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Economy, Government

The Government of Ekiti State has signed an agreement with Organized Labour on the implementation of minimum wage and consequential adjustment for workers in core civil service and Local Government Service as well as Judiciary and Health workers in the state.

The implementation of the consequential adjustment commences in January, 2021.

The new development is a product of a series of meetings between labour leaders and government negotiation team as well as meetings with the state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi at the tail end of last year.

In the new agreement which was jointly signed by the government negotiation team and labour leaders in the state on Tuesday evening, it was agreed that the  salaries of officers in the civil service be adjusted.

Adjustment for GL13-17 will be implemented by the government based on the recommendation of the Economic Review Committee which will comprise labour and government representatives as allocation improves, while implementation for officers on GL 07-12 will commerce by January 2021.

Workers on Grade level 01 to 06 have been enjoying the new minimum wage since October 2019.

It was also agreed that government would not retrench, victimize or intimidate any worker as a result of the implementation and no labour leader would be penalized or sanctioned over roles played in the course of the negotiations.

“It was jointly signed that this agreement has brought to an end the agitation on minimum wage and consequential adjustment for officers on GL 01-12 and shall be implemented for officers on GL13 and above without prejudice”, the document stated.

The Head of Service, Mrs ‘Peju Babafemi, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Labour Matters, Comrade Oluyemi Esan and Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishments and Service Matters, Mr Bayo Opeyemi, signed on behalf of government.

The Chairman Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Kayode Fatomiluyi, Secretary, Comrade Gbenga Olowoyo; Chairman NLC, Comrade Kolapo Olatunde, NLC Secretary, Comrade Akinyemi Taiwo; Chairman Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Sola Adegun; and Secretary, Comrade Lawrence Kulogun, signed on behalf of Labour.

The Head of Service, Mrs ‘Peju Babafemi expressed profound gratitude to the Government for creating a conductive and peaceful environment for Ekiti Workers.

She affirmed that Ekiti is blessed with cerebral, hardworking and diligent officers in the public service who are ready to deliver on the agenda of government to the people of the state.

“I want to assure the workers that the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi is committed to their wellbeing. On this note, I urge all our workers to continue to put in their best”, she added.

The Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Kayode Fatomiluyi, speaking on behalf of Labour, said the journey towards signing the agreement was quite hectic and involved serious brainstorming sessions. He added however, that he was happy that both government and labour have come to a conclusion.

He stressed further, that “the organized labour have confidence in our amiable Governor that he walks his talk and we want to believe that what we have signed (today) is in the best interest of our teaming members”.

It will be recalled that the negotiation meeting was put on hold in March 2020, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to that, Government had commenced the implementation of the minimum wage for the junior officers in October 2019. Governor Fayemi however directed that negotiations should resume in November 2020, which led to the signing of the agreement on Tuesday.

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Energy

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Federal Government and electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to adopt strategic approach to the nation’s electricity pricing.

Dr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, LCCI, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that this would avoid “a pushback from the consumers”.

NAN report that the management of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had declared on Tuesday that there was no 50 per cent increase in electricity tariff as widely reported in some media.

Reacting, Mr Michael Faloseyi, NERC’s Head of Public Affairs, said in a statement in Abuja, against the backdrop in some quarters that electricity tariff had been increased by 50 per cent.

Faloseyi said: “The commission hereby state unequivocally that no approval has been granted for 50 per cent tariff increase in the tariff order for Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs), which took effect from Jan.1, 2021.”

Yusuf said, while the commercial arguments for a hike might be strong, its implications, given the social context, must be reckoned with.

He said the transition to the new pricing regime should be strategic and gradual to minimise shocks and risk of “a pushback” by the consumers.

Amuda said there was need for importance of reckoning with the economic, social and political ramifications of such price reviews.

He said these contexts should have a moderating effect on price movement at this time, especially for a product of high social significance.

Yusuf, however, reiterated the chamber’s support of a cost reflective tariff for electricity.

“Context matters in policy conceptualisation and implementation, and we need to worry about social and economic contexts.

“These contexts should have a moderating effect on price movement at this time, especially for a product of high social significance.

“It is important to take these factors into account in order not to put the entire reform process at risk,” he said.

(NAN)

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