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Oyo: I won’t mind breaking toes in order to serve my people – Gov. Makinde spits fire

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has declared that he would not mind breaking some toes if it would aid his determination to serve the ordinary people of Oyo State.

Governor Makinde, who made the declaration while speaking at the thanksgiving service to mark his 52nd birthday said that he would continue to fight on the side of the ordinary people.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor, who clocked 52 on Christmas Day, made the declaration during his Birthday Thanksgiving Service held at the St Peter’s Cathedral, Aremo, Ibadan.

According to Governor Makinde, his determination to render service to the ordinary people informed his decision to declare free and qualitative education in the state adding that education remains the surest way to lift people out of poverty.

The Governor said: “If I can be who I am today, then no child should be left behind in Oyo State. And that explains my passion for education. Once we give education to our children, the sky is their starting point.”

He stated that he never thought he would live up to 30 and that he has remained grateful to God every year he has lived beyond 30.

“I thought I would join the Army, fight for my country and possibly get killed and that may be the end of the story. So for me, every year I have lived above 30 years is like a bonus,” he said.

The Governor maintained that he was getting more mature at 52 appreciated everyone who has made an impact on his life, even as he expressed appreciation to the people of Oyo State, without whom he said he would not have been able to achieve anything in last six months of his tenure as Governor.

He said: “There is nothing really much to say; today is my birthday and I am getting mature. Quite frankly, I never thought I would live up to 30. I have a friend here and every time we were talking, we always thought that we would go into the Army, fight, get killed and that would be the end of our story.

“We actually went for recruitment into the Army but were rejected. But today, we are seeing Seyi Makinde at 52 and all I can do is to give thanks to God.

“When we were going through the electioneering period, people said the political terrain here is rough, and I could get killed. So, I looked at myself and said that I could take the risk since I am more than 30 because I had always believed that anything I have after 30 would be like a bonus to me.

“That is why without looking back, I will continue to serve the people of Oyo State, without minding whose toe I will step on. Truth is, I will break some toes if I really have to and will continue to fight for the ordinary people of this state.”

He added: “My story won’t be complete without all of you and I thank you all. Today is the first time I am celebrating my birthday like this. In the area I grew up, the first time they would bring a cake for somebody’s birthday was when the last child of my family, Iyabo, celebrated her birthday. My parents kept delivering male children until they got to the 5th one.

“I remember after the delivery of the fifth child, who happened to be a female, my mother, in the labour room, was shouting for everyone to hear that she had a female child. For her, it was special treatment.

“Some of us who stayed in the area where I grew up, we used to eat in a communal setting. So, when they brought the cake for her birthday, it was strange to us and we suddenly rushed it. My mum cried that day. That was the kind of environment where I grew up.

“So, if I can be who I am today, then no child should be left behind in Oyo State. And that explains my passion for education. Once we give education to our children, the sky is their starting point.”

The Governor, who singled out the people of the State for appreciation for the support they have continued to offer to his Government, further said: “For the people of Oyo State, I want to thank you because we would not have achieved anything without you. People have been commending us that there have been changes within six months we came into government.

“I want the people to know that it is not only Seyi Makinde that is doing these but all of us. And you know that decisions are always taken by consensus. We discuss, thrash out issues and superior arguments always win. So, in 2020, I look forward to a more robust argument, discussions, and alignments.

“This time last year, I didn’t know I will become the Governor of Oyo State but I prayed to God during my birthday and the last cross over night that if my wish to serve the people of Oyo State would be to their benefit, let it be so and God answered that prayer. So, I want to pray today again that all our wishes, in the coming year 2020, God will make them manifest.”

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Ibadan Province, Most Revd Segun Okubadejo, who spoke on the topic, “a gift for Christmas,” encouraged Christians to gift Christ the best of their thoughts, actions, and deeds.

He said: “The gift Christ is asking of us today are the gifts he has given through finished work of redemption and the gifts are not for Christ’s benefits, they are for our benefits.

“Today, I am telling you children of God here celebrating Christ’s birth, the first gift Christ wants from us is love. He has deposited that love in us and he is asking for the same love. Love to God and to our neighbours.

‘We all know what lack of love causes in the home, the society. Lack of love is disturbing us. In the political circle, lack of love continues to cause crisis. So, today, Christ is asking for the gift of love.

“The second gift he is asking is that of humility in place of pride. Pride has turned the society and a lot of people into something else.

“Today, Christ is asking for the gift of doing good deeds,” Okubadejo stated.

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Tinubu To Protest Planners: Shelve Idea, Await Our Response

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President Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians who plan to stage nationwide hunger protests to shelve the plan.

The President also urged the citizens to give his administration enough time to respond to their requests.

The request was revealed by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, to State House Correspondents after closed-door talks with President Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.

He said, “On the issue of the planned protest, Mr. President does not see any need for that. He asked them to shelve that plan and he has asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas.

“So, there is no need for strike. The young people out there should listen to the President and allow the President more time to see to the realisation of all the goodies he has for them.”

His comments come days after calls for nationwide protests from August 1-10 against the rising cost of living and the economic hardship.

 

 

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Lagos Students Shun National Protest, Plan Solidarity Walk

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Students of tertiary institutions in Lagos State have disclosed their stand on the planned nationwide protests expected to commence on August 1.

JomogNews reports that Nigerians, particularly youths, have vowed to stage mass protests across the country beginning from August 1 to August 10 to draw the attention of the government to the plight of citizens.

According to the organizers, the protesters are expected to converge at state government houses across the country and the National Assembly complex in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to express their anger over the hardship in Nigeria.

However, Mr Alimi Lekan-Idris, President, National Association of Lagos State Students, NULASS, said on Tuesday that the students will not join the protest.

Addressing journalists at a press conference held at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital College of Medicine, Ikeja, Mr Alimi urged Nigerian youths to embrace dialogue.

He said, “It is crucial that we remember the importance of peace and stability and use dialogue to achieve our collective goals.

”Given these significant contributions and progress we have witnessed, we wish to state that we are not in support of any protest against the government of Lagos State”.

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Labour Plans Talks With Govs As N’Assembly Okays N70,000 Wage

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Labour unions in the country say they will schedule meetings with state governments as part of efforts to ensure that they comply with the 2024 National Minimum Wage Amendment Act Bill, which on Tuesday empowered Nigerian workers to earn at least N70,000 on a monthly basis.

The Senate on Tuesday at plenary passed the 2024 National Minimum Wage Amendment Act Bill after President Bola Tinubu had transmitted the new wage bill to both chambers of the National Assembly, seeking expeditious support of the lawmakers for its passage.

The Senate and House of Representatives passed the new minimum wage bill.

The bill passed the first (President Tinubu’s request), second (debate on general principles) and third readings on Tuesday — all within an hour — in the upper and lower legislative chambers.

The new bill replaces the National Minimum Wage Act, No. 8, 2019 which approved N30,000 minimum wage with five years to negotiate a new wage. The new wage review period has now been reduced to three years following Tuesday’s legislation.

While leading a debate on the bill, Opeyemi Bamidele, Majority Leader of the Senate, said N70,000 was agreed upon by all the parties after negotiations.

“This is part of the Federal Government’s short term measure to mitigate the situation in the country,” Bamidele said.

Chief Whip of the Senate, Tahir Monguno, said there was the need to review the minimum wage to align with economic realities.

“The review of the minimum wage used to be after every five years. It is now every three years,” Monguno said.

No Senator opposed the Bill during its consideration by the Committee of the Whole.

The Senators also unanimously approved that the Bill be read for the third time and passed when it was put to voice vote by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

The legislation gives legal backing to the N70,000 minimum wage recently approved by the President after weeks of a face-off with labour unions over a new minimum wage.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress had both threatened a nationwide strike in the event of the failure of the Federal Government to approve a new wage for workers.

The NLC and TUC proposed N494,000 as the new monthly national minimum wage, citing inflation and the prevailing economic hardship in the country.

The unions in several statements lamented the hardship in the country, fueled by the removal of subsidy from the Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, and the rising cost of goods and services.

But the unions later reduced the amount to N250,000 after several meetings with the Presidency.

On June 7, the Federal Government increased its offer for the new minimum wage for workers from N60,000 to N62,000 but the unions insisted on N250,000.

On July 11, the labour leaders again met with President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa over the new minimum wage before eventually accepting N70,000 as the new minimum wage for workers last week.

At Tuesday’s plenary, the bill was speedily passed through the first and second reading stages, leading to the consideration of the report and final passage to pave the way for the immediate implementation of the new minimum wage.

After the bill passage on Tuesday, the Trade Union Congress warned states against delay in the implementation of the new minimum wage. The TUC noted that no delay should be allowed due to the biting economic conditions in the country.

The National Vice President, TUC, Tommy Etim, made this known in an interview with our correspondent.

Etim said, “We are happy that the Senate was able to pass the National Minimum Wage Bill promptly. It’s now for the President to sign it into law and for the implementation to commence immediately.

“Moreover, the states should not delay in the implementation because of the socioeconomic challenges and the need to address hunger in the land.”

The NLC also urged state governments to replicate the move by the Federal Government to hastily pass the new minimum wage bill into law. The Congress also advised states to implement the new minimum wage to the letter.

“We are delighted by the gesture of the Senate because it suggests sensitivity to the plight of our members. The 2019 law expired in April 2024. This means we are already in arrears. The states should not only obey the law to the hilt but timeously too,” the Head of Public Relations of the NLC, Benson Upah, told one of our correspondents in Abuja.

Ekiti, Osun pledge to pay

Meanwhile, The Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq, on Tuesday forwarded a bill seeking the revised Supplementary Budget of the state by N201bn to the State House of Assembly for approval, as states begin moves to pay the new wage.

Though, the Governor did not state the reason for the budget in his letter to the Assembly, it was learnt it might not be unconnected with the recent enaqctment of the new wage bill.

In the letter, which was read at plenary by the Speaker, Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, the Governor sought consideration and approval for the 2024 Revised/Supplementary Estimate.

The Speaker stated, “The total budget size after review is now N493,449,372,429.00 as against the 2024 approved estimates of N292,741,292,132.30, representing 69 per cent increase.

“The bill, however, passed through first reading and thereafter the Clerk of the House was directed to circulate clean copies of the bill to the Honourable members and the bill was referred to the House Committee on Rules and Business to slate it for second reading at the next legislative day.”

Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, on Tuesday assured workers in the state that he would not disappoint them on the new minimum wage for workers.

Oyebanji, who spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, during the presentation of N1bn gratuity cheques to retirees, expressed hope that he would offset all outstanding pension arrears before the end of the year.

The governor said, “On minimum wage, once it becomes law, when the President signs it into law, all will be well. The only thing I know, I am here to serve you. Let us wait, at the appropriate time, all will be well. One thing I know is that I am not going to disappoint you.”

Also, Osun State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, said the state government would pay the new minimum wage, adding that the welfare of workers remained a priority of the present administration.

Alimi, who admitted that the new wage would strain the state’s finances, added that since the FG’s decision to pay the N70,000 minimum wage to workers was backed by law, Osun would not be found wanting.

“We will pay, but if the Federal Government is willing to give us more money, we will definitely be interested in collecting it. It is a question of law. Once they say an amount is the minimum wage and it is backed up by law, it is not negotiable.

“In Osun, the number one in the five-point agenda of the governor is workers’ welfare. If we can be paying arrears of salaries and pensions, we are going to pay the minimum wage. It is an obligation. I told you before now that whatever agreed upon as minimum wage, Osun will not be found wanting. It’s an additional burden but that notwithstanding, our government is committed to the welfare of the workers. We are going to pay,” Alimi said.

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