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Union shuts down SON over poor staff welfare

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The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) on Tuesday paralysed activities at Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) office in Abuja demanding better welfare condition for the staff.

The unionists were carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “Aboloma enough is enough’’, “stop intimidation of staff’’, “FG save SON from corruption management’’, and “illegal promotion must be reversed now’’.

Mr Aliyu Maradun, the Chairman of AUPCTRE, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter said that the union was demanding the immediate approval and implementation of better condition of service at the orgainsation.

Maradun also alleged that the Director-General of SON, Osita Aboloma had refused to obey the directive of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment on voluntarism.

Addressing newsmen during the protest which began as early as 7 a.m, Maradun called on the management of SON to stop all acts of intimidation and victimisation of members of staff.

“The union is calling for a reversal of all punitive transfers effected under management’s onslaught on the union after the headquarters branch election.”

According to Maradun, the workers union are demanding the immediate payment of salary arrears of staff employed in 2016, and promotion arrears for 2018 promotion.

He said all officers on directorate cadre who were on secondment in SON should be returned to their former posts including those that had exceeded the statutory allowed period.

The unions according to him are also demanding an independent review of all contracts awarded from 2016 to date and the recovery of SON’s funds where mismanagement had been established.

NAN contacted Mr Bola Fashina, Head, Public Relations of SON for his comments and he said that the issues being raised by the workers “are being addressed by the management’’.

According to Fashina, budgetary allocation has been made to take care of promotion arrears and the funds have already been approved in the 2019 budget by the National Assembly.

Fashina said that SON had invited AUPCTRE and the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCCOC) for a meeting but the unions failed to honour the invitation.

He said that the organisation allowed freedom of association, adding that SON had two unions.

Fashina said that every contract carried out in the organisation followed due process.

He said that the organisation was ready to dialogue with any union for better condition of service.

Mr Folayan Ayodele, the President, SSASCCOC, SON branch claimed that the organisation’s staff were not among the protesters.

Ayodele said that the right thing was dialoguing with the organisation before picketing.

“We are not involve in the strike and most of them are from outside, they need to follow due process.

“The union gave the organisation a letter just yesterday and today they are here to protest,’’ he said. 

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Presidency confirms Mohammed as IGP

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President Muhammadu Buhari Thursady confirmed Adamu Mohammed as the new Inspector General of police.

Mohammed’s confirmation was announced at the police council meeting which was presided over by Buhari in Aso Rock, Abuja.

The IGP was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15. He took over from former IGP, Ibrahim Idris who retired from service.

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We’ll Treat Anyone Associated With IPOB As A Terrorist – Abia CP

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The Abia State Police Command has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against any activity capable of truncating the peace and safety of the residents.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ene Okon, gave the warning in an interview on Channels Television.

He said that anyone or group of persons associated with IPOB will be termed as a terrorist and dealt with severely.

“The Nigeria Police Force In Abia will treat any person associated with IPOB as a terrorist and such a person or group of persons will be dealt with according to the law”.

The commissioner’s comment comes in reaction to the sit-at-home-order issued by the proscribed movement, scheduled to come into effect on May 30, 2019.

He noted that security personnel have been put in strategic places, thereby assuring residents to go about their activities without fear.

“I am assuring the good people of Abia to disregard the illegal order and go about their normal businesses as there is every assurance of protection of lives and properties”, he added.

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EFCC arrests Kwara Assembly clerk over alleged N400m severance pay

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating alleged illegal payment of about N400 million to some members of the Kwara state House of Assembly, it was gathered.

Accordingly, the anti-graft body is quizzing Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sola Gold and the Clerk of the state House of Assembly, Kperogi Halimat Jummai over the alleged payment.

EFCC source maintained that the payment did not follow due process.

It was gathered that all the 24 lawmakers were two weeks ago paid the sum of N400 million severance package, when their tenure is yet to expire.

The petitioner said even though the lawmakers and members of the state executive council are entitled to severance package, it is the next administration that is supposed to pay the money, a source at the EFCC has said.

“More worrisome is the issue of furniture allowance running to hundreds of millions of naira according to the petitioner which they wanted it pay along with severance package,” the petitioner added.

Speaker of the Assembly Dr Ali Ahmed had in a letter with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, confirmed that the lawmakers are entitled to severance package at the end of their tenure on June 7th this year.

The letter reads that “in accordance with the provisions of the revenue mobilization, allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) honourable members are entitled to 200 percent of their annual basic salaries as their severance gratuity allowance at the end of their tenure of office.”

The clerk of the house, Halimat Jummai Kperogi confirmed that the lawmakers had received their severance package.

She was said to have told the operatives of the EFCC that Governor Ahmed approved the payment of the package.

Kperogi said “in a meeting of the principal officers of the Kwara House of Assembly wherein I was scheduled to be the secretary, held on May 8th, 2019, issue of severance gratuity to the honourable members was raised, the principal officers were informed that the state government has approved the payment of the severance gratuity.”

“At the meeting, I informed the house that the governor had approved the payment. I added that members were expected to be paid after the expiration of their tenure of office. The house debated it and they overruled me.”

Alhaji Gold on the other hand wrote and sought for the approval of the severance gratuity and furniture allowances amounting to about N300 million for some members of the state executive council.

Gold, in a letter to the governor dated May 8th, 2019 said “your Excellency, by virtue of the provisions of Kwara state remuneration of political and public office holders laws, certain category of political and public office holders are entitled to severance and furniture allowances of their basic salaries respectively upon
successful completion of tenure.”

Alhaji Gold said that while the lawmakers had received their monies, members of the state executive council are yet to receive their gratuity.

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