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NLC, TUC, ASUU, Others Defy Court Order As They Begin Strike

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The NLC had on Monday announced the commencement of the industrial action from midnight of Monday, 13 November, in defiance to a restraining order issued by the National Industrial Court in Abuja on Friday.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and its affiliates including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday, began a nationwide strike, in defiance to a restraining court order barring them from embarking on the industrial action.

The two major labour unions, NLC and TUC, had declared the strike, following the brutalisation of the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State on 1 November. Mr Ajaero was attacked in Owerri, the state capital, during an NLC protest against the Imo State government over alleged maltreatment of workers in the state.

The unions on Monday directed their members to down tools across the country as from Tuesday.

This is despite the restraining order issued by the National Industrial Court, in Abuja, on Friday, stopping the labour unions from embarking on the strike. The judge, Benedict Kanyip, ordered the two major labour unions to stop their industrial action scheduled to commence 14 November.

The interim order followed an ex-parte request by the Nigerian government through the office of Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, due to the Labour unions’ threat to embark on strike.

Ignoring the court order, ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor of soil science, on Monday, directed compliance with the strike declaration in a letter to ASUU zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons across the country.

“As an affiliate of NLC, all members of our union are hereby directed to join this action of NLC to protect the interest of Nigerian workers and the leadership of the union. Zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons should immediately mobilise our members to participate in the action,” ASUU President, Mr Osodeke, wrote in a letter to zonal and branch chairpersons of the union.

When PREMIUM TIMES asked Mr Osodeke if he was aware of the subsisting court order stopping the strike, he said the question should be directed to the NLC which called for the strike.

“Call the NLC, ASUU did not declare a strike, NLC declared the strike. Call NLC,” he said in a telephone interview on Tuesday morning.

But the NLC’s head of information, Benson Upah, did not respond to phone calls and messages sent to his line requesting for comments, as of the time of filing this report.

The labour unions had, on Monday, refused to acknowledge the court order while directing their members to withdraw their services as from Tuesday.

 

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NSIB Receives U.S. Preliminary Report On Wigwe’s Death

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The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) says it has received the preliminary report from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding the crashed helicopter that killed Dr Herbert Wigwe and five others.

Mrs Bimbo Oladeji, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Feb. 9, Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, his wife, son and a former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, as well as some others were onboard the ill-fated Airbus Helicopter EC130B4.

Oladeji said that following the accident, the NSIB offered its full cooperation to the NTSB, the lead agency investigating the accident which claimed the lives of six individuals.

The crash occured at the Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, U.S.A.

According to Oladeji, initial findings suggest that the helicopter suffered catastrophic damage upon impact, resulting in fragmentation of major components.

She said: “The preliminary report on the Airbus Helicopter EC130B4, registered as N130CZ and operated by Orbic Air, LLC, under Part 135 regulations for on-demand flights, outlines crucial details surrounding the tragic incident.

“Departing from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the helicopter embarked on a journey to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada via Palm Springs International Airport.

“However, during its flight, adverse weather conditions characterised by rain and a mix of snow, were encountered, as reported by witnesses.

“Reports from law enforcement and eyewitnesses also indicated that several individuals travelling along Interstate 15 (I-15) observed a “fireball” in the area, prompting calls to emergency services.

“Subsequently, the wreckage of the helicopter was discovered in the high, mountainous desert and scrub-brush covered terrain near Halloran Springs, California.

“Analysis of the accident site revealed a scattered debris pattern about 300 ft along a 120° magnetic, indicating a trajectory from an initial impact point which was a 1.5 ft deep, 12 ft long and 10 ft wide ground crater.

“Containing fragments of the right landing gear skid, cockpit wiring, and cabin floor structure. The right skid step protruded upward at a 45° angle at the extreme eastern edge of the ground crater.

“All major helicopter components were identified at the accident site. The helicopter’s fuselage was fragmented, and the cockpit and cabin were destroyed.

“Some debris and vegetation displayed thermal damage, indicative of the extent of the collision’s force. The flight control tubes and linkages leading up to the flight control servos were fragmented and continuity could not be verified.

“All three pitch control links were attached at the swashplate and blade pitch change horns. The main rotor blades were fragmented and broomstrawed, and the blade sleeves and tips were present.

“Data analysis utilised sources including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data, operator personnel reports, and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the flight path and sequence of events leading to the accident.”

Oladeji said that the NSIB, in accordance with the prerogative granted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO’s) Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, had the right to access investigation information.

“On aviation accidents and incidents involving Nigerian-registered aircraft or Nigerian citizens in 193 countries that are member states of the ICAO.

“The NSIB has been actively engaging with the NTSB since the beginning of the investigation.

She said that as the investigation progresses, NSIB will be committed to engaging the NTSB to receive the public docket of the investigation, which will comprise the compendium of information gathered throughout the investigation.

“This typically includes photographs, interview summaries, documentation, and other relevant data that will give a clearer picture of the factors that led to the accident.”

Also, the Director-General of the NSIB, Capt. Alex Badeh, expressed gratitude for the cooperation extended by the NTSB, which has facilitated the sharing of vital information.

“We will continue to work closely with relevant authorities leading the investigation, including the NTSB, to gather additional evidence and information necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances that led to this tragic event,” Badeh.

(NAN)

 

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BDC: CBN Mandates Sellers Above $10,000 To Declare Sources

“Retail sale of foreign currencies to non-individuals, except for BTA, international outward transfers, engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondent relationship with any foreign establishment are also not permissible,”

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has mandated foreign exchange sellers to Bureau De Change (BDC) of the equivalent of 10,000 dollars and above to declare their forex sources.

Haruna Mustapha, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the CBN, said this in a revised regulatory framework to curtail excesses of BDCs and check uncertainty in the foreign exchange market.

Mustapha said that such sellers would also be required to comply with all Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism ( AML/CFT) regulations.

He said that the guidelines would significantly enhance the regulatory framework for the operations of BDCs as part of ongoing reforms of the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

According to him, the guidelines revises the permissible activities, licensing requirements, corporate governance and AML/CFT provisions for BDCs.

“It also sets out new record-keeping and reporting requirements, among others,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the guidelines also specifies that no person shall carry on the business of BDC in Nigeria except with the prior authorisation of the CBN.

It described BDC as a company licensed by the CBN to carry on only retail foreign exchange business in Nigeria.

It banned commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), including holding companies and payment service providers from promoting BDCs.

It also precluded serving staff of financial services regulatory and supervisory agencies, serving staff of regulated financial services providers, governments at all levels, among others, from promoting BDCs.

The guidelines permitted BDCs to acquire foreign currency from authorised sources like tourists, returnees from the diaspora and expatriates with foreign exchange inflows from work, travel, investment or their domiciliary accounts.

Other permissible sources are International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), embassies, hotels that are authorised buyers of foreign currencies, the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NFEM) and any other source that the CBN may specify.

It warned the BDCs not to engage in street-trading, maintaining any type of account for any member of the public, or accepting any asset for safe keeping/custody.

It said that the BDCs were also not permitted to take deposits from or grant loans to members of the public in any currency and in any form.

“Retail sale of foreign currencies to non-individuals, except for BTA, international outward transfers, engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondent relationship with any foreign establishment are also not permissible,” it said

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Economic Hardship: Blame Buhari, Not Tinubu – Northern Group Tells Nigerians

What people need to know about Nigeria’s present challenges is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inherited them from the past administration of former president Buhari but as a determined leader, Tinubu is pulling all strings together to overcome them head-on.

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A Northern group, Civil Society For Credible Election has stated that erstwhile president, Muhammadu Buhari should be blamed for the economic crisis plaguing the nation.

The group lamented that President Bola Tinubu inherited the challenges from his predecessor.

They shared their reservations while addressing newsmen in Kano.

Umar argued that Tinubu had since hit the ground working to reverse the situation through various steps and policies put in place.

He subsequently called on Nigerians to exercise patience with the President as things will be better in no distant time in the country.

According to him, “We recognize the fact that Nigerians are passing through hardship at the moment. It is a result of a global economic meltdown, but only further compounded by some shortcomings of the last administration under former president Muhammadu Buhari.

“What people need to know about Nigeria’s present challenges is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inherited them from the past administration of former president Buhari but as a determined leader, Tinubu is pulling all strings together to overcome them head-on.

“Nigerians are all living witness to the phantom steps and policies of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address the country’s sociocultural, economic and political indices.

“What President Tinubu need from all Nigerians now is patience, cooperation and understanding of the administration reforms policies. These reforms are strategic and competent enough to in no distant time make all Nigerians proud of their beloved country.”

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