NLC shuts down Lebanese firm over sack of 128 Nigerians , El-Rufai bans Shiites in Kaduna and other major headlines you missed today!
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Naira may record gain next week
The naira is expected to stabilise on
the parallel market after international money transfer agencies started
selling dollars to Bureau De Change operators in line with the Central
Bank of Nigeria directive.
“We have started receiving dollar supply
from Travelex and we expect this to gradually impact positively on the
naira exchange rate going forward,” the President, Association of Bureau
De Change Operators of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadabe, told Reuters.
The naira was quoted at 470 to the dollar on the black market on Friday, compared with 473 on Thursday.
At the interbank market, the naira closed at 305.5 per dollar.
NLC shuts down Lebanese firm over sack of 128 Nigerian
The leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, today led workers to
shut down operations at a Lebanese Firm in Abuja, Artco Industries
Limited for alleged anti-labour activities and violations of labour law
in the country.
The National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba,said that the NLC
decided to picket the Lebanese company because the management refused to
recall sacked 128 workers of the company despite a judgment of the
Industrial Arbitration Panel and the intervention by the Minister of
Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on the matter.
Vanguard reports that,the management of the Lebanese firm was said to
have sacked Chairman of the Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture
and wood workers, Mr. Alokwe Anisectus, and127 others for allegedly
participating in the protests against fuel pump price and electricity
Condemning the action of the company’s management, Comrade Wabba said
NLC would continue to occupy the premises of the company until the
workers were recalled, adding that the NLC would not allow any company
to enslave workers in violation of decent work environment and Labour
13 die in Niger boat accidents
No fewer than thirteen people, comprising 13 females and two males, have died in two separate boat accidents in Niger State.
Saturday PUNCH learnt , on
Friday, that the accident involving the females occurred in the early
morning of Tuesday when the boat they were travelling in capsized on the
Kontagora River in Magama Local Government Area of the state.
17 villagers were going to a farm to harvest groundnuts when the accident occurred.
Six out of the passengers were said to
have been rescued by divers, while the rest drowned. Among the dead were
married women and underage girls.
Eight bodies had been recovered as of
the time of filing this report, while divers were still searching for
the remains of three victims.
Probe my children if they are corrupt, Buhari tells EFCC
The war against corruption may gather more steam soon, going by President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest pronouncement.
The President has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to probe even his own children or
members of his family implicated in corrupt practices.
He said he would not forgive the anti-graft agency if it fails to probe
any allegation of corruption against his children and family members.
A sketch of Buhari’s tough anti-corruption mindset and plans was
contained in a book, “Muhammadu Buhari: The challenges of leadership in
Nigeria”, which is authored by Prof. John Paden.
The book reveals how Buhari inspired the acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu as a school boy to develop anti-graft traits.
“Buhari’s attitude is to let the chips fall where they may in particular
cases, although reform of the judiciary is one of his larger goals.
“Buhari has often said that if any of his own children were accused of
corruption, and the authorities did not investigate, he would never
forgive the authorities.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu announces he wants to die by assisted suicide
South Africa's retired Anglican archbishop and anti-apartheid icon
Desmond Tutu marked his 85th birthday yesterday. He also announced same
yesterday that he wants the right to end his own life.
The anti-apartheid veteran said laws against helping people to die
should be abolished. He claimed he has the right to be ‘allowed to pass
on to the next phase in the manner of my choice’.
In an article published on Washington Post, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town said:
‘Just as I have argued firmly for compassion and fairness in life, I
believe that terminally ill people should be treated with the same
compassion and fairness when it comes to their deaths.
Terminally ill people have control over their lives, so why should they be refused control over
their deaths? Why are so many instead forced to endure terrible pain
and suffering against their wishes. Regardless of what you might choose
for yourself, why should you deny others the right to make this choice?
‘For those suffering unbearably and coming to the end of their lives,
merely knowing that an assisted death is open to them can provide
‘I have prepared for my death and have made it clear that I do not wish
to be kept alive at all costs. I hope I am treated with compassion and
allowed to pass on to the next phase of life’s journey in the manner of
In refusing dying people the right to die with dignity, we fail to
demonstrate the compassion that lies at the heart of Christian values.
‘I pray that politicians, lawmakers and religious leaders have the
courage to support the choices terminally ill citizens make in departing
Mother Earth. The time to act is now.’
‘I myself am even closer to the departures hall than arrivals, so to
speak, and my thoughts turn to how I would like to be treated when the
Desmond Tutu's plea comes at a time when assisted dying campaigners in
Britain have run into a barrier because of the refusal of MPs to weaken
the safeguards built into criminal law.
Anyone found guilty of helping someone kill themselves can face a 14-year jail sentence.
However, assisted suicide is lawful in Belgium, the Netherlands and Oregon in the US.
El-Rufai bans Shiites in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir
el-Rufai, on Friday announced a ban on the activities of the Islamic
Movement in Nigeria otherwise known as ‘Shiites’ in the state.
The governor communicated the ban
through a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr.
Samuel Aruwan, stating that the group’s activities had become unlawful
in the state.
The statement read, “This action is
taken in the exercise of the government’s duty to preserve peace and
security in the state, and to ensure that all persons and organisations
are guided by lawful conduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian
state and its Constitution.
“The Kaduna State Executive Council
approved the making of this order following deliberations at its meeting
of Thursday, October 6, 2016.
“The order, which has been signed by the governor, draws on powers vested by the constitution and the laws of Kaduna State.
School feeding: FG fails to meet September take-off target
The Federal Government failed to
commence its free National Home Grown School Feeding programme at the
beginning of the current academic session in September as promised.
PUNCH learnt that the sharp reduction in government revenue prevented the Federal Government from meeting with the target date.
The programme, which was formally
inaugurated on June 9, 2016 by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, is part of
the Social Investment Plans of the present administration for which
N500bn has been budgeted in the 2016 Budget.
The Federal Government, through the
national manager of the programme, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanmi, had in July
said it would commence the scheme in September when schools resumed,
with 5.5 million pupils across the country.
The promise was that the programme would
benefit 5.5 million pupils in the first year of its operation, while
Adesanmi had explained that the Federal Government had resolved to start
the programme with pupils from Primary 1 to 3 at the beginning, and
then move to other classes later.
However, the Senior Special Assistant to
the Vice-President, Mr. Laolu Akande, blamed the drop in oil prices and
oil pipelines vandalism by the Niger Delta militants for the delay in
the commencement of the programme as planned.
An office headed by the Special Adviser
to the President on Social Protection Plan, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, created
for the purpose of implementing the plan which formed a major part of
the All Progressives Congress’ campaign promises ahead of the 2015
presidential election is in the Office of the Vice-President.
Akande also cited the need to ensure that the beneficiary states were ready as part of the factors responsible for the delay.
He, however, assured all stakeholders that despite the setbacks, the scheme would soon kick off.
He said, “We had to first ensure there
is operational readiness in the states where the programme will start.
That took some of the time.
“The other reason for the delay had to do with the general drop in revenues occasioned by the drop in oil earnings.
“The economic sabotage and attacks on
oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta is also a factor, which at
some point, meant Nigeria was losing one million barrels per day of the
2.2mpd that had been estimated in the budget.
“But the good news is that the
programme, which has been budgeted for, will take off very soon. Please
note that the programme has kicked off in Kaduna State for months now
and for years in Osun State.
“The steering committee, set up for
social investments with presidential oversight, has recently made
provision for the programme to kick off very soon.”
When told of a recent statement by the
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, that N60bn had been released for
the programme, Akande said the sum was meant for all the components of
the social investment plan, and not for the feeding programme alone.
He described the money as the first tranche of funds, saying more releases would follow.
He explained that the money would go straight to the service providers, the cooks, through banks.
On the beneficiaries, Akande confirmed that all pupils in Primary 1-3 in public schools in the first set would benefit.
Apart from Osun and Kaduna where their
state governments are already implementing the feeding programme, he
listed other states in the first set to include: Borno, Ebonyi, Enugu,
Anambra, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Zamfara and Oyo.
He said as the government goes ahead
with the scheme and once state governments show readiness, more of them
would join the programme.
According to an overview of the scheme
presented at its inauguration in June, the plan runs till 2020 and forms
the cornerstone of the nationwide Home Grown School Feeding programme,
which when fully realised, would provide a meal a day to over 24 million
primary school children.
“Not only will the Home Grown School
Feeding programme help our pupils become better students, it will also
boost the local economies, and create new jobs along the way,” Osinbajo
had said at the inauguration.
Saturday PUNCH had in its
September 3, 2016 publication reported exclusively that the reduction in
Federal Government’s revenue caused by the sharp drop in global oil
price was threatening the full implementation of President Muhammadu
Buhari’s planned social protection programme.
Other schemes under the social
protection plan include the Micro-Credit Scheme, Teach Nigeria Scheme,
the Youth Employment Agency, Conditional Cash Transfer, and Free
Education Scheme for Science Students.
Meanwhile, some parents from across the
country have criticised the Federal Government and expressed
disappointments that it failed to commence the programme in September as
The parents, all of whom have children
in public schools, said they were hoping that their children would
benefit from the programme.
A parent in Katsina State, Mallam Nasir
Manir, said, “The programme was to commence last month and the
government has not told us the reason for the delay. I pray it does not
end up being another campaign gimmick.”
A parent, who identified himself as
Kazeem, said he was disappointed that the Federal Government failed to
keep its promise to feed school pupils.
He said, “The government promised us and
we were hopeful, but it has not done it. I feel it is very bad for a
government to take the people for a ride because we had trust in it, but
it is failing us.”
A social commentator in Ekiti State, Mr.
Ayo Adegbuyi, also slammed the Federal Government for not keeping to
the promise, saying it should apologise to parents.
In Kwara State, Mallam Aliyu Balogun,
who has four children in primary schools, doubted the sincerity of the
promise when it was made by the APC, adding that the government’s
failure to commence the programme in September as promised showed that
he was right.
Another parent, Mrs. Joy Omosebi, called on the government to fulfil the promise “by all means.”
But the Kwara State Chairman, Nigeria
Union of Teachers, Musa Abubakar, had during his speech on World
Teachers’ Day in Ilorin, said that the school feeding programme of the
Federal Government would be a “colossal waste” if not properly