Aggrieved Nigerian Union of Railway (NUR) Workers have insisted on embarking on a three-day warning strike from November 18 to 20 over issues pertaining to their salaries.
The NUR President, Innocent Ajiji, announced this on Sunday.
According to Ajiji, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, has never took their demand for a salary upgrade seriously despite making appeals for a long time .
The NUR President said the union representatives have met with the minister on several occasions and the response from him has been that the president has travelled out and he is the only one who can approve the salary upgrade.
He said: “The meeting ended in a deadlock and what we mean by that is that we went for the meeting with an expectation that the minister will give us a cheering news that the President has approved our agitation for increased salary structure and allowances.
“We’ve been struggling for this purpose since early this year. Last year it was included in the budget proposal of the railway that there should be an enhanced salary structure but the National Assembly struck it off.
“So we lost it last year, which was in the proposal for this year. When we saw that we lost it we now decided to start the struggle all over again. About five months ago the minister demanded that we should come up with a proposal.
“Fortunately this time round the managing director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation successfully organised a meeting between us and him (Amaechi).
“And when he came we were hoping to hear that he had met with the President. This is because it is only the President who can approve the salary structure. So we expected him to tell us the level of the matter after meeting the President.
“”But what we heard from him is that the President has traveled out of Nigeria and hopefully he will be back by next week and when he returns efforts will be made to see him to discuss our matter.”
“So it means that all these months that we’ve been expecting to hear from the minister no effort was made at all on our issue. This is why we cannot withdraw the three-day warning strike. So the meeting ended in a deadlock.”
Alleged Kidnapper, Evan’s Co-Defendant Chiemeka Arinze, Dies In Prison
Chiemeka Arinze, a co-defendant with alleged billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, has died in prison custody.
Vanguard reports that a source who pleaded anonymity said Arinze died on Friday, November 26, 2021. The source said the counsel to the late defendant had filed a bail application before the court last week, over the illness of the defendant.
The source also said that the continuation of trial in the case is coming up today (Monday), and it was slated for the bail application to be heard before they heard of the death of the defendant.
It was gathered that Arinze, who had been sick, was rushed from the prison to a General Hospital on Friday, where he later died.
Evans is standing trial alongside, Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze, and Udeme Upong, over the attempted kidnap of Chief Vincent Obianodo, the Chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors, before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court. They are facing a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap, sale and transfer of firearms.
Chief Justice calls on attorneys to help judges when things go wrong
On Saturday, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Tanko Muhammad, urged attorneys to be ready to help judges when things go wrong or are “on verge of going wrong”.
He did, however, say that such advice should be given in good faith in order to motivate judicial officials to do better and improve their performance.
The CJN spoke on the 40th anniversary of his admission to the bar, alongside Justices of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, judges from other courts, and prominent attorneys from across the nation.
“As critical stakeholders in the task of justice delivery, you have the responsibility of drawing our attention to where things are going wrong or on the verge of going wrong.
“You have the onerous task of guiding those of us on the bench because we must not fail as your representatives on the bench,” he said.
Muhammad expressed his happiness that all of the members of the 1981 group are doing well, referring to them as “pacesetters”.
Mike Ozekhome (SAN), chairman of the 1981 set, regarded it as the most prestigious since the Law School opened its doors to students in 1962.
He stated that six present Supreme Court Justices are from the group, while the seventh, Justice Sidi Bage, resigned to become the Emir of Lafia in Nasarawa state.
The set includes the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justices Olukayode Ariwoola, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Uwani Abba’ji, Lawal Garba, and Adamu Kauri.
POP workers call for price regulation
The Union of Plaster of Paris Workers in Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to regulate the price of Plaster of Paris (POP) materials in the market.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, the union members also appealed to the Federal Government to grant approval to license the organisation.
Plaster of Paris is a building material used for decorating, molding, casting and protective coating on walls and ceilings of homes and offices.
Mr Mathew Abata, POP national public relations officer, decried the increasing costs of materials which affected patronage and livelihood.
Abata said that there was the need to create a platform to dialogue with the importers of POP materials to ensure price stability.
“We are POP workers, we are artisans under civil engineering; we decorate houses and industries of all kinds.
“We feel it’s necessary to put our voices together because when you go to civil engineering, our work is the number one richest work.
”But right now, we feel cheated because of many things; the POP sellers will just decide at any time to raise the price of material without consulting us the end users,” he said.
“We need a platform where we can dialogue with those importing these materials. So, before anything will be done; before any rise in price, they must let us know.
“We want the Federal Government to hear us, to know that we are citizens of this country.
“We want them to help us achieve this certificate, we want them to know that there is a job like this, that artisans are suffering,” Abata said.
Mr Tovi Boniface, National President of the union, urged all artisans in the country to register with the association to better their future.
“We are trained to put heads together so that we can make something which everyone will benefit from in the future,” he said.
Also, Mr John Apolinaire, POP union Chairman, FCT branch, advised members to collaborate as a team to achieve the aims and objectives of the association.
“As a group of POP workers, we are honorable members in the society, so we advise members to work with diligence, commitment and all seriousness.
“We need to come together with one voice to reason and think together to achieve one goal,” Apolinaire said.
However, the union’s legal adviser, Mr Babatunde Ojo, said that continuous effort should be made to ensure that legal steps are taken to register the organisation to gain adequate recognition.
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