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Jubilation as FG registers informal sector trade union

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Amid jubilation, the Federal Government, yesterday presented a letter of approval of registration to an informal sector trade union, the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria, AUATWON.

A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, informed that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige made the presentation at a ceremony in his office.

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The membership of the new union comprises all app-based transport workers, online transport services, and e-hailing drivers and operators in Nigeria.

Making remarks before the presentation, Ngige described the registration of the new union as a milestone in labour administration, particularly in the trade union services segment, adding that it marks a continued global journey to formalise the informal sector, which constitutes the larger population in the world of work.

The Minister noted that prior to now, the informal sector had been unmanageable, owing to a lack of an identifiable structural framework to harmonise and demarcate its diverse sectors.

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Ngige said, “hitherto, we gave recognition and certification to workers in the formal sector, including the private sector, such as banks, oil and gas, insurance, among other technical areas, and the public sector workers in the unions of pensioners, teachers and recently, the two newly registered university-based unions, the Congress for University Academics (CONUA) and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).

“Today, we are breaking new ground with those in the informal sector who are employing themselves and from there, employing others. The promoters of AUTWON applied for registration as a trade union on April 27, 2021, to cater for self-employed persons in the field of IT-based transportation services.

“We considered necessary factors and perimeters, especially the global movement, which is sponsored mostly by the International Labour Organisation, ILO, to formalise the informal sector that has most of the working population in the world of work, characterised and independent owned-account workers.

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“In our case today, we have a hybrid of the forgone in the informal economy who own and operate economic units which may also further include employers, and members of cooperatives and of social and solidarity economy units.”

Ngige said they also considered the changing world of work oiled by technology transformation as contained in the Centenary Declaration of the ILO in 2019, especially the need to ensure that such transformative changes were human-driven.

He said in view of these considerations, his ministry decided to register AUATWON to enable the organisation of the new but growing segment of the informal economy.

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Besides the creation of jobs, he said the registration of the union, would enable the government to monitor the security component of transportation systems in Nigeria

“We are also backed by an international position on the unionisation of workers who are self-employed. The need to ensure that such workers enjoy trade union rights for the purpose of furthering and defending their interest, which includes collective bargaining, has often been emphasised in different fora, concerning the world of work.

“But for the self-employed, it is a different kind of collective bargaining, tailored to suit the peculiarities of the self-employed segment of workers, and the collective bargaining mechanism may transverse international shores of Nigeria, as such apps are usually foreign-owned and operated.”

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In this regard, he urged the union to observe the provisions of Section 3 of the Trade Disputes Act, CAP.T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004, which demands that they should deposition copies of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) with the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment.

He charged them to also discharge their obligations under the Trade Unions Act, CAP T14, LFN, 2004, such as the rendition of annual returns to the Registrar of Trade Unions.

“The office of the Registrar of Trade Union (RTU) will gazette your organisation in consonance with Sections 5(2) and (3) of the Trade Unions Act, and 90 days will be given for those who want to object to your existence. We will look at each petition on its merit and the RTU will write a recommendation. Afterwards, we will invite you to give you the certificate of registration to operate as a full-fledged trade union.”

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JUST IN: IMF ask CBN to extend Feb 10 deadline for old naira notes

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By Francesca Iwambe

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the February 10 deadline for the use of old naira notes if the difficulties in getting new notes persist.

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According to the IMF, the call become necessary as the development had led to the disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new noted in the bank.

The call was contained in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday.

“In light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline, should problems persist in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline,” the statement reads.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court suspends February 10 deadline for naira swap

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By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has restrained the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Government from ending the legal tender statuses of old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes on February 10, 2023.

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The apex court made the order following the suit filed by three State governments challenging the Naira swap policy.

Recall that governments of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi States had approached the Supreme Court seeking an order to stop the policy.

Naijablitznews.com will bring you more details shortly

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CBN captures more Communities as currency swap is continuous in Taraba

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Emmanuel Awari-Jalingo

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Friday extend her currency swap exercise to more Communities of Yorro, Ardo-Kola and Ibi local government areas of Taraba state.

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The Director Financial System Strategy, Central Bank of Nigeria, Ibrahim Hassan who disclosed this to our correspondent in Jalingo said, the development was in continuation of the CBN initiative targeted at ensuring that all rural dwellers in Taraba have their old naira notes swapped to new ones or deposited in banks before the extended CBN deadline for currency swap.

Hassan noted that the currency Swap Initiative was to help save communities who do not have access to bank, swap their old naira notes to the new notes.

“Just as we have been doing to ensure that people in the rural Communities of Taraba who do not have access to Bank have their old naira notes swap to new ones. CBN delegation have been drafted to more Communities of Yorro, Ardo-Kola and Ibi local to ensure success of the initiative.

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“CBN delegation for Yorro is led by Mr Jackson Imandi, the Deputy Director, the one Ardo-Kola is led by Mr. Kazeem Olatinmu while the one in Ibi local government is been led by the CBN Head of Banking Services in Taraba State, Hayatu Yahaya Shehu to ensure the villagers gain advantage of the Ten days extension for the currency swap” Hassan explained.

When contacted, the chief of Mumuye in Yorro local government, Ado Adamu Manang, that of Ibi, Abubakar Salihu Danbaw and some beneficiary of the exercise in Ardo-Kola local government, Mohammed Musa, Hafsatu Babangida and Isa Mahmud, commended the central Bank of Nigeria for the exercise as it was the best for villagers and promised to help create massive awareness for people to swap their old naira notes to the new ones.

According to them, businesses were already collapsing as people were no longer accepting the old naira notes even before the extended window.

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