Minna in the same discipline in 1996.
“He became a Professor of Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology in October, 2010.
Olajumoke said that Kolo had held many positions of responsibilities in the span of engagement in FUT, Minna.
“He was designated the Dean of his Faculty, the SAAT from 2015 to 2019. He was also the Deputy Dean of the institution’s Postgraduate School between 2012 and 2013.
“He also headed specialised departments, centres, committees and special projects. He is a revered member of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria, National Association of Fish Farmers and Aquaculturists and the Fisheries Society of Nigeria among others.
“He is widely published and listened to in specialised journals and conferences.
`|The appointment is for a non-renewable duration of five years and will commence from Monday, Oct. 5, 2020,” he said.
Olajumoke also said that the university had recorded another milestone with the addition of another college to the other two existing colleges; College of Arts and Communication Studies.
“The Crawford University’s management got the approval of the Governing Council for a College of Arts and Communication Studies.
“Dr. Jonathan Amuno, the erstwhile Director of Academic Planning has been approved to serve as the new college’s Acting Dean,” he said.
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
Edo 2020: Gov. Tambuwal lauds Buhari on statesmanly call, directive
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, on his statemanly call and immediate directive to agencies of government to ensure and guarantee free and fair election in Edo state.
Tambuwal, in a statement in Sokoto on Saturday, said that the President deserved commendation for his appeal to all stakeholders, including politicians involved in the election to ensure violence free election.
He said, “let me begin by commending the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for his statesmanly call and appeal.
“This, given an immediate directive to agencies of government including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and all other stakeholders involved in the Edo election.
“That to ensure and guarantee free and fair; and, violence free election in Edo state; that is very commendable of Mr President.
“On that premise I, therefore, want to lend my voice to that of Mr President and other well meaning Nigerians; and members of the international community.
“This is to further appeal and call on the electoral body and the security agencies; and the good people of Edo and all stakeholders involved in this very important election to continue to observe rules and regulations,” he said.
Tambuwal added that Nigerians were closely monitoring the ongoing exercise in Edo State.
“As such, I want to appeal that nobody, individual or agency of government should tamper with the outcome and results of the election being conducted.
“This is very important so that we can have a very convincing outcome that the people of Edo have exercised their franchise without any hindrance and in a very peaceful manner,” Tambuwal added.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Felix Ajide