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Union shuts down SON over poor staff welfare



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. 



NUC, NYSC to block ‘fake’ foreign-trained graduates from service



The National Universities Commission (NUC), in collaboration with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Tuesday said it had put measures in place to block fake foreign-trained graduates from partaking in the compulsory one-year national service.

The NUC said it would continue to ensure the credibility of certificates issued by Nigerian universities and block fake foreign-trained graduates coming into the country.

Its Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, spoke when the NYSC Director General, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, visited him at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

A statement in Abuja by the NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi, regretted the challenges in vetting the certificates obtained from universities established by Nigerians outside the country.

The NUC chief said many universities produce quality graduates while some produce graduates who cannot defend their certificates.

He said the commission had not approved the degrees of some online universities operating in the country.

Rasheed added that the commission had approached the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to shut down some illegal universities operating in Nigeria.

“NUC and NYSC must work together to help the country in producing quality graduates. The NUC will continue to certify the credibility of certificates obtained from Nigerian universities,” he said.

The NYSC DG said the scheme will not issue Certificate of National Service to unqualified graduates.

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Eid-el-kabir: FG declares Monday, Tuesday public holidays



The Federal Government has declared Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th August as Public Holidays to mark the 2019 Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Barr. Georgina Ehuriah, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated the Muslim faithful on the occasion .

She called on all Nigerians, at home and in diaspora, to use the period of this year’s Eid-Al-Kabir celebration to embrace the virtues of love, humility, peace and sacrifice as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.

She urged Nigerians to shun any form of disruptive tendencies and join hands with the Federal Government to build a peaceful, strong and united Nigeria so as to achieve an enviable Next Level of growth and development.

According to a statement by Director (Press & Public Relations), Mohammed Manga, the Permanent Secretary reaffirmed the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians, adding that Security Agencies under the Ministry have been directed to ensure the provision of adequate security, before, during and after the Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

She restated government’s desire for all Nigerians to live a life of sacrifice, charity and love for one another.

Bar. Ehuriah wished Nigerians a happy, peaceful and fulfilling Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

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Why Buhari must act now, by comedian Ali Baba



Foremost Nigerian stand-up comedian and actor, Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, widely known as Ali Baba recently charged President Muhammad Buhari and Nigerians to be futuristic in their dreams.

The ace comedian who took to his social media page said the present administration needs to be proactive in creating the future for the next generation.

“Buhari needs to act now. He must start creating the future, developing our infrastructures and prepare them for the next generation,” he posted.

“The Eiffel Tower was built in the 1800s. Today, that structure is the centre of the economy of Paris. The Pyramids built in the days of Moses, still feed Egypt. The Walls of China. The leaning Tower of Pissa. The Ruins of Rome… What structures do we have, to drive economic development and help trigger different dreams. Where can you see those iconic landmarks in Nigeria?  How have their values been maximized? Visit our Museums. Yet we want the artefacts taken away, that are getting the best treatment, to be returned. Laughable.”

The 54 years old comedians, however described the present situation of the country as ‘hand to mouth,” “We live from hand to mouth. We sell the oil. Spend it. Drill for more oil. Spend it. And the fraction we even spend is small. The rest of the money stolen. We have been stolen blind. And the thieves are living large amongst us. And we can see them but can’t make them face the music.”

Ali Baba who after completing his academic degree in 1990, relocated to Lagos to develop his comedic talent said he still think about how people tried to discouraged him when he started doing stand-up comedy in 1988.

“In 1988, when I started doing standup comedy, there were many who told me that much. My father disowned me. His reason? He could not see any future in what I did. Many people are limited by history of things and what they already know. Those who create the future get triggered by things that can be seen in the future.

“I look back now and think about how many people tried to discourage me. Those who thought the ladder to success, was exclusively by climbing as a Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Banker, Architect, Accountant, Civil Servant… Today, there are comedians who are worth 3 billion (more or less) in assets and liquid cash. There are comedians, whose social impact and economic value has empowered many who are in those core walks of life mentioned above.”

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