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Obasanjo Library: Workers Sent Home Without Pay

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As a result of effect of Coronavirus pandemic in the Country, the management of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State has put the employment of some of its workers on hold till further notice.

In a letter by its Head of Human Resources, Administration and Procurement, Olanike Ogunleye, the management of the OOPL said the organisation attributed the action to the adverse effects of the Coronavirus pandemic the institution’s business and had found it hard to sustain its workforce.

The ever bubbling Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) which has various units including Guest House, Zoo, Cinema, Halls, Bar, Car Wash among others, was battling delay in the payment of salaries before coronavirus worsened the situation, findings revealed.

The letter reads in part, “As you are aware, the current COVID-19 pandemic has had a toll on all our business significantly. This has resulted in making some difficult business decisions. Due to this situation, we regret to inform you that your employment will be put on hold till further notice.

“You are to hand over all company properties in your possession to the human resource department, who shall do a confirmation of the exit clearance process before your final entitlements (if any) would be paid.”

Before laying the workers off on Friday, the OOPL had been alleged to be owing several months of salaries.

A worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “They have been owing salaries since last year. They will pay one and it’s going to be after 3-4 months that they will pay another one. We have workers collecting less than N30,000 and they refer to those collecting N50, 000 as senior staff and they are still owing.

“This year, they have paid just January salary and half of April salary which was paid on 20th of April.”

The source said, ” though, the number of the affected staff is not yet known because this is the first phase which has affected junior workers, which included security and cleaners”.

“The mass sack is an annual event in the organisation, which the source attributed to mismanagement of the facility by members of management, whom he accused of pursuing personal interest’.

He appealed to the federal government or any international body to take over the administration of the facility so that the vision of Chief Obasanjo in fighting unemployment through the OOPL will not die in no distance time.

Speaking with newsmen, The Managing Director of OOPL, Vitalise Ortese, that the decision was informed by the reality of the period, saying “we didn’t make single kobo since March.”

He described as mischief, the report by a section of the online news platforms that the organization “sacks its workers.”

“We didn’t sack anybody. It was clearly stated there, temporary cessation. We have not made a kobo since March 16 or thereabout. No bailout and we didn’t get palliative from the government.

“How do we pay salaries? It’s normal we have to allow people to go temporarily.

“It happens everywhere. Banks are laying off and other organizations have asked people to go home. Everyone is affected, including me. All members of staff are affected. Obasanjo’s children are affected, even Obasanjo himself is affected.”

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Importation Tariff: Customs May Commence Reduction On Duties Paid On Imported Cars Next Week

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The Nigeria Customs has announced that the reduction of duties paid on imported vehicles may commence from next week.

According to a statement by the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, while speaking to the news men in Abuja declared that the Agency is expecting an official instruction from the Ministry of finance any moment from now.

Hameed said the idea to reduce the tariff downward was to make business of importation easy for those bringing in cars from overseas.

He maintained that reduction of tariff on vehicle as contained in the finance act 2020 was created by the Commission.

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Nigerians To Pay More On Petroleum Products, Power Tariff In 2021 – FG

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The Federal government has declared that subsidy for energy has completely been removed from government fiscal plan in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, while presenting the the breakdown of 2021 budget in Abuja.

The Minister, While presenting the analysis for the N13.588 trillion Federal government budget with the Director General, Budget office, Mr Ben Akabueze, said same removal also applicable to power sector.

The Federal government had already increased the power tariff by 50% from the beginning of the year January 1.

With the new development, Nigerians should be expecting a harder measure on the surge on both the power tariff and more on petroleum product prices in 2021.

Do we begin to experience such increase in a country like Nigeria where oil is been exported to other country of the World?

This is a question begging for an answer.

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Discos Records N1.735 Trillion Deficits In Tariffs

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The Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh wednesday disclosed that 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) have recorded N1.736 trillion deficit in tariffs.

Momoh made the disclosure during the investigative hearing into the privatisation of power assets held at the instance of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee chaired by the Majority Leader, Hon. Ado Doguwa.

He explained that loan of N701 billion was advanced to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) as payment assurance facility to ensure a settlement of 80 per cent and 90 per cent of Electricity Generation Companies (Gencos) and gas supplier invoices to cover obligations in 2017 and 2018.

This was in addition to additional loan of N600 billion given to NBET by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as payment assurance facility covering 100 per cent of gencos’ invoices for the payment for year 2019 and part of 2020, adding that the release of the funds under this tranche is based on deliverables of the power sector recovery programme.

The NERC chairman also added a projected tariffs support worth N380 billion and additional N60 billion for first quarter (Q1) and Q2 of 2021 has been capped by the PSRP financing plan, while federal government is in the process of securing a World Bank loan of $750 million.

On the other hand, the statistics available showed that the 11 discos recorded N1.830 trillion market shortfall between 2015 and 2019.

The breakdown showed that: AEDC recorded N233.077 billion; Benin – N161.452 billion; Eko – N154.853 billion; Enugu – N174.209 billion; Ibadan – N226.408 billion; Ikeja – N203.666 billion; Jos – N115.907 billion; Kaduna – N177.759 billion; Kano – N145.259 billion; Port Harcourt – N165.960 billion and Yola – N71.825 billion, respectively.

Momoh explained that based on the outcome of the baseline study on the level of aggregate technical commercial and collection losses conducted, federal government approved loan worth N213 billion from CBN with a view to paying off the tariffs’ shortfall for all market participants during the interim rules and outstanding legacy gas debts.

On the other hand, out of the N210.626 billion allocation from NEMSF to the Discos as at March 2020, total sum of N189.191 billion has so far been disbursed leaving a balance of N21.435 billion payment.

He added that the federal government is bearing the burden of N20 per kilowatt deficit recorded from the electricity tariff, as against the N50 per kilowatt which every customer ought to pay.

Earlier, the leader of the adhoc Committee, Hon. Hon. Ado Doguwa chided Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for failing to honour the invitation sent to him.

He directed the BPE Director General to appear before the Ad-hoc within 24 hours, in his own interest.

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