​Kaduna Strike: NLC, KDSG, signs MoU to end Agitations

By Victor Habila, Kaduna

After series of serious disagreements between the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and a delegation of Kaduna State Government officials, both parties have finally signed a Memorandum of Understanding to tackle the crisis rocking the state.

There was mild drama at the meeting between officials of the Kaduna State Government and the NLC as the delegation from the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai had refused to signed the MoU, reached between the two parties.

However, after much persuasion and possible consultation with the state officials in Kaduna, the documents were signed but with mild adjustment.

The MoU read by the Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige agreed to set up a 10-member committee to fashion out a work plan to resolve the impasse between the Kaduna State Government and NLC following agitations over sack of civil servants.

The Minister said the Kaduna State Head of Civil Service, Bariatu Mohammed will chair the committee while the NLC Deputy President, Najeem Yasin will serve as the vice-chairperson.

Ngige disclosed that the committee is mandated to revert to the Minister of Labour and Employment on or before next week Tuesday as agreed to enable the completion of the process of resolution.

​I can’t survive on N9,000 monthly pension, textile retiree cries out

Mr Gideon Shenpam, a textile retiree on Thursday cries out for help, saying he cannot survive on N9,000 monthly pension.
Shenpam, 62 and a father of four, told newsmen in Kaduna, that he has been living a life of misery since retirement in 2018.

The retired senior citizen from Chellco Industries Ltd., a blanket manufacturing company in Kaduna, said that he may die of frustration if nothing was done to ease his suffering.

“I want President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians to know that the life of a retired textiles worker is a life of pity and misery.

“This is because of systems failures and the inability of the current pension scheme to make life comfortable for retirees.

“The so-called pension scheme is paying us just N9,000 monthly as pension, barely enough to meet our food needs. 

“Ironically, governments at all levels are supposed to adequately take care of us, haven worked so hard and contributed immensely to the development of the nation’s economy,” he said.

He said that the federal and state governments had in different fora made commitments to care for, honour and respect senior citizens, “but here I am struggling to survive on N9,000 a month”. 

He pointed out that his situation was made worse following the current harsh economic condition, which he said he said was riding on a horse back, with the galloping price of food items.

He said that the prices of food items in the market were doubling or tripling by the day, stressing that N9,000 cannot feed his family for a week. 

Shenpam, a one-time Zonal Secretary of the Textile Garment and Tailoring Senior Staff Association, called on the government to do something about his predicament and that of other senior citizens in a similar situation. 

He disclosed that his retirement benefit was about N300,000, adding that he could not finish the house he was building because the money was too small, and the project had to stop at linter level.

“I used part of the money to pay rent at N130,000 a year but for two years now I could not pay because my pension was barely enough to provide food for my family.

“As I am talking to you, my landlord is threatening to throw me out for not settling my rent for two years and I do not know how I am going to raise the rent when my income is just N9,000 in a month.

“I tried looking for a job to augment my pension without success. I need assistance to take care of my four children two of which are still in school. 

“Two have graduated but still without a job. One read mechanical engineering and the other read business administration and management,” the senior citizen said. 

He called on the federal government to review the pension of textile retirees upward to at least N30,000 in line with minimum wage.

This, according to him, will improve pensioners’ living conditions and prevent them from dying of hunger and frustration. 

“We are living below the survival line. Government must come to our aid or most senior citizens will die of starvation,” he said.

BREAKING: Cross River Gov dumps PDP, joins APC

The Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The governor made his decision known when six APC governors visited him on Thursday at the Cross River State Government House.

It was reported that APC governors on Wednesday evening arrived in Calabar, capital of Cross River, to persuade Governor Ayade to dump the PDP for their party.

Among the APC governors that visited Ayade include Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, who is also the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC, Hope Uzodima, Imo State; David Umahi, Ebonyi State, and Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State.

Source: TG news