Thursday Update: Minimum Wage, Ibori Loot & Kanu Nwankwo’s Legend

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Good morning,

We are leading with scenes from workers’ protests over a minimum wage law, the debate over the appropriation of a repatriated James Ibori loot, and visuals of Kanu Nwankwo narrating his grass to grace story.


Members of NLC protest in Abuja

Workers Protest Minimum Wage Law

Hundreds of workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday forced their way through the gates of the National Assembly, despite attempts by security personnel to stop them.

Workers from other states joined in the protest from their respective regions.

The workers are demanding the withdrawal of a bill that would allow states to set their respective minimum wages.

Under the current law, the Federal Government sets a national minimum wage, which all State Governments are expected to comply with.

But State Governments have argued that all states are not equal in terms of revenue generation or allocation.

And some have struggled to pay the minimum wage set by the Federal Government.

Still, the workers have insisted that the Federal Minimum wage is a fair deal and all states should be able to pay it.

Allowing States to legislate on minimum wages may also diffuse the power of labour unions to negotiate for higher minimum wages in the future.

Femi Falana: The human rights lawyer backed the workers’ stance, stressing that there was an urgent need to prevent “the payment of Starvation Wages” in Nigeria.

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Quote: “Our people are asked to tighten their belts all the time,” Mr. Falana said. “Whether there is a recession or not, for the people, they are permanently in recession in our country because of the gross mismanagement of the economy of our country. Section 16 of the Constitution provides that workers in Nigeria shall be paid a living minimum wage. And you will agree with me that ₦30,000 cannot be said to be a living minimum wage in Nigeria today.”


The House has urged the Federal Government to return the loot to Delta State.

Debate on Ibori loot beneficiary continues

Who should benefit from the repatriated assets looted by former Delta State Governor, James Ibori? The State from where the assets were pilfered? The Federal Government, which essentially negotiated the repatriation? Or both?

While the Federal Government has said the first tranche of the recovered loot, worth 4.2 million pounds, will be used for federal projects, the House of Representatives on Wednesday said it should be returned to Delta State.

Senior lawyer, Femi Falana, also argued that, based on international law, Delta State was the victim of the crime and the repatriated assets should go into the coffers of the State Government.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had argued on Tuesday that the Federal Government was the victim of Ibori’s crime.

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Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, receives the COVID-19 vaccine

More Governors receive Covid Vaccine

The number of State Governors who have been vaccinated for Covid publicly swelled on Wednesday.

In Kaduna State, Governor Nasir El-Rufai took his first shot of the Astrazeneca vaccine alongside his deputy and the State Commissioner of Health.

A similar exercise took place in Ekiti (Kayode Fayemi), Ondo, (Rotimi Akeredolu), Nasarawa (Abdullahi Sule), and Jigawa (Mohammed Badaru).

They all encouraged citizens in their state to follow suit in embracing the vaccine as part of the solution to ending the pandemic.

NCDC: Nigeria on Wednesday reported 394 of the virus and five deaths, according to the disease control agency.


What else is happening?

Abdulrasheed Bawa: The 40-year-old became the first Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to give evidence in court.

Zamfara State: A traditional ruler has said more than 100 miners operating between Anka and Maru local government were abducted by bandits on March 2. Attahiru Ahmad also said the bandits killed 10 persons during an invasion of a mining site.

Bayelsa: A law prohibiting open grazing of livestock has been enacted in the state.

Insurgency: Cameroon has returned over 5,000 Nigerian refugees – who fled Boko Haram violence – to Borno State.

Abdulrasheed Maina: The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and Ibrahim Magu, a former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), failed to appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja, in respect of the trial of the former Pension boss.

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Confederation Cup: Victor Mbaoma enhanced his reputation as a penalty area predator by scoring the winner as Enyimba edged Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya 2-1 Wednesday on CAF Confederation Cup matchday 1.

Royal Fracas: Britain’s royal family has begun a fightback against racism claims made by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, indicating the couple’s comments will not go unchallenged as the country divides into partisan camps.


If you have some time, these videos are worth watching.

 

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana was on Politics Today and he spoke on a number of issues, including the 4.2 million pounds Ibori loot and the national minimum wage.


This report from Gist Nigeria, a program co-produced with the BBC, looks at Nigeria’s Covid vaccination journey and its challenges,


This trending video features Nigerian soccer icon, Kanu Nwankwo. In it, he tells the story of how he rose to become, at a time, one of the best soccer players in the world.


And that’s it for today. See you tomorrow.

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