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Strike: FG, JOHESU reaches understanding – Ngige

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By Gistflash News

Sept 8, 2021

The Federal Government says it has reached a truce with aggrieved health workers of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and assembly of healthcare professions.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said this while addressing newsmen at the end of a five-hour conciliation meeting with the leadership of JOHESU on Tuesday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that JOHESU had on Sept. 3 issued a 15-day ultimatum to the federal government to meet their demands or face an indefinite strike.

Ngige said that an understanding was reached by both parties, the meeting was fruitful and that the Memorandum of Understanding would be signed next week.

He said they discussed in a fraternal way and reached an understanding on all the issues in dispute.

According to him, this includes the enhancement of hazard allowance, review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage.

He added that understanding was reached on the upward adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) as done with Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).

The minister said there was no problem with the old issues, while the meeting agreed that the new issues should return to their employer, the Federal Ministry of Health, for discussions.

On the hazard allowance, Ngige noted that the federal government had held four meetings earlier with JOSEHU and Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) alongside their affiliates, but at a point, there were areas of departure.

He said that NMA and a union hitherto thought to be part of JOHESU, demanded for the compartmentalisation of the discussions on the hazard allowance, which the government granted.

“Based on previous discussion, we delivered to them (JOHESU) the financial implication of what is due to them and they promised to get back to their members and report back to us.

”On the other hand, government is meeting with NMA next week for their separate discussion on hazard allowance. Already the federal government has budgeted the sum of N37.5 billion for this.

“The issue was resolved to the satisfaction of all of us. The government is not delaying the hazard allowance as some people want the public to believe.

”Since the past six months, government has been making concerted efforts to push the new hazard allowance into effect, which we are doing now but for disagreement between NMA and JOHESU,” he said.

On the upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, Ngige said that the meeting received reports from the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Health.

According to him, both agreed on the reality of the proposal.

He added that the matter had already been handled by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation which had in turn transmitted same to the National Council on Establishment for further processing at its meeting in December.

Ngige disclosed that the meeting agreed that the issues of non-implementation of allowances contained in the 2017 agreement, such as consequential minimum wage adjustment and skipping, would be taken holistically.

On the issue of the non-adjustment of CONHESS as done in CONMESS, the minister said that the matter was in the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) for adjudication.

He said, following a litigation engendered by a civil society organisation, the court remitted the issue back to JOHESU and its employer, the Federal Ministry of Health, for discussion.

Ngige said that they agreed at the meeting that if the discussions fail, the matter should be brought back for conciliation.

He added that the meeting further resolved that other issues brought up by JOHESU, such as the 30 per cent of shift duty allowance to nurses and others, payment of outstanding allowance to intern health professionals.

According to him, others include the payment of teaching allowance to JOHESU members on CONHESS 7 and 8, as well as skipping arrears should be handled expeditiously by the Federal Ministry of Health.

The minister also noted that the resolution of issues affecting their members in the state health institutions was for the Council on Health, adding that the Federal Ministry of Health has been directed to receive them and forward to the council.

He added that JOHESU will meet with the Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday to draw up a framework for all the discussions to start.

“We will be ready to address all the issues. But we agreed that as a result of the perilous state of economy, the principle of capacity to pay will guide all our discussion,” he said.

The JOHESU President, Mr Josiah Biobelemonye, noted that “strike is not the way to go”, and expressed optimism that all issues raised by the unions would be positively attended to.

NAN

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Northern Youths inaugurate Yahaya Bello Presidential Network

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By Gistflash News

Sept 22, 2021

Youths from Nigeria’s 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have inaugurated a political pressure group that will work for the realisation of the presidential ambition of Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi.

Known as the Yahaya Bello Network (YBN), the group said it would be supporting the governor to emerge the nation’s next president in 2023.

The YBN said Nigerian youths wanted one of them as the nation’s next leader.

At the inauguration on Wednesday in Kaduna, YBN spokesman, Bello Mohammed, said gone were the days when Nigerians talked of politics of region and ethnicity.

“We are supporting Gov. Bello not only because he is our own from the north, but because he is young, vibrant and energetic and has what it takes to lead Nigeria to the promised land.

“There are agitations everywhere, but it is not constitutional as politics is a game of number and Yahaya Bello is a man of quality.

“Nigeria’s presidency is something that has to do with quality and has nothing to do with your religion or background,“ Mohammed said.

The inauguration of the YBN comes barely 72 hours after the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) declared that the region would retain power beyond 2023 as it has the voter population to win the presidential election in 2023.

Inaugurating the executives and ambassadors of YBN, Mohammed described the call by the southern governors for power to return to the South as unconstitutional and uncalled for, insisting that politics is a game of numbers.

He said the leadership of his group would embark on a tour of the 19 northern states to canvass support for the candidature of Bello as Nigeria’s next president.

The Special Adviser on Youth and Student Affairs to the Governor, Ahmed Jibril, said it was a good development that Nigerian youths were now coming on board to identify with a youth like them and seek his election to the exalted position of Nigerian President.

“It is only a plus for us as youths to be calling on Gov. Bello to come and be the number one citizen of Nigeria,” he said.

On the agitation for power shift to the South, Jibril said it was part of democracy.

“Everybody has the right to call for what he wants and it is his opinion.

“If people have seen the youth in Gov. Bello, if they have seen a leader and a unifier of the country in him, then he shall be the President by the grace of God because man proposes but God has the final say,’’ Jibril said.

YBN Secretary-General Salisu Mohammed inaugurated the executives and ambassadors of the group, including notable Kannywood actors and actresses.

He called on them to go and spread the message to others in their respective states.

NAN

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INEC begins nationwide display of voters register Sept 24, says Ebonyi REC

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By Gistflash News

Sept 22, 2021

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will commence the first quarter display of Voter Register (VR) across the country on Sept. 24.

Dr Joseph Chukwu, the Ebonyi INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), who stated this at a news conference in Abakaliki, on Wednesday, added that the display will run from Sept. 24 and end on Sept.30.

He urged those that took part in the registration exercise to use the opportunity to cross-check their biodata and any other relevant information and make corrections, where necessary.

Chukwu noted that the exercise was sequel to the end of the first quarter of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) that began in June.

The REC, who commended eligible voters for participating in the civic exercise appealed to the citizenry to continue supporting INEC’s activities that would lead to credible elections in 2023.

“Following the completion of the online and physical registrations, which began on June 28 and closed by 11.59p.m on Sept. 21.

“The display of voters’ register for claims and objections will hold effective from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30 for the first quarter.

“The exercise will take place in all the 13 local government offices of the commission, including the two centres at the state headquarters.

“The register will also be on display simultaneously across the 774 local government areas and the Federal Capital Territory, as well as other designated centres.

“All registrants are, therefore, advised to visit centres where they registered or made corrections to check for the correctness of their particulars”, Chukwu said.

He explained that the second quarter of the CVR exercise would begin on Oct. 4 nationwide and end on Dec. 20, while third phase of the exercise would start by Jan. 3, 2022 and close on March 4.

The fourth quarter would begin by April 11, 2022 to end on June 30, 2022.

“Let me on behalf of the Chairman of our commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, express our gratitude to all critical stakeholders for their cooperation before, during and after the first quarter of the exercise in Ebonyi.

“Except occasional disruptions by rain, we did not encounter any security breach during the entire exercise throughout the state,” Chukwu said.

NAN

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Ganduje condoles with Gaya Emirate over Emir’s death

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By Gistflash News

Sept 22, 2021

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has said that he received with sadness and deep feeling, the news of the passing away of the Emir of Gaya, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir.
Abdukkadir died on Wednesday at the age of 91 and left behind three wives, 28 children and many grandchildren.
The Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, stated this in a statement he issued to newsmen on Wednesday in Kano.
“Despite his ailing condition, the monarch’s uncommon leadership qualities earned him respect as traditional ruler since his days as Sarkin Gaya and until his death as First Class Emir in Kano.
“The death of the Emir in one of the oldest Emirates in Northern Nigeria, has created a vacuum difficult to be filled considering his contributions to peace, stability and progress of his domain and the country,” he said.
The commissioner revealed that Abdukkadir was one of the four Emirs elevated to First Class Emirs by the Gov. Ganduje administration after the creation of Rano, Gaya, Bichi and Karaye Emirates in 2019.
“Gov. Ganduje, who is away in Abuja when the Emir’s death was announced said the demise of the monarch is a big loss to his immediate family, Gaya Emirate, the government and the entire people of Kano state,” he said.
He, therefore, prayed to Allah in His infinite mercy to forgive his sins and grant him Aljannah Firdausi.
Garba also quoted the governor as calling on the people of the emirate to bear the loss with the spirit of acquiescence to God’s will.
The governor also urged them to take solace in the fact that endurance was not the measure of a good life but the sense of fulfilment.
NAN
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