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Edun presents new minimum wage template, implications to Tinubu

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The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, has submitted the new national minimum wage template and projected cost implications to President Bola Tinubu as instructed. The report was submitted to President Tinubu on Thursday at the presidential villa, Abuja.

Edun was accompanied to the presentation by Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, and Atiku Bagudu, Minister of Budget and National Planning.

In the report, Edun outlined several potential new minimum wage levels, along with the anticipated fiscal impacts of each option on the federal budget.

This move is a crucial step in the ongoing process of determining a new national minimum wage, which has been a topic of discussion recently.

Earlier today, members of the tripartite committee, comprising the federal government and labour unions, resumed talks on a new national minimum wage.

Labour unions had on Monday embarked on a nationwide strike action to force government’s hand in implementing a new national minimum wage for workers. They were persuaded to call it off for one week while negotiations continue.

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June 12: Protesters defy heavy security presence, unite in Lagos, Osun, Ibadan against economic hardship, others

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…Say legacy of MKO Abiola unfulfilled 31 years after

…As Police arrest five ‘Revolution Now’ protesters in Ibadan

By Sodiq Adelakun

On Democracy Day, June 12, Nigerians from various cities, including Lagos State, Osun State, and Oyo, took to the streets in protest against the nation’s economic challenges, escalating insecurity, and governance deficiencies.

Led by civil society groups and social activists, demonstrators demanded improved living standards, fair wages, and an end to police brutality.

Despite a heavy security presence and reported arrests in some areas, protesters persisted in their calls for change, invoking the spirit of the historic June 12 struggle for democracy and accountable governance.

In Lagos, protesters gathered at the Ikeja Underbridge, chanting solidarity songs and brandishing placards with messages such as ‘President Tinubu, let the poor breathe’ and ‘Payment of living wage to all Nigerian workers now.’ Notable civil society groups, including the Take It Back Movement, the Education Rights Campaign, and the Coalition for Revolution, played pivotal roles in organising the demonstrations.

The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, joined by social activists, took to the streets to voice their grievances against the economic hardships stemming from the Federal Government’s policies.

Protesters directed their calls for action to President Bola Tinubu, urging him to address the pervasive issues of hunger, hardship, and insecurity facing the nation.

…Say legacy of MKO Abiola unfulfilled 31 years after

They emphasised that despite 31 years passing since the martyrdom of June 12 icon, late MKO Abiola, whose sacrifice was pivotal in Nigeria’s democratic journey, the promises of basic amenities and prosperity for citizens remain unfulfilled.

During the peaceful demonstration, the chairman of Osun Civil Societies Coalition, Waheed Lawal, stressed that Abiola’s electoral victory symbolised a lost opportunity to steer Nigeria towards comprehensive development and urged leaders to prioritise responsive governance.

According to him, “It is unfortunate that the manifesto of the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late MKO Abiola, which included the provision of basic amenities and mass prosperity, is still elusive 31 years after.

“Besides, the lessons and gains of June 12 appear to be missing in the corridors of power at all levels.

“Nigeria’s leaders appear to have learnt nothing and forgotten everything. Unfortunately, decades of bad governance by the unpatriotic and self-centred elite, military and civilian leadership that cut across all tribes and religions have produced exploitation, oppression, poverty, misery, injustice, insecurity, banditry, violence and death as being experienced by the masses across the country.”

Mr Lawal lamented that Nigerians were going through worsening economic hardship that is creating more poverty and deprivation.

He stressed that the administration of Mr Tinubu, through its World Bank and IMF teleguided economic policies, has continued to unleash hardship on Nigerians.

“The removal of subsidy, increment in electricity tariff and devaluation of Naira have cast a shadow over the economic stability of Nigeria.

“This is hampering productivity and killing Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSE), taking away the purchasing power of the Nigerian people, creating hunger and starvation, while prices of foodstuffs and essential commodities are skyrocketing.”

In his remark, the chairman of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Osun State chapter, Emmanuel Olowu, called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in agriculture, stressing that without such a step, the nation’s economy will remain in the doldrum.

…Police arrest five ‘Revolution Now’ protesters in Ibadan

Meanwhile, five persons wearing ‘Revolution Now’ jackets were apprehended by officers of the Nigeria Police Force at Mokola Roundabout.

The arrests occurred during a peaceful demonstration organised by ‘Take It Back Movements’ in collaboration with Concerned Nigerians, an advocacy and human rights group.

The protesters had convened to voice their grievances on various issues plaguing the nation, including economic hardship, insecurity, police brutality, and attacks on press freedom.

Clad in black T-shirts and jeans, the demonstrators displayed banners and placards bearing messages such as ‘We are hungry’ and ‘Justice cannot be silenced.’

At around 9:30 a.m., police operatives, led by Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Adebola Hamzat, intervened and forcibly detained the protesters into a white Hilux bus.

Despite the heavy police presence, including Hilux buses and an armoured tank, the arrests were made amidst the ongoing protest.

Commissioner Hamzat, visibly displeased, chastised his officers for allowing the protest to continue despite prior warnings and public statements against such gatherings.

The arrests come amid anticipation of potential mass protests across Ibadan on June 12, prompting an increased deployment of police personnel throughout the city.

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June 12: Abiodun commutes death sentences for 45 inmates, pardons 41 others

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…Military rule, not an option — Richard Akinnola

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has commuted the death sentence of 45 condemned prisoners to prison terms.

He also granted pardon to 41 other inmates serving in different Correctional Centres across the state.

Speaking at the 2024 Democracy Day, held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, Prince Abiodun said the decision was in exercising his prerogative of mercy as the governor of the state.

He said, “Government has a duty to uphold democratic values by consistently applying principles of mercy, justice, and the rule of law. In this vein, the Nigerian Constitution empowers me to exercise a prerogative of mercy to anyone convicted of an offense in Ogun State.

“Having received the guidance of the Ogun State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy, I have signed the appropriate warrants ordering the release of 41 convicts currently imprisoned across different correctional facilities in Ogun State. I have also signed warrants converting the death sentences of 45 inmates to prison sentences.

“This gesture signals a break from past grievances and a move towards a more inclusive and compassionate society where merciful second chances are granted to deserving offenders.

“All convicts who have received this gesture have shown remorse for their crimes, acquired skills and certifications in prison, with several of them receiving university degrees from the National Open University of Nigeria. They have also demonstrated verified good conduct during their imprisonment.”

He said the celebration holds immense significance as it marks the triumph of democracy, the power of the people, and the pursuit of justice and freedom, observing that the history of Nigeria’s democracy is one of struggle and perseverance.

“June 12, 1993, stands as a watershed moment in this journey. On that particular day, Nigerians transcended differences of tribe, gender, and even the unique joint Muslim-Muslim ticket to speak unanimously through the ballot.

“They elected the late Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola and Babagana Kingibe of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) as President and Vice-President, respectively.

 ”Although the election was globally acclaimed as the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history, the military annulled its results, dashing the hopes raised by this democratic exercise.

“That election remains a pivotal moment in our country’s democratic history. It has become the benchmark against which the successes of subsequent elections are measured. For all its import, it reminds us of the power of unity, resilience, and the collective determination to uphold the principles of democracy.

“It is a testament to the strength and resilience of the Nigerian people, who have shown unwavering commitment to democracy and the belief in a better future,” the governor added.

He said the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola stands as one of the finest trailblazers from Ogun State just as his courage and unwavering commitment to democratic ideals remain an inspiration to the people adding that his campaign slogan, “Hope ’93,” was a national reawakening rooted in faith and the limitless ability of Nigerians to face their challenges and solve the problems of nation-building.

While noting that the celebration signifies the commitment to continue the journey towards a better Nigeria, building on the sacrifices made by Chief MKO Abiola and countless others who fought for democracy and paid the ultimate price, Prince Abiodun said the courage and unwavering commitment to democratic ideals serve as a reminder of the power of the people and the importance of upholding the principles of justice, freedom, and equality laid by our forefathers.

In a lecture titled: “June 12: Defining Moment in the Democratic Development of Nigeria,” the guest lecturer, Mr. Richard Akinnola, while giving a background to what led to the crisis, chided the nation’s judiciary for being a tool in the hands of the military government to annul the June 12 elections.

He condemned those who have been calling for the return of the military as the result of the hardship in the country.

“In fact, June 12 stands as a defining moment and a watershed in our quest for democracy. That is why we should be very careful. Some people who did not experience what we went through are not subtly calling for the military. We must say no, never do we call for the military again. Whatever the challenges we are having, let’s fight, let us argue, let us disagree, let us abuse each other, but never should we be tempted to invite the military,” he advised.

Akinnola who described the June 12 elections as the best in the history of the nation, noting that the aftermath of the annulment led to killings of pro-democracy activists just as it ushered in mutual mistrust among the citizens.

The guest lecturer said for democracy to thrive in the country, Nigerians must keep their leaders on their toes, saying though it is necessary to celebrate the day, people should not forget those who sacrificed their lives for the democracy being enjoyed in the country now.

In his goodwill message, a pro-democracy activist and former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Ogun State, Dr. Niran Malaolu, eulogied Chief Abiola for paying the supreme prize for the nation to experience democracy, noting that several Nigerians also suffered in the course of returning the country to democratic rule.

In his welcome address, the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) to the governor, Dr. Toyin Taiwo, said the celebration symbolises the collective will of Nigerians to choose their leaders in a free and fair elections as witnessed on June 12 1993, just as it demonstrated the power of the people in bringing about change.

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CIBN dispels fears, assures public of banking system’s stability

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By Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has moved to calm fears and reassure the public of the stability of the Nigerian banking system.

In a statement by Chairman of CIBN, Prof. Pius Deji Olanrewaju, the Institute dismissed rumors of a mass revocation of bank licenses.

The statement describes the information as false and misleading.

The CIBN emphasised that the banking system is built on strong foundations, with a robust regulatory framework and rigorous supervision in place to protect stakeholders’ interests and maintain financial stability.

The Institute urged the public to continue conducting their banking transactions with confidence, assuring that banks are complying with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive to recapitalise and enhance their capital base.

“The CIBN, as the professional body for banks and bankers in Nigeria, reaffirmed its commitment to promoting best practices and ensuring the banking sector’s resilience and soundness. The public is advised to remain calm and confident in the banking system’s ability to withstand economic shocks and perform its financial intermediation roles effectively,” he said.

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