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Fuel Subsidy Removal: NLC To Begin Nationwide Protest

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Fuel Subsidy Removal: NLC To Begin Nationwide Protest


NLC has released the dates for mass protests against fuel subsidy removal, aso Naija reports.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has announced dates for protests against the removal of fuel subsidy.

Mass protests against the Federal Government’s plan to remove fuel subsidy are scheduled for January 27 and February 1, 2022, according to the body.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, signed a communique issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

According to the statement, the NEC has agreed to oppose and protest the Federal Government’s planned rise in the pump price of petrol, describing it as “extremely insensitive to the acute hardship being experienced by Nigerian workers and people.”

Instead of importing petroleum products, the government should foster the local capacity to refine them for home consumption, according to the body.

The NLC announced that in response to its rejection and opposition to future increases in the price of petrol, it would hold protest rallies in all 36 states of the federation on January 27, 2022.

It went on to say that this will culminate in protest letters being sent to all 36 state governors.

According to the body, a national protest will be held in Abuja on February 1, 2022.

If the government decides to disclose new petrol prices before the planned rallies, the protests will begin immediately and without further warning in every state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, according to the body.

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ECONOMY

Hardship: Lagos Govt Plans Distribution of Palliatives

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, announced his government’s plan to begin distribution of palliatives among other initiatives to ease the effect of high cost of living in the country.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed this in a live media chat with journalists on Thursday.

He said, “On the food palliatives, as we speak, I’m expecting over 200 trailers of rice coming from up north.

“Food purchase and distribution that will cover about 300,000 households that will have 10kg rice, 5kg garri, 5kg beans and have other small things like tomatoes in a combo bag.”

READ ALSO: Ondo State Govt Declares 2 Days Public Holidays As Late Gov. Akeredolu’s Funeral Commences

The governor added that there will be “Sunday Markets” where Lagosians can buy food items at discounted rates.

He said, “We are going to be opening ‘Sunday Markets’ in about 42 markets in Lagos. This time you’ll be buying at a reduced cost. We’re going to cap what you can buy at not more than N25,000 and we’re going to be giving you a 25% rebate immediately there.

 

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Government Threatens to Open Borders for Cement Imports Amid Price Dispute with Nigerian Manufacturers

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The Nigerian government has issued a potential threat to open the borders for cement importation if local cement manufacturers do not reduce the price of the commodity within the country, Aso Naija Reports.

Arc Ahmed Dangiwa, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, expressed this stance during an emergency meeting with cement and building materials manufacturers held in Abuja on February 20th.

Dangiwa emphasized that key materials required for  production, such as limestone, clay, silica sand, and gypsum, which are readily available within Nigeria, should not be priced in dollars.

The minister argued against the manufacturers’ justifications for high prices. He dismissed the excuse of rising gas prices, as gas is a raw material abundantly found within the country.

Additionally, he refuted the claim that increased mining equipment costs should impact cement prices, stating that these manufacturers have been using the same equipment for decades, and the cost should not be a significant factor.

Dangiwa pointed out that the government had previously closed the borders to cement imports in order to support local manufacturers.

READ ALSO: Veterinarian Gets Eaten by Lion at Obafemi Awolowo University’s Zoological Garden

However, he warned that if the government were to reverse this decision and allow mass importation, the prices of cement would plummet, adversely affecting local manufacturers.

The minister urged the manufacturers to demonstrate greater patriotism and cited BUA cement as an example of a company that had shown willingness to lower the price of its cement to below the agreed range of N7000 to N8000.

He questioned why other manufacturers could not do the same.

In response to the manufacturers’ challenges, the minister emphasized that many countries face similar or worse difficulties.

Nevertheless, he stressed the importance of citizens coming together in times of crisis to effect positive change.

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Breaking News: Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Soars to 5% in Q3’23

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According to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria has experienced a significant rise in its unemployment rate during the third quarter of 2023.

The NBS revealed that the unemployment rate surged by 0.8% compared to the second quarter, reaching a concerning 5.0% in Q3 2023.

The NBS Labor Force Survey Q3 2023 report, published on Monday, outlined several key findings.

It highlighted a decline in the labor force participation rate among the working-age population, which dropped to 79.5% in Q3 2023 from 80.4% in Q2 2023.

Delving further into the statistics, the NBS stated, “The employment-to-population ratio witnessed a decrease of 1.5% in Q3 2023, settling at 75.6% compared to the ratio in Q2 2023.

The combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment, known as LU2, rose to 17.3% in Q3 2023 from 15.5% in Q2 2023.

READ ALSO: CBN Governor Describes His Job as the Second Most Challenging in the World

Self-employment accounted for 87.3% of workers in Q3 2023, while the proportion of workers in wage employment stood at 12.7%.

The unemployment rate experienced a significant increase to 5.0% in Q3 2023, reflecting a rise of 0.8% from Q2 2023.”

Furthermore, the report highlighted that individuals with post-secondary education faced an unemployment rate of 7.8% in Q3 2023.

The youth demographic, aged between 15 and 24 years, witnessed an unemployment rate of 8.6% during the same period, depicting a 1.4% increase from Q2 2023.

In urban areas, the unemployment rate reached 6.0% in Q3 2023, representing a slight increment of 0.1% from Q2 2023. Time-related underemployment in Q3 2023 stood at 12.3%, marginally rising by 0.5% compared to the previous quarter.

The rate of subsistence agriculture employment among the working-age population reached 4.1% in Q3 2023. Informal employment accounted for 92.3% in Q3 2023, a slight decrease from 92.7% in Q2 2023.

Additionally, the percentage of youth not engaged in employment, education, or training (NEET Rate) was reported as 13.7% in Q3 2023.

The surge, as indicated by the NBS report, raises concerns about the country’s economic stability and highlights the need for targeted interventions to address this pressing issue.

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Nigeria Can Feed Itself — President Tinubu Rules Out Food Importation

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Nigeria Can Feed Itself — President Tinubu Rules Out Food Importation

President Bola Tinubu has said that importation of food items to address the soaring cost of food production in the country is not an option  for this current administration as Nigeria is potentially capable of feeding itself, Aso Naija gathered.

The president, represented by the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, made the announcement in Abuja during a meeting with the 36 governors of the federation.

According to the president, Nigeria can become a net exporter of food items to other neighboring countries in Africa. “A decision has also been taken that in the interest of our country, there will be no need for food importation at this point. Nigeria has the potential to feed itself and even be a net exporter of food items to other countries.

We also want to reverse some of the problems we are seeing in terms of food production in this country. What we are seeing now is just a temporary difficulty that we will face head on,” he said.

Furthermore, the President also directed the national security adviser, the director general of the Department of State Services, and the Inspector General of Police to cooperate with governors to end the hoarding of food commodities in the country. He ordered them to monitor warehouses hoarding food items across the country.

 

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“NLC May Demand N1 million as Minimum Wage” — Joe Ajaero

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“NLC May Demand N1 million as Minimum Wage” — Joe Ajaero

Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress has said that organised labour may demand up to N1 million as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers if the rising inflation remains unattended to, Aso Naija Reports.

Ajaero said the demand for organised labour would be determined by the cost of living which has skyrocketed since President Bola Tinubu came to power following the removal of fuel subsidy and other policies.

The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Thursday issued a 14-day strike notice to the Nigerian government.

The unions, in a statement, said they were furious over the government’s failure to implement a 16-point agreement signed in October 2023, which aimed to address the “massive sufffering” caused by the hike in petrol prices and naira devaluation, policies blamed for the worsening hardship and inflation.

The NLC and TUC issued a stern ultimatum to the government to honour its part of the understanding within 14 days starting from Friday, February 9, 2024.
In an interview with Arise News on Sunday evening, Ajaero said, “This N1 million may be relevant if the value of the Nigerian (naira) continues to depreciate; if the inflation continues unchecked because the demand of labour is equally dependent on what is happening in the society.

You will remember that by the time we were contemplating N200,000 (as minimum wage), the exchange rate was about N800/N900 (to a dollar).

As we talk today, the exchange rate is about N1,400 or even more.

Those are the issues that determine the demand and it is equally affecting the cost of living. And we have always said that our demand will be based on the cost of living index.

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