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NLC Rejects Okorocha’s Farming Policy For Workers

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The three-day work and two-day farming for workers policy introduced by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has been kicked against by president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, Mr Wabba said the policy was against the International Labour Organisation Convention and also against the rules and procedures in service.

He said sending workers to farm by force should be rejected by all in strong term.

“First, we have condemned in very strong terms what the Imo State governor tries to do by forcefully sending workers to the farm.

“Don’t forget that the public service rule is very clear about what trade a worker can actually do to add to his normal routine services.

“It provided that on your own volition, you can join farming as part of your normal routine activities, and that is allowed by law.

“But to criminally now go to the state House of Assembly and pass a law overnight without public hearing and without consultation is against the ILO convention; it is against our rules and procedure in service.

“To say that you want to force workers compulsorily to go into faming two days a week is the height of not even understanding how governance or how public service is run.

“I am sure that is condemnable,” the NLC boss said.

He the Imo State Governor’s policy was quite different from what other states are doing.

Mr Wabba explained that while other states were encouraging workers to embrace farming voluntarily, the Imo State Government’s policy on the other hand was compulsory.

He, however, explained that the ILO Convention and the International Treaty Organisation made it clear that working hours should not be more than eight hours a day and 40 hours per week.

Wabba further noted that Nigeria is a signatory to the treaty prohibiting forced labour.

“What the governor is doing is forced labour; we are not slaves. Even under slavery, you cannot force a worker to work against his volition.

“Employment is a contract between the employer and the employee and therefore, there are rules of engagement. Even what you earn is through a collective bargaining process; it cannot be imposed or forced on you,” said Mr Wabba.

Accordingly, Wabba said that by the NLC directive, the law had been made ineffective, as workers had ignored it and continued with their work normally.

“How can you, for instance, ask a teacher not to go to school to teach pupils for two days a week? Or a health practitioner be given a particular date as disease doesn’t give a notice?” he queried.

“You don’t give notice before you fall sick. So at the time when you are going to farm, an epidemic can actually come up; how you can address all of these?

“Or you want to put two standards in place; you ask one category of workers to come to work three days a week and another category to go to farm.

“That is not done; there are better ways to do that; he can encourage farmers; he can allocate lands and give them fertiliser and give them other incentives.

“You can put laws in place and encourage workers to go into farming; but not through a very cruel process of working against the law and forcing them to go to farm which is against our law and against our convention,” he submitted.

The NLC president stressed that the international labour law, which Nigeria had ratified, was superior to the one passed by the Imo State Assembly.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

Dollar Shortages Strike Again…Nigeria Indexes in Crosshairs

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By Lukman Otunuga

Despite oil prices surging to multi-year highs, Nigeria has failed to cash in.

The destructive combination of sub-optimal oil production, poor infrastructure, and fuel subsidies have drained oil revenues that account for roughly 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Lower oil revenues and falling foreign exchange reserves are forcing Nigeria to ration dollars. The negative impacts continue to be reflected across the economy and local currency. But now the dollar shortages have attracted the attention of MSCI Inc. which is considering downgrading the MSCI Nigeria indexes to the status of a standalone market from frontier markets.

It is worth keeping in mind that a developed market is the highest ranking, followed by emerging markets, frontier markets, and then finally standalone markets at the bottom.

Given the difficulty in repatriating funds from Nigeria, this has placed the MSCI Nigeria Indexes in the crosshairs. Such a negative development may hit sentiment toward the county’s assets at a crucial period where economic growth remains fragile.

To add insult to injury, the NGX All Share Index has gained roughly 20% this year in local currency terms. A blockbuster performance when compared to the MSCI Emerging market Index which is down roughly -19%.

In other news, the Naira was trading around N419 versus the dollar on the official spot rate and has weakened only 1.3% year-to-date. However, on the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX, the Naira ended Thursday at N620 versus the dollar and N602 on the black market. Nigeria still faces the issue of multiple exchanges but this will be a discussion for another time.

Lukman Otunuga is a Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

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Economy

Binance, Cristiano Ronaldo to Release Exclusive NFTs

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Binance, the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has announced the signing of an exclusive and multi-year NFT partnership with football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Through this partnership, Binance will launch a global campaign aiming to give Ronaldo’s fans an introduction to Web3 with a compelling entry point into the world of NFTs.

The company disclosed that over the course of the agreement, Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance will create a series of collections for sale exclusively on the Binance NFT platform.

The first collection of the exclusive NFTs will be released later this year and will feature designs created in collaboration with Ronaldo.

Speaking on the deal, Binance founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s best footballers, and has transcended sport to become an icon in multiple industries.

“He has amassed one of the world’s most dedicated fan bases through his authenticity, talent, and charity work.”

“We are thrilled to provide his fans with exclusive engagement opportunities to connect with Ronaldo and own a piece of iconic sports history,” he added.

“My relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of,” said Ronaldo.

“I know the fans are going to enjoy the collection as much as I do.”

The Cristiano Ronaldo NFT collections will be available exclusively on Binance NFT at www.Binance.com/en/nft/home.

Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume.

The Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users, and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralization and infrastructure solutions, and more.

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Economy

Cellulant Wins Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year 

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Cellulant, Africa’s leading payments company, has been awarded the Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year in Nigeria at the 13th Beacon of ICT Awards 2022.

This award is a recognition of Cellulant’s work in providing a payments platform that focuses on driving merchant business and digital payments for local, regional and global merchants in the continent.

It was also lauded for digitising both online and offline payments.

The award was presented to Cellulant Nigeria by Communication Week Media Limited, the publishers of Nigeria Communications Week.

The annual event, which recognises leading players in the ICT sector in Nigeria whose outstanding achievements contribute to the industry’s growth, was themed Impact of Blockchain Technology in a Digitalized Nigeria. 

Renowned businesses such as Emirates, GIG logistics, Coldstone, Bolt, Dominos and Ethiopian Airlines to name a few, have partnered with Cellulant to use their Tingg digital payments solution as a single collection gateway in Nigeria.

Cellulant simplified their product, unifying their offering into Tingg — a digital payments platform that addresses the complex needs of managing different payment channels for a business.

This has made it easy for businesses to conveniently and affordably accept payments from a single integration.

Customers can make payments for goods and services using locally relevant payment options.

Founded in 2003, Cellulant has more than 18 years of experience providing locally-relevant payment solutions for businesses and their consumers. Its evolution over the years, from a digital content business to mobile banking and now to payments, has allowed the company to build an expansive network, strong relationships and partnerships.

Cellulant provides a unified, single-contract, and single API payments platform – named Tingg- that makes it easy for businesses to receive and make payments; while allowing anyone to pay from their mobile money, local and international cards or directly from their bank.

Today, Cellulant has an office presence in 18 countries, including Nigeria, with a payments platform connecting thousands of businesses with 257 payment options across 35 countries. The platform powers payments for 200 million consumers on a single inclusive network for interoperability across Africa.

Speaking on the recognition, Mr Opeyemi Fowler, Cellulant’s Head of Enterprise Sales stated “the digital payments landscape in Nigeria and Africa is evolving rapidly with differing payment channels such as card, mobile money, bank transfer and cash – with volatile currency fluctuations and no single settlement framework.

“This is creating a highly fragmented landscape for businesses whose customers increasingly request to pay for their purchases using digital payment options. Every day, our job at Cellulant is to work with our customers and partners to solve this fragmentation in payments.”

“This award is a testament to our work in providing a payments platform that is transforming the way people do business in Nigeria and beyond; and a reflection of the hard work done by our people.”

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