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NLC President Leads Protesters To National Assembly, says Nigerians are dying of hunger

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…as NASS Leadership say efforts on to urgently address problem

By Gloria Ikibah

The Nigeria labour Congress NLC, has commenced its two-day national protest in Abuja.

Addressing members of the national Assembly on Tuesday at the NASS complex, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, who decried that Nigerians are dying of hunger as a result of the economic hardship in the country, urged the Federal Government to urgently address the situation.

Naijablitznews.com reports that Comrade Ajaero led thousands of protesters including civil society organizations in protest against the economic hardship.

He said: “We thank everyone for making this happen. Today has come to pass. They said we should not be but we are here. We are here because there is hunger in the land. History will not forgive us if we do not protest at the level of hunger in the land. It is to signal to the authorities that there is a problem in the land”.

Tje NLC President further lamented the falling value of the Naira, growing insecurity, and rising unemployment among other issues.

He said that immediate measures must be taken to address the suffering, adding that the NLC would decide its next line of action.

The NLC President presented a letter containing their grievances to the representative of the leadership of the National Assembly.

Chairman Senate Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Diket Plang, who accepted the letter on behalf of the National Assembly said they were aware of the hardship and assured that efforts would be made to urgently address the situation.

He promised that the letter would be dispatched accordingly.

“We are supposed to stand in for Nigerians where it pinches them. I want to assure you that the National Assembly is very sensitive to what is happening, very sensitive.

“The leadership of the National Assembly, yesterday, the Senate President and the Speaker met. I was with them. We parted around 12 midnight and all the issue is about bringing solution to the suffering and yearnings of Nigerians.

“We are at a very critical period that Nigeria is taking a decision that would be of economic advantage to all of us.

“My plea and our plea is for the union to reason with us, understand with us. There is no way we will allow this thing to continue. But steps must be taken.

“Already the 15th agenda of the Memorandum of Understanding given between government and labour are being tackled. The last issue that is in place is the issue of minimum wage and negotiations are going on.

“There is no way that we will not end up with a resolution and a decision that will benefit Nigerians.

“I assure you that all of us, the press, general public, everybody is feeling it, but Nigeria will succeed. The president will succeed. We will succeed. We are very sensitive to it. So may God Almighty, help us to maximize our potentials, maximize our natural resources, may we intervene in such a way that all Nigerians will be able to exploit the God-given wealth that we have. We are all on the same page”, he stated.

Also, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Labour and Productivity, Rep. Adefarati Adeboyega, supported his Senate counterpart.

“We will take your letter to the leadership of the Nation Assembly. Very soon you will hear from us. We are facing the same challenges.
The economic challenges and hardship faced by Nigeria is borne by everybody.

“I want to assure you that the leadership of the National Assembly will look into your request and demands and take swift and bold action. I can assure you Nigeria will breathe again,” he added.

Naijablitznews.com reports that various security agencies were seen stationed around the entery and exit points of the National Assembly particularly the Federal Secretariat axis to ensure the orderliness of the action.

Despite several warning by some security agencies, the NLC went ahead with a protest against the economic hardship in the country.

Naijablitznews.com recalled that the DSS had last week warned that some persons are planning to use the opportunity of the planned protests by organized labour slated for 27th and 28th February to foment crisis and widespread violence.

The Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS National Headquarters in Abuja, Dr. Peter Afunanya, in a statement, had called on labour to shelve the action meant to protest the economic situation in the country in the interest of peace.

He had urged that they pursue dialogue and negotiation rather than engaging in conducts that could heighten tensions in the country.

These entreaties however seem to have fell on deaf ears as the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, insisted that the protest must go on.

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Damagum returns as National Chairman, urges members to work for party’s success

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Ambassador Umar Damagum has retained his position as the acting National Charman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

On Thursday, the PDP conducted its 98th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

In a communique after the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Barrister Debo Ologunagba said the NEC urged all members to continue to work together for the success of the party for the benefit of Nigerians.

A day earlier, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party passed a vote of confidence on Damagum.

Ologunagba said: “NEC charges all organs, leaders, critical stakeholders and indeed all members of the PDP to close ranks, put aside every personal or group interests and work together in the overall effort to reposition and return the PDP to power at the center in the interest of the Nigerian people.

“Consequently, NEC received and approved the Timetable for Party Congresses across the country.

“NEC also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the party.

“Similarly, NEC approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

“NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general.

“NEC charges all Party members to continue to work together for the success of the PDP for the benefit of Nigerians and sustenance of Democracy in our country.”

Before the NEC meeting, PDP members loyal to the party’s presidential candidate in the last election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had moved against Damagum, over allegations that he was working for former governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike.

Wike led a group of five PDP governors that rebelled against Atiku while contesting the presidential election last year.

Atiku lost the election to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who appointed Wike as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

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Reps Urge Ports Operators To Cooperate For Economic Diversification

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By Gloria Ikibah

The House of Representatives has appealed to ports operators in Nigeria to cooperate and align with Nigeria’s economic diversification move.

The Chairman House Committee on Ports And Harbours, Rep. Nnolim Nnaji, made the call at an interactive Session of the Committee with all Terminal Operators and Nigeria Ports Authority Licensed Agents, on Thursday in Abuja.

He explained that the Committee’s interactive session was very crucial because of the invaluable roles the sector plays in the nation’s economy and national life.

He saud: “It therefore presents us with urgent need to effect changes that will restructure this unique and high-tech sector and position it to strategically compete in the global space.

“This sector is very dynamic and we must constantly review the standards, facilities and operational guidelines to keep pace with its obtainable global best practices.

“I wish to reiterate the Committee’s commitment to ensure that the sector remains one of the best through appropriate legislation and oversight in order to bequeath to Nigerians, a Ports and Harbours that is properly regulated and better managed for greater efficiency”.

The Committee Chairman also said that it was important to harmoniously promote the objective of professionalizing the modus operandi of the sector to improve Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and revenue generation.

“We intend to collaborate with relevant Stakeholders in the industry to ensure that appropriate avenues are created for its economic development and then make it a hub for better non-oil revenue generation. It is imperative to note that the House of Representatives will continue to support total rehabilitation and upgrading of our Ports and Harbours and allied services. We shall ever be ready to provide the necessary legislation and needed oversight to achieve this purpose”, he added.

Rep. Nnaji disclosed that the purpose of the meeting was to provide the interface for members of the Committee to interact with Stakeholders in the industry, most especially Terminal Operators and NPA Licensed Agents regarding their operations and various activities in the Ports and also create the enabling environment and synergy towards achieving the goals of the Federal Government in the Maritime sector, as well as aligning the sector with its contemporary demands, developmental goals, international standards and best practices.

“It is pertinent to note that the Committee’s role is not only to oversight the NPA, but also to partner with stakeholders in the sector to achieve maximum success taking cognizance of government’s quest on increasing revenue generation, port decongestion and boosting infrastructural development for effective service delivery. Thus, we must be committed to transparency, collaboration and open dialogue with all stakeholders to enhance ease of doing business”, the chairman said.

The lawmaker enjoined the stakeholders to bring their exclusive viewpoints and experiences on board as they will be invaluable in shaping policies and recommendations of the committee.

While briefing the committee, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, Mrs Urunta Chinyere, told the committee that there was the news for the digitization of the operations of the agents.

According to her, if operators can adopt the model, it would enhance revenue generation.

“We observed that most of the terminal operators are doing partial implementation of what we ask for. They are not fully complying to what they are supposed to do”, Chinyere said.

In his response, the Managing Director of Five Star Logistics, Mr. Rigor Nazzari, said that his agency has fully complied with all the models.

According to him, there are operators specific issues at the terminals that need to be addressed by the council.

The committee chairman thereforw called on the terminal operators to comply with the council and upgrade their systems.

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Aisha Yesufu queries Gov. Ododo for trying to prevent EFCC from arresting Yahaya Bello

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Nigerian female social activist, Aisha Yesufu,  has expressed displeasure with the role played by Kogi Stars Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo in stopping the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from arresting his predecessor, Yahaya Bello.

It was gathered that the Kogi Governor on Wednesday, obstructed the arrest of Bello by operatives of the EFCC.

Recall that the EFCC operatives had stormed Bello’s residence in Abuja in an attempt to arrest him over an ongoing fraud investigation.

But Bello was reportedly smuggled out of his residence by Ododo to evade arrest by the anti-graft agency.

“I cannot imagine I, Aisha Yesufu as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a Governor will come to Abuja where I am, to prevent @officialEFCC from arresting someone.

“As in, prevent it from carrying out its constitutional sanctioned duty. Nahhhhh!
Kai! Poor Nigeria!”

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