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Economy

We can’t pay new minimum wage – Governors

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…As Falana tells oil workers: Compel FG to probe $12.7bn stolen oil***

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has said its member are still struggling to pay the current minimum wage of N18,000.

The governors said they were not against the upward review of the minimum wage, but that the ability of states to pay must be considered.

Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige had last week told reporters that while Labour unions were demanding N30,000 per month, Federal Government proposed N24,000 and state governors N20,000.

Chairman of the Forum, who is also the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, said this while briefing journalists after the meeting of the governors held in Abuja on Wednesday night.

National President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, was also at the meeting.

Yari said that the issue was not just on agreed figure to be paid by the governors, but the “ability or resources to take care of that agreed minimum wage.”

According to him, the forum had made it clear that the governors were not against any upward review of salaries or against the NLC to get minimum wage reviewed.

He said, “But, the problem of state is the capacity to pay what is agreed. As we are talking today, we are (still) struggling with N18,000. Some of the states are paying 35 per cent, some 50 per cent and still some states have salary arrears. So, it is not about only reviewing it but how we are going to get the resources to cater for it.”

The governor stated that Wabba was invited to brief the forum on states performance in the use of London and Paris Club refunds.

Punch reports that the Federal Government disbursed the fund to states with the condition to use a larger percentage of the money to pay workers’ salaries.

He said while some states had recorded some progress in line with the condition they signed with the Federal Government, others were still owing arrears.

According to him, “So, we invited the National President of NLC to give us details on how some states performed. Some other states that are not up to date, where are they.

“So they have signed Memorandum of Understanding with the NLC at the national level and their representative in states on when they are going to overcome the issue of salary arrears. That has been done and it has been taken to the Central Bank Governor to ensure that those states were also paid.”

In the meantime, human rights activist  and Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, yesterday, eclared that $12.7 billion worth of crude oil was  allegedly stolen from Nigeria between 2011 and 2014, even as he called on the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, to prevail on the anti-corruption agencies to institute a probe to trace the funds and determine the culprits.

Speaking at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of PENGASSAN in Abuja, Falana also called for the immediate recovery from oil companies, royalties accruable to the Federation Account since 2014, stating that the Offshore and Inland Sharing Contract Act that provided that for 50 years no royalty would be collected from oil and gas mined from below 1,000 meters depth had expired in 2014. Commenting on the alarming cases of oil theft, Falana said the crude oil theft data was released by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, while he promised to make the report available to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and other stakeholders.

According to him, the NIMASA study revealed that from January 2011 to December 2014, oil that left Nigeria totaled 60.2 million barrel, not recorded here, but was discharged in one port in Philadelphia in America. He said: “The study revealed that the value of the money from oil stolen from Nigeria is $12.7 billion. The oil was discharged in one port. We have identified who the oil majors are and the shipping companies involved, but since 2014, we have been begging the Nigeria government to recover the money.”

He urged PENGASSAN, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG,  and Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to pressurise anti-graft agencies to probe the volume of crude oil stolen from Nigeria and discharged at ports in the United States, India, China, France and Britain, noting that if the issue was taken seriously, Nigeria could see the return of over $100 billion. He said, “This is the real money that should be recovered. That is why I am appealing to NUPENG, PENGASSAN and NLC to assist in going to the root of this criminality at the international level and recover the money and put in the federation coffers  so that our people can enjoy the benefits of oil and gas industry.”

Falana also challenged the labour centres to look into the Halliburton case to ensure that justice prevailed and    see to it that recovered fund was used for the benefit of the country. He lamented that Nigerians were yet to get value from the oil and gas industry, while he also called on the unions to focus on the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, and determine how best it could be utilized for the interest of the country. Also speaking, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, called on PENGASSAN to collaborate with the Corporation and provide ideas that that would guarantee the profitability and optimum performance and sustainability of its business and operations. According to him, this becomes necessary because once the business is sustained, everything, including of course, staff welfare, will automatically fall in place.

Baru said, “The NNPC appreciates your consistent involvement in the industry policy formulation. The most recent being the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, your advocacy for robust local content development as well as your complementary role to grow a virile and productive economy for the country. “These have gone a long way to demonstrate the high stake you have exhibited in the service of the industry and the nation. I can only add that you keep up your good work.”

The Citizen with additional report from Vanguard

Economy

Unstable Economy: UK Firm Presents Solutions To Nigerian Business Leaders

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SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation

Nigerian business leaders are to benefit from the programme of United Kingdom-based leadership development organisation TEXEM UK on how to win despite the exodus of staff, very high inflation and turbulent operating landscape.

TEXEM’s Director of Special Projects, Caroline Lucas, said on the organisation’s website, www.texem.co.uk, that the programme with the theme “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success” is slated for April 24 and April 25 in Lagos.

According to Lucas, in today’s volatile and disruptive business landscape, organisations face numerous strategic challenges.

“TEXEM’s programme, “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success,” offers tailored solutions to address these pressing issues.

“Senior leaders grappling with skyrocketing costs, high currency risks, and disruptive technologies require practical insights and tools to navigate uncertainty effectively.

“This programme provides actionable strategies for sustainable success amidst turbulent times,” she said.

Lucas asserts that exceptional crisis management skills are essential in the face of staff exodus and geopolitical disruptions.

“TEXEM equips participants with the necessary leadership capabilities to lead through crises, ensuring organisational excellence even amidst adversity.

“Innovation becomes imperative in turbulent waters.

“TEXEM’s programme fosters a culture of innovation and provides guidance on harnessing adversity as a catalyst for profitable growth,” she said.

According to her, participants will learn to turn challenges into opportunities, driving sustained profitability.

Lucas said resilience and effective risk management are crucial in today’s volatile landscape.

She said through interactive sessions and case studies, TEXEM helps senior leaders develop unshakable qualities, enabling them to navigate uncertainty and confidently mitigate risks.

“Optimizing resource utilisation is paramount amidst soaring costs.

“TEXEM offers insights on managing resources efficiently, ensuring optimal impact even amidst cost pressures. Decisive problem-solving is paramount.

“TEXEM enhances participants’ decision-making capabilities through peer learning and observation practice, empowering them to make better decisions that drive organisational success,” Lucas said.

She said that beyond the curriculum, networking opportunities with industry peers enrich the learning experience, abound.

“Professional exchange provides valuable insights into different approaches to overcoming challenges, enhancing overall learning and impact.

“TEXEM’s programme aims to develop leadership strategies for optimum performance in an era of uncertainty.

“By helping participants understand how to manage and deploy resources more efficiently, it equips them with the skills needed to thrive in turbulent times,” Lucas said.

Saying that adversity is the mother of innovation, she added that TEXEM empowers individuals and organisations to thrive in volatile times, fostering innovation and sustained profitability.

“At the end of the programme, participants can expect to develop leadership skills for better decision-making and possess survival skills to navigate crises effectively.

“Through its comprehensive approach and proven methodology, TEXEM ensures participants unlock their potential, foster innovation, and drive sustained profitability in today’s challenging environment,” Lucas said.

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Economy

Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

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Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called for the use of innovative technologies in resolving the economic and social challenges of the country.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Wednesday during the pioneer graduation of the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy (LJLA) at Konga Place in Lekki.

He said that the new platform of globalisation and Internet of things must be significantly employed to resolve new challenges encountered in the course of improving the living standards of citizens.

30 students, 15 men and 15 women, between 18 and 35 years, graduated from the academy after a one-year course and mentorship in leadership.

The Lagos Leadership Summit (LLS) is a pivotal platform dedicated to empowering Nigeria’s young professionals with the skills and insights essential for success in various leadership roles.

With a focus on leadership excellence, ethical governance, and youth inclusion in governance, the summit offers a unique opportunity for participants to engage with renowned leaders and industry experts.

” You have to be able to innovate for us, you are here as leaders of not tomorrow but today. Proffer solutions that the government can use as a tool, to solve the challenges that we are facing today but more importantly to solve global issues.

“And that is why we started the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy. For us as a government, we felt how well can we honour a man than for us in public sector to set up a cream of new leaders.

“So we set up this school that has the first set, the one-year fellowship, who indeed have not only shown us that we took the right step, they have been outstanding individuals,” the governor said.

The guest speaker and former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, noted that it was important for followers to trust their leaders for a successful outcome.

“The people need to trust the government, they must know the capability of their leaders so that when issues beyond human expectations happen, the followers can show empathy to the plight of their leaders.

” I have always been an advocate that believes that the process is as important as the result, the end shouldn’t justify the means, the process is crucial, it serves as a blueprint for others coming behind,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor, who spoke on “Leadership And Community Engagement”, stated that to achieve effective leadership in Nigeria, there was the need to navigate complex political, economic and social landscapes.

Hamzat urged the citizens to be involved in governance while stressing the need for collaborations with private stakeholders and the public sector.

According to him, community engagement with government at all levels is pivotal to the nation’s development.

In her address, Mrs Ayisat Agbaje-Okunade, LIJA’s Executive Secretary, noted that the challenges faced required leaders who are not only capable but compassionate, visionary, and adaptable.

According to her, leadership must transcend rhetoric and manifest tangible outcomes.

“We need leaders who inspire confidence, foster unity, and drive transformation.”

Agbaje-Okunade urged the participants to embrace the responsibility that comes with leadership and pave the way for a generation of new leaders.

The keynote speaker, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, said that leadership is about leading people on a new purposeful journey.

Suleiman said being a strategic thinker and a transformational leader was what makes leadership different from management, adding that the future is being crafted in leadership.

“In essence, as a leader, you must be able to lead people to the future hence, you must be convincing for people to be bold to follow you, able to trust and believe in you.

“For one to be a leader, the people must be able to believe and trust you to take them to the future where you have never been to,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Tunbosun Alake, Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, stressed that leadership had nothing to do with being young or old but having good values and character.

The commissioner advised the participants to pursue excellence in their various career paths to succeed in life.

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Economy

Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu Urges Sacrifice, Integrity For National Rebirth

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Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu urges sacrifice, integrity for national rebirth

 President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices and exhibit integrity for national development.

Tinubu said this after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Eid Ground at Dodon Barracks on Wednesday in Lagos.

The President also called on Nigerians to continue to have faith in his government and remain patriotic citizens.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration, aimed at bringing prosperity to Nigerians, was being diligently implemented.

Encouraging Muslims to extend the values of sacrifice and resilience beyond the fasting period, Tinubu emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise the exhibition of love for their country.

‘’The resilience and sacrifice that we have shown and made during these months should be preserved.

“Be a kind and cheerful giver. We must love our country more than any other country because this is the only one we have.

‘’We must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The Renewed Hope Agenda is alive, well and fine, and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful. Without hope, there is no salvation.

“Without hope, there is no development. Without hope, there is no life. Eid Mubarak,’’ the President said at the end of the prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.

Earlier in his sermon, the Chief Imam urged Nigerians to shun all acts of violence, ensure peaceful co-existence, and continue to have faith in the country.

He asked those in leadership positions to remain faithful to their oaths of office and work towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged.

‘‘Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza and other areas of conflict,’’ the Chief Imam said.

He offered prayers of God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for the President and the Lagos State government, as well as for peace and stability in the country.

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