Posted in Domestic, Lifestyle

Facts About National Parks In Nigeria

Nigeria is a tropical country with a total land mass of about 932,768 km2, and a coastline of 960km along the Atlantic Ocean.

With an estimated population of about 182 Million issued by the National Population Commission and 191 million by the United Nation’s estimates.

With the largest number of black race in the World and a Nation of diverse culture with 250 ethnic groups and 400 distinct languages, in which Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo are they most dominant groups.

Nigeria is blessed with rich and unique array of ecosystems, and a great variety of wild fauna and flora. This rich natural endowment is a product of the climatic variations resulting into various north-south gradations of habitats and ecosystems.

The habitats support more than 1,340 species of animals among which is 274 mammalian species, making it the 8th highest in Africa.

From biological inventories, about 885 species of birds, over 109 species of amphibians and 135 species of reptiles have so far been identified.

There are about 900 species of which 60 species are within the wetlands and freshwater ecosystems in Nigeria.

The Nigeria National Parks are they habitations that hold and flourish these species under the control of the Nigeria National Park Service (NNPS).

The organization is responsible for preserving, enhancing, protecting and managing vegetation and wild animals in the national parks.

Habitats loss is currently the major threat poised to national parks, which is a major problem the National Park Service is facing.

Kainji was the first national park to be established by the then Olusegun Obasanjo military regime in 1979.

The National Parks Governing Board and five new National Parks were set up in 1991.

Yankari Game Reserve was upgraded to a national park in 1992 and handed over to the Bauchi State government in June 2006.

The parks cover a total land area of approximately 20,156 km2, or about 3% of Nigeria’s total land area.

The Chad Basin national park covers 2, 258 km2 and is located in parts of Borno and Yobe States.

Cross River national park covers 4, 000 km2 and is located in Cross River State.

Gashaka Gumti national park covers 6, 731 km2 and is located in parts of Taraba and Adamawa states.

Kainji national park covers 5, 382 km2, located in parts of Niger and Kwara States.

Kamuku national park covers 1, 121 km2 and is located in Kaduna state.

Okomu covers 181 km2, located in Edo state.

Old Oyo national park covers 2, 512 km2, located in both Oyo and Kwara states.

Yankari national park covers 2, 244 km2 and located in Bauchi state.

Climate is the major influencer of vegetation in these parks, which can either be a positive or a negative effect.

From the North, where the Chad Basin and Yankari national parks reside, there is a distinct hot and dry seasons; temperature can reach up to 45oC between the months of March and May.

Some parts of Chad Basin National Park, for example receive only about 400mm of rainfall or even less, positioning it in the sahel zone.

The longest of the rainy season is from late May to September (in some seasons early October) of every year.

Southward, rainfall gradually increases and vegetation becomes lush. Thorny scrubs give way to Savanna grassland.

Thus part of Gashaka-Gumti, Kainji Lake and Old Oyo National Parks fall largely within the Guinea Savanna Zone.

Towards the coast, temperatures averages 5oC to 10oC (or less). Here the rains fall mostly heavily between April and July, peaking in July and September.

Rainfall in Cross River and Okomu National Parks, for instance can exceed 400mm, and supports the growth of tropical rainforest.

Posted in Domestic, Government, Politics

Abuja Airport 2nd Runway Captured In #2017Budget Says Senate Leader

Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan said on Friday that the National Assembly (NASS) captured new projects, including a second runway for the Abuja Airport, in the 2017 appropriation bill it passed.

Lawan told state House Correspondents that the projects were covered from the difference in the N42.5 oil bench mark proposed by the Executive and the N44.5 passed by NASS.

He was explaining the reason behind the passage of N7.44 trillion instead of N7.3 trillion proposed by the executive arm of government.

“We have been able to capture for example the second Abuja Airport runway which we all need in this country; we have suffered from having only one.

We have also been able to capture in the NASS from that fund the completion of the Baro inland port.” He said.

Lawan also said that the Abeokuta Airport and the Warri– Aladja rail line were included the in the appropriation.

“These are newly introduced capital projects from the proceeds, the difference between the N44.5 (passed by NASS) and the N42.5 bench mark that we received from the Executive.” He added.

He said that what the NASS passed was still within the good bounds of what the executive presented as there was not much change in the allocations.

He said that the NASS tried to tinker in few cases but ensured that it did not disfigure the appropriation.

“There won’t be, in my opinion and judgment, any issue whether the NASS has tinkered with the budget because we haven’t done much tinkering with it.” The Senate Leader said.

He said the Senate is in agreement mostly with what the executive has presented to the National Assembly.

On the increase in the appropriation for the NASS, Lawan said it was also to take care of the capital projects in the NASS.

According to him, the NASS ensured that the increase was also derived from the two dollar difference in the oil bench mark.
He said that NASS was building the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) meant for capacity building of legislators and non-legislators alike.

He however said he did not think that the allocation was something big as far as NASS was concerned.

He said the nation needs to have a NASS that is really poised, wired and have the capacity and competent to produce good laws.

Posted in Creativity, Domestic, ICT, Software

Female Scientist Develops e-Learning Software To Enhance Health Service Delivery

Miss Farida Kabir,  a Scientist, says she has developed an e-learning software for health workers that can help them build their capacity in health service delivery using their mobile phones.

The Microbiologist disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

She said that the software called O’tract was invented between 2014 and 2015 during the Ebola outbreak in the country.

She said that the software was invented when it became obvious that there were constraints in readily accessing available health information.

“Over the years, people have gotten inappropriate medical advice from some practitioners, especially at the local council level and of course the consequence was disastrous to their health.

“So, with that in mind, it became evident that continuous professional development is essential for health workers and unfortunately not all our health workers can afford travelling abroad for capacity development.

“Also, available seminars and conferences are expensive and not flexible, so to address this problem, I designed O’track to enable health workers to easily choose courses online,’’ Kabir said.

Kabir, who is also an entrepreneur, said that the platform could also enable health workers learn at their own pace on their mobile devices irrespective of their location.

She added that by so doing, they would learn a lot, which would help them in their professions.

Kabir said that the software had a provision for health advocacy tool, which could also help people not in the health sector to be involved in health advocacy.

“If for example, you are not a medical doctor, you have nothing to do with the health sector, and then there is an outbreak of Lassa fever, you can learn what to do and inform others.

“Or you notice an infestation of rat in your house, with the health advocacy tool you can easily log on to and get information on what you need to do.

“There are short and animated clips, audio files and other documents, we also have an e-library database whereby public health researchers can have access to scientific journals, books articles and many others,’’ she said.

Kabir said that the goal of designing the software was to enhance capacity development of health workers toward excellent health delivery services in the country.

She said that the health advocacy tool in the software would educate those outside the health sector about different kinds of diseases and ailments toward building a healthier nation.

Posted in Domestic, Politics

#Breaking: President Buhari Suspends SGF Babachir Lawal

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

This was stated in a press release issued by the Special Adviser to the President,Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina on Wednesday in Abuja.

The President has also directed the suspension of the SGF from office pending the outcome of the investigations.

In a related development, the President has ordered a full scale investigation into the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has made a claim.

The investigation is also to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.

The President has also directed the suspension of the Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.

A three-man Committee comprising the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the National Security Adviser, headed by the Vice President, is to conduct both investigations.

The Committee is to submit its report to the President within 14 days.

The most senior Permanent Secretary in the SGF’s office, and the most senior officer in the NIA, are to act, respectively, during the period of investigation.

(NTA)

Posted in Domestic

Abuja Airport Completed And Re-Opened Ahead of Time

The Ethiopian Airline (Airbus) was the first plane to land the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after six (6) weeks of closure due to reconstruction of one of the runway.

The timely completion of the Abuja Airport runway that paved the way for the re-opening of the airport,
after a six-week closure, has shown the ability of the Buhari Administration to rise up to any occasion, irrespective of how daunting the challenge may be.

In a statement issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday, the Minister described as a remarkable achievement the ability of the
government to complete the total reconstruction of the runway within the stipulated time, despite doomsday predictions.

abuja-airport-completed-re-opened

He said the clock-work precision with which everything concerning the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and the temporary relocation to the Kaduna Airport was handled by the relevant ministries and the security agencies is the clearest indication yet that Nigeria can tackle any challenge.

Alhaji Mohammed noted that the rehabilitation of the Abuja-Kaduna road by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the provision of non-invasive but effective security along the highway by the security agencies and the perfect handling, by the Ministry of Transportation, of the massive logistics involved in ensuring that the Kaduna Airport was able to handle such a large number of flights, all showed that Nigerians have what it takes to make the country a proud member of the comity of nations.

The statement further says it is to the credit of the security agencies and the Federal Road Safety Corps that passengers travelling along the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna highway were largely kept safe while the closure of the Abuja airport lasted.

There was no known security scare while accidents on the road were kept at the barest minimum, despite the increased vehicular traffic.‎

Indeed, the closure of the Abuja airport runway and the logistic nightmare it triggered must rank among the most intimidating challenges faced by this Administration.

It’s ability to live up to expectation by delivering the project even before the scheduled date has further confirmed that Nigerians elected a responsive, responsible and capable federal government in 2015 Lai Mohammed maintained.

abuja-airport-completed-re-opened

The Minister reminded those who might want to trivialize the feat that what could not be done, in the over 30 years that the Abuja airport runway was left to deteriorate to the level of near failure, was achieved in just six weeks by a determined Administration even under an economic recession.

He also recalled that the Port Harcourt International Airport was closed for almost two years, a shameful development, at a time the country was witnessing a more favourable economic situation.

Lai Mohammed thanked Nigerians for enduring the inconveniences that came with the relocation of Abuja flights to Kaduna, the Ethiopian Airline that operated its scheduled Abuja flights to Kaduna when other international carriers turned their back, and the Julius Berger construction company that worked day and night to deliver the project before schedule.

The success recorded in the timely reconstruction of the Abuja airport runway can only rank next to the determined effort with which the federal government contained the Boko Haram insurgency.

We assure Nigerians that this Administration is employing the same uncommon determination to tackle all the challenges facing the country, including pervasive corruption, insecurity, unemployment, infrastructural decay as well as the general economy.‎

Posted in Domestic

Federal Civil Service (FCSC) 2017 Recruitment, List of Successful Candidates for Interview

The Federal Civil Service Commission has released lists of shortlisted candidates according to states, for applications into Federal Ministries according to the statement signed by Hon. Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission MustaphA L. Sulaiman.

Below is the breakdown of affected ministries that require applicants.

Federal Ministry of Education.
Federal Ministry of Labour & Productivity.

Federal Ministry of Finance iv Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
Federal Ministry of Transport.
Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation.
Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation.
Bureau of Public Procurement.

The lists apply to applications received by Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) submitted during the 2016 Recruitment Exercise.
See instructions below:
  1. All shortlisted Applicants are expected to check for their names under their State of Origin, below.
  2. Thereafter, check the Timetable to see when your Ministry/cadre has been scheduled for Interview.
  3. Candidates are expected to adhere strictly to the date/time as scheduled for their Ministries/Cadres.
  4. Shortlisted Candidates should come along with their means of Identification (e.g. Driver’s License, National ID card, International Passport, etc) and two (2) passport size photographs.
  5. Candidates are also expected to come along with Originals of their Credentials and two (2) photocopies of each duly endorsed by them.

See the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) List of Shortlisted Candidates for Interview 2017

  1. Abia State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  2. Adamawa State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  3. Anambra State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  4. Bauchi State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  5. Bayelsa State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  6. Benue State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  7. Borno State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  8. Cross River State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  9. Delta State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  10. Ebonyi State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  11. Edo State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  12. Ekiti State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  13. Enugu State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  14. FCT Abuja FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  15. Gombe State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  16. Imo State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  17. Jigawa State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  18. Kaduna State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates I
  19. Kaduna State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates II
  20. Kano State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  21. Katsina State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates I
  22. Katsina State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates II
  23. Kebbi State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates I
  24. Kebbi State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates II
  25. Kogi State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  26. Kwara State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  27. Lagos State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  28. Nasarawa State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  29. Niger State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  30. Ogun State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  31. Ondo State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  32. Osun State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  33. Oyo State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  34. Plateau State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  35. Rivers State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  36. Sokoto State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  37. Taraba State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  38. Yobe State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates
  39. Zamfara State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates I
  40. Zamfara State FCSC List of Shortlisted Candidates II
Posted in Domestic, Foreign, Security

Nigerians In South Africa Suffer Fresh Xenophobic Attacks

There reports of fresh xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa. The Nigerian Community in South Africa confirmed these attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.

Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, President, Nigeria Union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Pretoria, South Africa, that the attacks began at 4.00 a.m.

He said that the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police.

“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church have been looted and burned by South Africans.

“One of the buildings is a mechanic garage with 28 cars under repairs, with other vital documents, were burned during the attack.

“Also, the pastor of the church was wounded and is in the hospital receiving treatment,” he said.

Anyene said the union had informed Nigerians in South Africa to be vigilant in the face of renewed xenophobic attacks.

According to him, the union received information that there will be xenophobic attacks against foreigners on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23.

“We began taking precautionary measures when the incident took place today.

“The attack in Pretoria West is purely xenophobic and criminal because they loot the shops and homes before burning them,” he said.

Anyene called on the Federal Government to persuade its South African counterpart to protect Nigerians in their country.

“These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback,” he said.

In 2015, xenophobic attacks started in Durban and extended to some parts of Johannesburg.

Some unemployed South Africans were of the view that other African nationals had taken up their jobs and so decided to attack them so they would return to their homelands.

This was believed to have been sparked by an alleged statement by the Zulu King asking all foreigners to go back to their countries and leave South Africa jobs for the unemployed youth of South Africa.

Nigerians counted several losses in that attack. The then Nigerian Consul-General to South Africa Uche Ajulu-Okeke said: “Nigerians have compiled damages to their property and it is totalling about 1.2 million Rand or N21 million, which will be sent to the Federal Government for further action”.

Posted in Domestic, Security

More Demolition, As 81 Police Families Stand Risk

The Nigeria Police in Lagos State, on Thursday said three more buildings housing 81 police families would be pulled down at the Highway Police Barracks, Ikeja due to structural defects.

Mr Maigari Dikko, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), in charge of Works disclosed the plan to newsmen while inspecting a building that collapsed in same barrack where two persons lost their lives.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that a Sergeant and a civilian lost their lives on Christmas Day when part of the toilet collapsed while they bathed.

That building was later pull down on the instruction of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr Fatai Owoseni.

The DIG works said he was instructed by the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris to visit the scene of incident and also to commiserate with the families of those that lost their lives.

“We have told some of them to vacate the buildings. The buildings are defective; they have been served quit notice to leave for a long time.

“We have asked Commissioner of Police in charge of Lagos command and the works department to enforce the relocation. We do not want a repeat of the incident in the barracks.

“The officers affected are not being evicted. They are asked to relocate for obvious reason of safety.

“Prevention is better than cure. The force headquarter is not sitting idle.

“We are working out a plan for a better rehabilitation of all defective buildings in all barracks across the nation. We are going to use our professionals to carry out the works.

“We are using direct labour to rehabilitate police barracks. The project will commence as soon as the government releases the needed fund’’, Dikko said.

The DIG said that all the officers affected would be given lodging allowance for relocation as soon as the government released the fund.

“That is the best we can do for them; we will not just throw them out, we will ensure they have something to relocate,” he added.

Some of the officers affected, who spoke with NAN on condition of anonymity, were happy about the promise of lodging allowance for their relocation.

“We will be happy if we have money to move to another accommodation. We are not against the rehabilitation plan of the force.

“We will also be happy to be re-allocated our apartments after the rehabilitation because barrack is safer for our families’’, they told NAN.

Each block of the two storey buildings accommodated 27 families of rank and file, and some ASPs.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 2, Mr Kayode Aderanti and Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Fatai Owoseni accompanied the DIG on the inspection.

Posted in Domestic, Economy

How Salary Disparity Causes High Corruption In The Workforce

Civil servants, workers in the private sector and other stakeholders in the economy have taken a swipe on the current disparity in their salaries and blamed the trend for corruption and poor economic growth of the country.

workers3

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that civil servants working in many `high profile’ ministries, departments and agencies of Federal Government earn more than their counterparts in `low profile organisations’.

The salaries and working conditions of workers in some key establishments like Central Bank of Nigeria and NNPC are far beyond others with equal qualifications in other establishments.

Some of them, who spoke with NAN in some North-Central states of the country, called for urgent review that would put wages at par, or at least reduce the disparity to boost the morale of all workers and ensure optimum productivity.

Mr Sunday Emmanuel, a media consultant in Jos, for instance, described as “very strange”, a situation where graduates’ start-up salaries in some Federal Government establishments could quadrupple that of their counterparts in other Federal Government organisations.

“The situation is saddening; two workers working for the same employer but with a wide disparity in their entitlements.

“When we have situations like that, it is difficult to get the best from workers that do not believe that they are getting the maximum attention,” he said.

Emmanuel said that the situation had created “classes” among the workers, with people already employed in some organisations struggling to move to others where they felt the packages was better.

Mrs Josephine Adankat, a teacher, said: “There is usually no rationale behind the disparity either by job description or number of hours in service; in most cases, the disparity is just inexplicabe.

Workers in Nasarawa State also decried the disparity with Mr Abdullahi Adeka, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), saying the situation was killing productivity among workers.

Adeka advised government to fashion out ways of addressing the issues as all civil servants were exposed to same market forces and utilities.

Mr Jimoh Musa, Nasarawa state Chairman of Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), said it was unjustifiable for workers performing the same tasks in different agencies to be paid different salaries.

He therefore advocated for the harmonisation of salaries to enhance productivity and ensure job satisfaction.

Similaly, Federal Government workers in Taraba said it was unfair for workers in the same federal service with the same qualification and grade level to earn salaries with huge differences.

Mr Robbert Angyu, a worker, said: “The Federal Government should review the salary structure in the spirit of change so as to be fair to all workers.”

The Taraba Commissioner for Finance, Mr Jessy Ashumade, frowned at the gap, adding that harmonising the salaries would encourage civil servants to remain and grow within a particular system and encourage specialisation.

The Niger State chapters of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also decried the disparities.

The state Chairman of the TUC, Malam Tanimu Yunusa, said that the existing salary structure would not encourage civil servants.

“I suggest that the salary should be harmonised while allowances can differ based on the job or profession.‎

“For instance, a nurse should not be deprived of his shift duty allowance, while a doctor must be paid the call duty allowance‎. That can form the little difference and would also be understood by others.”

Mr Yahaya Ndako, NLC state Chairman, called for a return to the old structure where civil servants in the country earned the same salary.

“These salary disparities were created by the same government because before now local, state and federal workers with same qualification and grade level earned same salary .

Ndako decried a situation where a federal civil servant on GL eight earned N80,000 while another counterpart with same qualification and same grade level in another department earned N250,000.

A cross section of Nigerians in Lokoja kicked against the current situation and said it was not healthy for the service because it might impede quality service delivery to the people.

Alhaji Nnda Umar, a retired Director in the Kogi State Local Government Service Commission, observed that the development had bred unnecessary enmity in the public service .

NAN reported that Mr John Ushie, Chairman of Cross River chapter of NLC, called on the Salaries and Wages Commission to harmonise the salaries.

“It is a very interesting situation where you find workers of the same cadre earning different salaries simply because they work in different ministries, departments and agencies.

“The same salary disparity also exists between federal, state and local government workers.

The chairman added that the disparity was unnecessary since all workers would always go to the same market.

An economist, Dr Ikechukwu Obiora, also said the situation was alien to advanced democracy.

“In normal situations, disparity can only exist in the private sector or in cases of professionalism in special areas,’’ he said.

Residents of Uyo shared similar sentiments by calling on the government to abrogate salaries disparity in the federal service.

They called on the Federal Government to stop the policies that allowed boards of federal agencies to fix jumbo salaries for their workers.

Mr Eshiet Edem, a banker, said that the laws establishing some institutions, which allowed them to fix high salaries for their workers should be expunged.

A don at the University of Uyo, Dr Aniekan Brown, noted that low salary could lead to abuse of work ethics and induce corruption in public service.

In the same vein, a schoolteacher, Mrs Glory Bassey, urged the Federal Government to devise measures to minimise the embarrassing trend of ostentatious living among some workers while others wallowed in abject poverty.

Dr Edidiong Ebitu, lecturer, University of Calabar, opined that salaries disparity was a function of the agency’s ability to pay.

Mr Imo Ekeh, a level 12 worker of a federal ministry in Rivers, said the agitation for harmonisation would continue until government did the needful and necessary thing.

“A worker at the NNPC may have different task from a worker at the Federal Ministry of Education, but they have to resume by 8:00 a.m. and close at about 4:00 p.m.

“My suggestion is that all workers, especially at the federal level, should have a unified salary structure, while workers who do extra tasks and overtime should be paid allowances.”

The Chairman of the NLC in Abia, Mr Uche Obigwe, said the existing did not promote industrial harmony.

The NLC leader described the practice as `discriminatory and unhealthy’ in the labour sector.

He said the disparity among workers on the same grade level and under the same employers, whether federal, state or local governments could not be justified.

A human rights activist, Ifeanyi Onwunneme, and immediate past Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) in Abia, condemned such disparity.

Prof. Aloysius Okolie, at the Political Science Department of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, urged the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission (RMAFC), to check wide poverty and income imbalance in the country.

He said those who earnestly worked hard were most times the least paid while indolent workers who were erroneously highly rated and less busy political attaches received jumbo pay at the end of the month.

“This is an aberration which must be checked in order to restore dignity to labour.’’

A civil servant, Mr John Okeke, said that workers in the non-revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were most times neglected in pay rise as well as allowance schedule.

“The way the RMAFC is favouring some MDAs is not healthy and if we continue this way, it will not be long seasoned technical and professional hands will leave the service and redundancy sets in,’’ Okeke said.

But a Technology Consultant and Engineer, Elias Igwegbu, decried the call for harmonisation of salaries of civil servants.

Igwegbu told NAN that salary should not have anything to do with paper qualification, adding that every industry should be allowed to set salaries based on its productivity.

An Octogenarian and renown author, Prof. Anezi Okoro, also criticised the agitators of harmonisation of salaries, saying “it is not done in advanced countries’’.

Okoro, 85, said it would encourage corruption and laziness as those who did little or nothing in the
civil service would benefit more.

From Oyo State, NAN reported that labour leaders, economists and other stakeholders expressed the belief that only a harmonised salary structure would boost productivity and promote industrial harmony.

The Chairman of the NLC, Mr Waheed Olojede, urged the Federal Government to take a decisive decision in harmonising the salaries, with only certain institutions having the powers to approve special allowances.

Dr Tosin Adesina of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, also described the disparity as unfair.

A former Head of Service, Mrs Modupe Adekunle, said salary differentials might vary because of varying conditions of service.

Mr Akeem Adeoti, a financial analyst in Ijebu-Ode, said the disparity was normal, adding that different occupations were faced with varying degrees of risk as the hours of service also varied with different occupations.

Mr Ojo Fanimokun, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Ondo State, decried the huge disparity but stressed that such did not exist among workers in the state civil service.

The Chairman of the NLC in Ekiti, Mr Ade Adesanmi, also said it was illegal to pay workers performing the same duties in government offices different salaries.

The NLC boss clarified that though the fault was not that of the current government, the Muhammadu Buhari administration must strive to correct the imbalance.

The Chairman of the state chapter of Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, Dr Olajide Taiwo, said the only way to tackle acrimony in the public service was to address the disparity.

The Secretary to the Ekiti State Government, Dr Modupe Alade, said cases of disparity in staff salaries were more evident in federal agencies.

In Osogbo, Mr Tosin Yusuf, a former Consultant to the Federal Government on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said the disparity required urgent review to prevent industrial acrimony.

He said it was a structural error that needed to be corrected for industrial harmony and better performance.

In his view, Dr Kayode Ajulo, a Financial and Personnel Consultant, enjoined the Federal Government to amend the error to prevent the polarisation of the civil service.

Dr Seun Olayungbo, a lecturer in Economics at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said there was urgent need for salary harmonisation in the federal civil service.

“It’s unfair and not justifiable for civil servants with the same certificate and patronising the same market to be collecting different salaries.

The Secretary of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Kwara, Abayomi Afolabi, condemned the disparity, saying it was gross injustice.

Stakeholders in Kebbi, Kaduna and Kano states argued that the current trend had led to disillusionment among most workers.

An Economist, Mr Elaisha Dangiwa, noted that the disparity was partly responsible for corrupt tendencies in the Nigerian civil service.

Dangiwa who is a Lecturer in the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University (KASU), said there was no justification for workers with same certificate, employed on the same grade level to be receiving different salary packages.

“Corruption will continue to thrive in the civil service as long as workers salaries are not harmonised,” he stated.

“How can someone who works for eight to 12 hours daily earn far less than someone who works for only two to three hours daily because they belong to different MDAs?’’

He said inflation had reduced the value of the current N18, 000 minimum wage to mere peanuts, following high cost of goods and services in the country.

On his part, Dr Abuh Adah, a lecturer in the Department of Accountancy, Kaduna Polytechnic, also said government must address the issue of inflation that had reduced the purchasing power of Nigerians.

The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kebbi, Murtala Usman, supported the harmonisation of salaries, saying it would ensure equity in the public service.

Usman stressed that it would enhance dedication, improved performance and provision of quality service by public service workers.

“It is worrisome that a Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) officer receives over N115,000 as salary whereas a teacher on the same level receives N54,000 as salary.

“What has the teacher done to deserve such a disparity,” he asked.

Usman Adamu, a legal practitioner, called for the scrapping of Salaries and Wages Commission, and deregulation of salary issues to allow states and local governments determine their salaries based on ability to pay.

In the north eastern part of the country, workers, labour leaders and lecturers said the current disparity, no matter the reason for it, was counter-productive.

They argued that apart from dampening the morale of some workers, thereby having a negative effect on their productivity, the arrangement was causing disharmony among workers.

A Senior Lecturer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, Dr Mohammed Gambo, said the differences in salary did not encourage efficiency but constant change of jobs by workers in search of greener pastures.

“No job is more important than the other; every worker should be paid same salaries with their counterparts across all MDAs,’’ he said.

Mrs Hauwa Musa, a federal civil servant, described the difference in salaries between those in the ministries and agencies like NNPC, Federal Inland Revenue Service and NPA as mindboggling.

Alhaji Ali Grema, Borno Chairman of Trade Union Congress, said the country was witnessing a unique period of economic meltdown and the price of everything had already skyrocketed, hence the need to ensure equality in pay-packet.

However, some labour leaders in Adamawa defended the wage disparity among government agencies, saying the difference was due to the peculiarity of responsibilities.

“The military, for instance, and the security agencies are considered in this category due to the peculiar nature of their services, as such there is no way our wages can be the same,” he explained.

Dr Aminu Fagge of Economics Department, Federal University Dutse, is also one of those in support of salary disparity.

Fagge told NAN that there were peculiarities in the workforce, hence harmonising salary structure was not realistic.

(NAN)

Posted in Domestic, Security, Uncategorized

Nigerian Troops Intercept 4 Suicide Bombers In Borno

Statement by Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director Army Public Relations on intercepted suicide bombers in Borno State.  

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Today, at about 4.00am troops of 101 Battalion of 7 Division received a tip off about impending attack in Maiduguri city by 4 suspected Boko Haram terrorists suicide bombers from Sambisa forest through Cashew Plantation.

The ever vigilant troops responded decisively by intercepting and neutralizing of the suspected terrorists at Madiyari village, while the third suicide bomber was intercepted and neutralized at Jimini-Bolori village.

Unfortunately 3 of our soldiers sustained injuries in the process and they have been evacuated to the unit’s Regimental Aid Post (RAP), for treatment.

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The 2 unexploded Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on the suicide bombers were safely detonated by a combined team of Nigeria Police and our Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) experts.

In a related development, the troops also arrested 3 suspected Boko Haram terrorists at Nwagafete village comprising 2 women and a 16 year old boy who were connected to suspected terrorists’ food vendors earlier arrested.

 

 

 

(HQ Nigerian Army)