20 May

Daily Watch – Bayelsa civil servants strike over salaries, NCAA reads riot act to airlines

  • Civil servants in Bayelsa State have embarked on an indefinite strike over months of salary arrears owed by the state government. The strike started following the end of a 21-day ultimatum given by unions to the Bayelsa State Government to pay all outstanding salaries and allowances. The NLC and TUC in Bayelsa had on Thursday, April 28, warned that at the end of the ultimatum, they would take an action against the government if it failed to comply with their demands. State workers are currently owed four months’ salaries with pensioners being owed seven months’ arrears. Local government council workers are being owed 12 months’ unpaid salaries.
  • Noting that is has been inundated with reports from the Consumer Protection Council and angry passengers, the NCAA has expressed concern over increasing reports of flight cancellations and delays. NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said that despite the prevailing challenge over fuel, airlines should follow NCAA requirements and regulations in carrying out their operations. The NCAA also advised operators to ensure tickets are not sold to air travellers when there are perceived or real hitches concerning sourcing of aviation fuel. According to the authority, where there is a delay in the service, passengers must be duly informed and light refreshments provided as stipulated by the regulations.
  • Despite claiming repeatedly that the Ministry of Communications and the NCC were not involved in the downward review of MTN Nigeria’s N1.04 trillion fine, the Minister, Adebayo Shittu, has said the ministry asked the telecommunications company to pay N50 billion as an act of good faith. Shittu, had on several occasions told the House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications that the negotiations for the fine were taken over by the AGF without consultation with his ministry. However, at another sitting of the Committee, Shittu recalled that the MTN proposed an out of court settlement, after suing the federal government, and was asked to pay N50 billion as act of good faith, before observing that negotiations over the fine could not continue due to the ongoing investigation into the matter by the House Committee.
  • The BOI has funded 15 start-up entrepreneurs in Kaduna State, with a loan grant worth N48.44 billion. Acting Managing Director, BOI, Waheed Olagunju announced this at the presentation of cheques to beneficiaries of the Kaduna Start-up Entrepreneurship Program. KADASTEP is an initiative established by the Kaduna Government in partnership with Kaduna School of Business and BOI, to empower and fund young entrepreneurs in the state. On his part, Governor Nasir el-Rufai, said his administration’s desires is to empower 5,000 young entrepreneurs in the next four years under KADSTEP.