The planned industrial action by organised labour in Nigeria has been called off. The strike action was planned for today, Monday 28 September 20020. But last meeting discussion and agreement between the unions and the Nigerian government led to its suspension for two weeks to monitor the implementation of what has been agreed on.
The meeting leading up to the agreement started at about 8.30pm on Sunday and ended at 2.50am on Monday morning. A five-page communique has been agree on and signed by the representatives of the union and government.
Main agreements are reversal of the new electricity tariff to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments; to look at the different DISCOs and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate; examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the 6 million meters, among others.
Also, the government agreed to give out palliatives to workers to ameliorate the sufferings being experienced as a result of the increase in the cost of electricity and the subsequent hike in the selling price of petrol.
These palliatives will cover things like transportation, power supply, housing, agriculture and humanitarian support.
The government will make available to organized labour 133 gas power buses. The CNG/LPG driven mass transit buses will be deployed to the major cities across the Country on a scale up basis thereafter to all States and Local to enable delivery of cheaper transportation before December 2021. Exact date of commencement was not stated.
The meeting also resolved that the 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers should be reflected in the composition of the DISCO’s boards. An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MoU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with labour represented.
Another major agreement is the rehabilitation of national assets by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. These are the four refineries. That is, NNPC should hasten the rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna to achieve 50% next year December, while timelines and delivery for Warri and Kaduna will be established by the inclusive steering committee.
NNPC to expedite work on the Build, Operate and Transfer framework for the nation’s pipelines and strategic depots network for efficient transportation and distribution of petroleum products to match the delivery timelines of the refineries as agreed.
To improve supply of refined petroleum products in Nigeria, the government assured that it will improve local refining capacity. This will be done by improving the delivery of licensed modular and regular refineries, involvement of upstream companies in petroleum refining and establishing framework for financing in the downstream sector.
A governance structure that will include representatives of organized labour shall be established for timely delivery.
On its part the government representatives agreed to ease the negative impacts of the deregulation of the downstream sector of Nigeria’s oil industry and the increase in cost of electricity supply, to announce in two weeks a specific amount to be accessed by workers with subsequent provision for 240,000 under the auspices of NLC and TUC for participation in agricultural ventures through the Central Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The timeline will be fixed at the next meeting. Possibly in two weeks.
The meeting further resolved that the government remove of tax on minimum wage as a way of cushioning the impacts of the policy on the lowest vulnerable. No timeline was given for this to be implemented.
No mention was made of the fact that the Nigerian government has not implemented the new minimum wage across the three tiers of government. This was agree on with labour before the end of the first tenure of President Muhammad Buhari. July 2019, a timetable was announced the federal government. Many states had complained of not being able to pay. That agigation was before COVID-19. So what is the fate of the Nigerian worker in the era of COVID-19?
The agreement was signed by a team from the government and organized labour. The government team had, the ministers of labour, Information and Secretary to the government. Also present were the deputy labour and petroleum ministers.
Organised labour had the heads Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and several others.
Food Prices In Nigeria Went Up In September – Nigeria Bureau of Statistics
Food prices in Nigeria increased in September according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
NBS made the assertion in a report titled ‘Selected food price watch data’ for the month of September 2020.
The report said the average price of one dozen of eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 5.245% and month-on-month by 0.37% to N480.76 in September 2020 from N478.97 in August 2020.
It stated that the average price of eggs medium size (price of one) increased year-on-year by 3.87 % and month-on-month by 0.28 % to N42.90 in September from N42.78 in August.
The average price of 1kg of rice (imported high quality sold loose) increased year-on-year by 39.07% and month-on-month by 2.87% to N516.13 in September 2020 from N501.71 in August.
Meanwhile, the average price of 1kg of tomato increased year-on-year by 26.12% and decreased month-on-month by -1.01% to N286.92 in September from N289.86 in August.
Similarly, it added, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber increased year-on-year by 29.11% and decreased month on month by -4.08% to N245.62 in September 2020 from N256.06 in August 2020.
Incidentally, as the 24hour curfew across many states in Nigeria last, after the resent spat of violent attacks in some cities it has impacted on current prices. And cause more increase. Now, a piece of egg now sells for N70 to N100 each.
The prices of other food items have increased and could further spiked if movement restrictions are not relaxed very soon.
Tunisia Exports 3,000 Tonnes Of Fruit To Libya In 20 Days
Tunisa exported no fewer than 3,000 tonnes of fruit to Libya in the first 20 days of October, local media reported.
The exports were through the three commercial Sfax, Sousse and Bizerte maritime lines.
The head of the Sales Department of the Inter-Professional Fruit Group (GIFruits), Tarek Tira, said the fruit export process, mainly for pomegranates, resumed its regular pace despite the closure of the road linking Tunisia with the Libyan land border since last September.
He said a cargo-carrying more than 1200 tonnes of fruit, including 700 tonnes of pomegranates, left Sfax port on Thursday to Tripoli.
Adding that another ship carrying nearly 350 tonnes of fruit will also sail for Libya from the same port.
Tira pointed out that the Libyan market is the first in Tunisia in terms of fruit marketing (more than 30%).
Since September, the export of Tunisian agricultural products, essentially fruits, has been experiencing a blockage, following the closure of the border road at Ben Guerdane by demonstrators. This has hindered the passage of Tunisian and Libyan trucks in both directions.
Vice-president of the board of directors of GIFruits Ibrahim Trabelsi expressed regret, considering the importance of the Libyan market. “It absorbs between 30 and 50% of agricultural products,” he said, adding the current situation could collapse the Tunisian fruit industry.
UACN Tops Gainers’ Table As Nigeria’s Bourse Rebounds By N59M
The Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), on Thursday, rebounded with a growth of N59 billion in spite of social unrest and curfew in major cities of the country.
Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened at N14.870 trillion rose by N59 billion or 0.40 per cent to close at N14.929 trillion.
Also, the All-Share Index increased by 114.38 points or 0.40 per cent to close at 28,563.87 compared with 28,449.49 achieved on Wednesday.
The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; MTN Nigeria Communications, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, UACN, Lafarge Africa and Dangote Sugar Refinery.
Market sentiment measured by the market breadth was positive with 21 stocks gainers against 12 losers.
UACN drove the gainers’ table in percentage table, growing by 8.33 per cent to close at N7.15 per share.
Union Diagnostic followed with eight per cent to close at 27k, while FCMB Group rose by 7.96 per cent to close at N2.44 per share.
United Capital increased by 6.44 per cent to close at N3.80, while Neimeth appreciated by 5.26 per cent to close at N1.80 per share.
Conversely, Wapic Insurance led the losers’ chart in percentage terms dropping by 9.09 per cent to close at 40k per share.
UACN Property Development trailed with 3.66 per cent to close at 79k, while GlaxoSmithKline shed 3.57 per cent to close at N5.40 per share.
International Breweries dipped 2.95 per cent to close at N6.25, while Fidelity Bank depreciated by 2.50 per cent to close at N1.95 per share.
However, the total volume traded decreased by 4.67 per cent with an exchange of 311.33 million shares worth N4.69 billion traded in 3,375 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 326.58 million shares valued at N4.22 billion transacted in 4,367 deals on Wednesday.
Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 77.84 million shares worth N2.34 billion.
Access Bank followed with 57.66 million shares valued at N442.78 million, while Zenith Bank traded 39.58 million shares worth N813.77 million.
FBN Holdings sold 21.75 million shares valued at N131.58 million, while United Bank for Africa transacted 18.16 million shares worth N122.81 million
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