16 May

Daily Watch – Key oil unions support FG, New minimum wage in the offing

  • Following the increase in the price of petrol from N86.50 to N145 per litre, workers in oil sector have called on the FG to increase the minimum wage from N18,000 to N90,000 per month. While both NUPENG and PENGASSAN, agreed with the FG’s position at their meeting in Calabar on Friday, they said that they would push for a new minimum wage demand of N90,000. Francis Olabode-Johnson, president of PENGASSAN and his counterpart from NUPENG, Igwe Achese, said the workers welcomed the petrol price increase, adding that the measure would benefit Nigerians in the nearest future.
  • Three days to the threatened mass action against the FG’s increase in the price of petrol, the Guardian is reporting that the FG will meet the unions today in Abuja over the issue, and propose a new minimum wage of N45,000. However, the increase comes with some provisos including a reduction in the number of civil servants and the merger of some ministries and agencies. As part of the government’s strategy, the Efficiency Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance, has been asked to come up with cost reduction strategies, and is working on the template for the reduction. The FG will also rely on the report of the Steve Oronsaiye’s panel on the rationalisation of the civil service in the streamlining process.
  • The German government has committed £3 million to assist the Ogun State government in developing its agricultural and construction sectors through demand-oriented vocational training programme. The Programme Head, Horst Bauernfeind, said the programme would be supervised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). He added that the gesture was part of an ongoing development cooperation between Nigeria and Germany, based on a 1974 bilateral agreement signed by the two countries. The German explained that the programme, which would run concurrently in Ogun and Plateau for two years, was already at the pilot stage in the two states. He noted that the objective of the programme was to enhance the employability of young Nigerians through skill acquisition made possible by demand-oriented vocational training. The programme will start with the construction sector, and will offer training in vocations like bricklaying, plumbing, wielding, carpentry and electrical installations.
  • A maritime lawyer, Emeka Akabogu, has told the News Agency of Nigeria that Nigeria’s maritime industry loses more than N15 billion annually to lost cargo claims. Akabogu pointed out that there was need for importers to seek legal advice from maritime lawyers in reviewing their contracts in order to protect them as well as their cargoes. Adding that some shippers considered that some claims were not big enough for the efforts, Akabogu said that no claim was too small. The lawyer explained that the procedure for small claims under the rules of maritime arbitrator allowed many claims to be consolidated under one claim.