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Weekly Cover

Defying cries and pleas of communities spread across four local government areas of Okpokwu, Ohimini, Otukpo and Ado in Benue State, the Dangote Group of Companies continues, in greater ferocity, the strip mining of coal that may have left in its wake endangered thousands of residents; National Record’s Onah L. Iduh and John Ameh report.
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Editorial

How DNA Evidence Nailed Killer Decades After Killing Spree

Criminal DNA databases produced no hits, sweeps of crime scenes no fingerprints and hefty rewards no definitive tips. But Paul Holes, an investigator and DNA expert, had a hunch he could create a road map to the killer through his genetics.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Unanswered Questions Around Ngige’s Suspension of NSITF Management and...

While the allegation of corruption remains a fundamental issue in the suspension, there are questions begging for answers from either the Minister or the Presidency since the Minister’s action on July 2.
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Workers World

International Youth Day: NLC Demands Expanded Opportunities For Young People

According to the NLC, the theme of this year’s International Youth Day; “Youth Engagement for Global Action,” “captures most succinctly the global pulse in response to the prevailing realities. It seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how youth representation and engagement in formal institutions can be significantly enhanced.”

Richard Gbadebo: Family, ILAW, ASCAB, Query Autopsy Report

Gbadebo, a 300 level student in the Department of European Studies, University of Ibadan, was killed in an industrial accident at Henkel Nigeria Limited, an Ibadan-based soap-making factory on the night of 27th July 2020.

Encomiums As NLC Celebrates Ngige At 68

“As the Minister of Labour and Employment, Nigerian workers have had both thrilling, tepid and tensed times with Dr. Chris Ngige. One should expect no less given the fighter that Dr. Ngige is. Through our checkered relationship and piercing through the veil of our different persuasions, one thing has stood out very clear – Dr. Chris Ngige has demonstrated one consistent character which is the penchant of leaving the door of frank discussions, open negotiations, and genuine reconciliation open. These are the traits of a truly great man."

NLC Condemns, Rejects Sack of Pilots, Aviation Workers By Airlines

Describing the sack of the workers as “highly insensitive, callous, and unjust,” Comrade Wabba said the unilateral sack of executive members of NUATE who are employees of Turkish Air is particularly distressing. “These workers were sacked for fighting for the rights of Nigerian workers in Turkish Air. This is very reprehensible. We wish to remind Turkish Air that unionized workers cannot be punished or sacked for participating in trade union activities. This action is aimed at frustrating unionization in Turkish Air and to enslave Nigerians working with Turkish Air. The anti-labour practices in Turkish Air constitute fundamental infractions on our Constitution and labour laws and a gross disrespect to Nigeria,” Comrade Wabba stressed.

The Blood of Richard Gbadebo is Crying for Justice

Our clients, specifically, the family of Richard Gbadebo, briefed us that up till today, 3rd August 2020, no official explanation as to the circumstances leading to the death of Richard Gbadebo has been made to the family. The family only gathered from Richard’s colleagues that he slipped and fell into the bowel of the machinery he was working with. That the machinery is meant to be operated by at least four persons. But that Richard was the only person operating the machine at the time of the incident. The colleagues who were outside the engine room claimed they noticed blood mixed with water where only water was supposed to flow out. The blood alerted them and they went to check the machine only to find Richard trapped in the machine.

Columnists

Pension Reform Act 2014: Compliance Issues With Regards To Employer

The Act places certain obligations upon the employer who are therefore expected by law to comply with such obligations. Non-compliance is unacceptable because it puts the future of the employee at risk. The Act provides PENCOM, the regulator, with powers to enforce compliance. Where there is non-compliance by the regulator, the Act also has provided regimes of sanctions for non-compliance. The non-compliance of the federal government, with some of the obligations placed upon it in the Act as the largest employer in the country, is the weakest link in the pension reform; the Contributory Pension Scheme; and the regulation of the pension industry.

The Role of PENCOM in the Contributory Pension Scheme

The Commission operates under a Board of Directors (The Board) headed by a part-time Chairman with the Director General as the Chief Executive Officer. The Board is made up of representatives of critical stakeholders, such as the Head of Civil Service of the Federation; Federal Ministry of Finance; Nigeria Labour Congress; Trade Union Congress of Nigeria; Nigeria Union of Pensioners; Nigeria Employers Consultative Association; Central Bank of Nigeria; Securities and Exchange Commission; Nigerian Stock Exchange; and National Insurance Commission.

Solidarity For Ever: Celebrating The Reconciliation Between NLC And ULC

The greatest challenge the NLC has so far faced since the administration of the affairs of Congress were returned to elected trade union leaders in January 1999, which was self-inflicted, was the post-10th National Delegates Conference 2015 crisis. As much as we would have wished it never happened, it did and the labour movement, especially the NLC, had its image dented. The crisis took away our solidarity, which is the one pillar that makes our organisation, the NLC, strong. Employers, especially the federal government, surely celebrated the conflict albeit quietly because the government as the biggest employer in Nigeria was the beneficiary while it lasted.

State Governments and Pension Rights of Their Employees

The Contributory Pension Scheme, unlike the old Define Benefit Scheme that it replaced, has inbuilt safeguards meant to protect the fund from mismanagement and fraudulent practices. The scheme is fully funded through monthly contributions, which are put into Retirement Saving Accounts (RSAs) owned by employees. Employers cannot access the funds. The funds are warehoused by Pension Fund Custodians and managed by Pension Fund Administrators. The law established the National Pension Commission, among other objectives, to regulate, supervise and ensure the effective administration of pension matters and retirement benefits in Nigeria.

Social Security: The Nigerian Experience

Social security means measures, processes and systems aimed at providing, maintaining and ensuring a humane and dignified standard of living not only for those working but for general citizenry who for one reason or the other are incapacitated and unable to earn a living.

News

S’Leone Dragged Before ECOWAS Court over Missing Ebola Virus Funds

The Sierra Leonian government has been dragged before the ECOWAS Community Court in Abuja over allegation it mismanaged millions of United...

Sallah Message: Shaaban Salutes Emir of Zazzau

In a Sallah message, Shaaban encouraged the observance of COVID-19 safety standards throughout the festive period.

CNG Protests Against Killings: NEF Calls for Caution

It counselled the CNG to explore additional avenues in conjunction with other groups and individuals in order to sustain the momentum and keep the government on its toes.
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Civil Society/Human Rights

Hunger Could Claim More Lives Than Coronavirus – Oxfam

Oxfam, in its monthly newsletter, July 2020 edition, stated that combined with ongoing conflicts, spiraling inequality, and an escalating climate crisis, the coronavirus has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and shaken an already broken food system to its foundations thereby leaving millions more on the brink of starvation.

Hussaini Abdu Appointed Into the Agenda 2050 Technical Working Group

According to the post, the “working group is mandated to develop a long-term Development Plan tagged ‘Nigeria Agenda 2050’ and a medium-term National Development Plan (2021-2025) which are both meant to replace the current Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020). The Nigeria Vision 20:2020 will lapse in December, 2020.”

Police Release Detained CNG Leader

“We uphold our position that arbitrary arrest and disproportionate deployment of armed forces to frighten the citizens from demanding accountability on electoral mandates in form of peaceful protest, personal liberty and freedom of expression, as guaranteed under relevant national and international laws, are unacceptable, undemocratic and totally unwelcome in our nation's democracy.

9th NASS@1: CISLAC Calls for Increased Priority in Legislative Activities

We are worried over continuous delay in introduction of appropriate legislative framework to improve coordination and result-oriented approach in the anti-corruption fight through full domestication and activation of pending Global and Regional Anti-Corruption Instruments to improve coordination and ensure a result-oriented approach in the anti-corruption fight; review of Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB) to promote transparency, accountability, and governance, as well as curtail monumental financial losses in our nation’s oil and gas sector; back disclosure of beneficial owners of licenses in the oil sector and the publicizing of oil and mining contracts, as recommended by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Open Government Partnership Commitments.

COVID-19: ACIS-M Joins Global Call for Nobel Peace Prize to Henry Reeve Brigade

More than 1,500 Cuban health professionals, doctors, specialists and nurses were requested by 23 countries in Europe, Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Latin America and the Caribbean to help them in this global crisis and are now working in those countries.

Opinion

Death Sentence By Kano Sharia Court: Matters Arising

Sharif, a Tijjaniya musician, residing at Sharifai Quarters was tried for blasphemy against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in a song clip that went viral on WhatsApp.

Why We’re All Involved In The Struggle To Free NUFBTE

All over the democratic world, honesty, performance and constitutionalism are major determining factors on the occupation of office. Where there are clear cases of irredeemable decline in performance and serious breach of the law, change or impeachment becomes inevitable. NUFBTE leadership must be changed this year because the conditions for its removal have since been met in both our constitution and its toxic performance.

In Praise of the New Labour Unity

Unity is the cardinal principle of trade unionism. This has been a recurring theme in my written reflections on “Labour and Trade Unions” as well as active praxis in the past four decades. As the General Secretary of National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN); between March 10, 2000–March 30, 2020, I bear witness that a cohesive, indivisible movement is an indispensable precondition for the union’s acknowledged achievements in wage improvements, defense of workers’ rights and advocacy for industrial renewal over the past four decades.

Dark Clouds Over NUFBTE

The labour movement is presently at the lowest ebb of morality. Some people, who are in the position to advice Comrade Oyelekan also got illegal extension in their respective unions for one reason or another. Oyelekan boasted to us that no amount of petition to the ministry will jolt the officials into inviting us. Truly, we have written several petitions articulating our displeasure, but Ministry of Labour and Employment that is supposed to be regulating us has not seen the need to invite us. We are tempted to believe that what Oyelekan said about the ministry is right!

Akele: Tribute To A Courageous Working Class Fighter

The likes of Comrade Akele are rarely mentioned by the bourgeois press during democracy celebrations, particularly June 12, but aside being a working class hero, he was also a hero of anti-military struggles, a hero of pro-democracy struggles and a hero of the struggle for independent students' unionism being the first secretary of the interim leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students in its formative stages in 1980 before the first full Exco was elected in the 1980/81 session under the presidency of Tanimu Yakubu of Bayero University, Kano.

Business & Finance

Dangote Cement Sustains 54,000 Jobs in 4 African Countries

Briefing shareholders at the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos last week, Dangote told the shareholders that the year 2019 was a strong year given the tough business environment across most of its operating geographies. He disclosed that the Group recorded volumes of 23.7 million metric tonnes and revenues of ₦891.7 billion.

Attack on AfDB, Assault on AU, Says Comrade Aremu

“Importantly, AU should reaffirm the objective of the Bank, which is to finance Africa’s development. The American ridicule and disparage of the Bank is unacceptably brazen and provocative. According to the World Bank President, David Malpass, who is an American nominee of Trump administration, AfDB “lends too quickly”, thus aggravating the countries' debt problems, the allegation the Bank had dismissed as “Untrue and unfounded,”.

Sports & Entertainment

Agriculture

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