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NLC Threatens Strike Over Wage, Grievances

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The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) leadership has threatened to go on a national strike over the minimum wage if a bill seeking to amend the constitution to remove national “minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list and placed in the concurrent list is passed into law. NLC says the removal is a declaration of war on Nigerian workers and NLC is prepared to resist by all means necessary.

NLC has also said it will not hesitate to shut down the country with a nationwide industrial action if other grievances including the rising spate of insecurity in the country that has continued to manifest in form of kidnappings and banditry and fuel scarcity, are not addressed by the federal government. It called on Nigerian authorities to as a matter of urgency fix the countries refineries.

President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba gave the warning when he led members in a protest on Wednesday to the national assembly over the proposed legislation. The bill sponsored by house of representatives member, Garuba Datti Muhammad from Kaduna State is seeking to amend the constitution to remove the national minimum wage” from the exclusive list to enable state governments determine their own minimum wage. The workers’ union kicked vehemently against the bill which they believe will decentralize workers’ wages in the country and totally not in line with international best practices.

The protesters marched on the national assembly from their take-off point at the unity fountain and occupied the citizens gallery where Wabba addressed the workers.

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) brought other grievances to the doorstep of their elected representatives; as it kicked against the non-implementation of financial autonomy for State legislature and Judiciary as provided for in Section 121(3) of the Constitution and Presidential Order 10 signed in 2020.

Addressing the workers, Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Abdullahi Sabi said the National Assembly will not take any action inimical to their interest.

He told the workers not to exercise any worry about the National Minimum Wage bill which has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives; pointing out that a similar bill in the 8th Senate never saw the light of the day.

The bill is sponsored by a member of the House of Representatives, Garuba Datti Muhammad representing Sabon-Gari Federal Constituency of Kaduna State.

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Health

Lagos Shuts All COVID-19 Vaccination Centres

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Lagos has closed all COVID-19 vaccination centers across the state, after vaccinating more than a quarter of a million persons, completing the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.  That makes Lagos the only state that has inoculated more than 200,000 residents during this period.

Authorities say the first vaccination exercise ended on tuesday and all vaccination centres have been shut down.  Lagos State received from the federal government half a million of the nearly four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Nigeria.

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, had advised states to stop vaccination after administering half of the doses supplied to them.  This is to ensure those who had already received the first dose would be able to get the second jab.

Lagos health commissioner, Professor Akin Abayomi says the remaining doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been reserved at the Lagos State cold chain store for the 2nd dose exercise, starting from late next month.

He urged Lagosians who have already received the first jab to keep their next appointment dates for their second dose at the same health facilities where they got the first jab.

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Nigerian News

Gunmen Attack Hospital, Kidnap Nurses In Kaduna

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Gunmen Kill Eight Persons In Kaduna State

Two female nurses have been abducted by gunmen in Kaduna State after an attack in a hospital in north-western part of Nigeria, coming two days after gunmen abducted students and shot dead a member of staff at a private university near the state capital.

According to BBC quoting a nurse who escaped the attack said that the attackers had hurriedly entered the hospital in the village of Idon asking for medical staff.

Thinking it was an emergency, the nurses then rushed out only for the gunmen to fire in the air and seize them.

Kidnappings for ransom by criminal gangs have become common in the country but this is the first time a hospital has been targeted.

Also in another attack, gunmen on motorbikes attacked a village in Zamfara State in what is described as deadly village raids. Residents in Zamfara’s Magami area say they have counted more than 50 corpses. A number of homes have also been burnt down.

Authorities say this is yet another in a series of raids targeting remote villages in Zamfara and other northern states.

A police spokesperson confirmed the attacks but did not give any casualty figures.

A report says the gunmen first attacked the village of Yar-Doka on Wednesday, and several other communities when local vigilantes from neighbouring villages moved in to help.

Some of the victims are said to be displaced persons from previous attacks who were returning home to prepare their farmland for this year’s rainy season.

In recent months, armed criminal gangs have carried out deadly attacks, including targeting schools and kidnapping for ransom.  Attackers have reportedly stepped up violence in the region.

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Nigerian News

Senate Probes Alleged Lopsided Appointments At NHRC

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The senate has ordered its committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions, to probe the alleged lopsidedness in the appointments of board members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has requested the senate to advise president Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the commission’s board appointees.

Falana is asking the president to ensure compliance with section 14(3) of the constitution and section 4 of the federal character commission act in the appointments.

Falana’s petition came three weeks after the president sent to the senate and sought its approval of the names of 16 yet to be confirmed nominees appointed to the board and governing council of the commission.

Falana says three of the four nominees representing the north-east are from Kebbi State – including the chairperson of the governing council, Salamatu Suleiman.

He said the south-east and south-south zones have four representatives each while the south west and north-central zones have two representatives each.

He also said the north-east zone has no representative – even as the rate of human rights abuses in the region was higher than any other region in the country because of the counter insurgency operations being prosecuted there.

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