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NLC Not Different from Bandits—Kaduna Government

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NLC as Bandits

**Sacks Nurses, Threatens to Dismiss Lecturers, Others

By Dipo Olowookere

The Kaduna State Government has likened the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to bandits, saying it will not tolerate criminal acts disguised as industrial action.

On Monday, workers in the state embarked on a five-day warning strike, which has pushed the economy under pressure, with electricity supply disrupted as a result of the action.

In a statement today posted on the verified Facebook page of the Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, said the state government frowns at the industrial action, pointing out that it was not only “unacceptable” but a violation of the law and the Trade Union Act.

In the statement, the state government said “the actions of the NLC [was] equivalent to the actions of the bandits kidnapping and menacing our citizens.”

“Bandits illegally use arms, but the NLC is deploying mob action for exactly the same ends: trying to hold hostage the freedoms, economic interests, livelihoods and resources of the people of Kaduna State.

“It is a vain expectation that this government will respond differently to sets of unlawful actions that have the same ends,” the state government stressed.

In view of this, it has declared the president of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba and his senior confederates in the NLC wanted, emphasising that it vigorous prosecute them “for violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, the Miscellaneous Offences and the Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Acts,” advising them to “report to the Ministry of Justice and the police headquarters.”

It also said all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been mandated “to submit daily copies of attendance register to the Head of Service.

The state government also said any academic staff of the Kaduna State University (KASU) that does not report for work will be dismissed, directing authorities of the institution “to submit a copy of the attendance register for all categories of staff daily to the Secretary to the State Government and the Commissioner of Education.”

It further said the “Ministry of Health will dismiss all nurses below GL 14 for going on an unlawful strike,” adding that, “Salaries that could have gone to them are to be given as extraordinary occupational allowances to the health workers who are at their duty posts to fill the gap of those absconding from duty.”

“The Ministry of Health has been directed to advertise vacancies for the immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed,” it also said.

Read the full statement below;

Today, the Kaduna State Government reviewed the sundry criminal actions that have defined the campaign of economic and social sabotage and lawlessness waged by the NLC.

KDSG considers as unacceptable the serial violations of the Miscellaneous Offences Act and the Trade Union Act that have occurred over the last two days. The state government commends citizens for remaining calm amidst this assault on their rights and comfort and their businesses. 

However, KDSG cannot be expected to tolerate the brazen shutdown of electricity, attack on public infrastructure and buildings, locking up hospitals and forcefully discharging patients, unlawful trespass into public facilities and the wanton use of coercion and restraints of personal freedom by the NLC.

Efforts to dress up criminal activity as industrial action do not change the reality of the lawbreaking that has unfolded, including their persistently ignoring the prohibition against impeding essential services. Also, KDSG cannot ignore the illegal pressures brought to disrupt the operations of banks and other private business whose staff and customers do not have any industrial dispute with the state or any other government.

KDSG acknowledges doctors and some other categories of health workers that are trying to run public health facilities, but regrets that some nurses have joined the unlawful strike and engaged in the sabotage of some of our health facilities. Nurses were implicated in the forceful discharge of patients in many health facilities.

Reports from Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital disclosed that some identified nurses disconnected the oxygen supply of a two-day-old baby in an incubator on Monday, 17th May 2021. The names of the three nurses from the Special Baby Care Unit (SBCU) who were involved in this despicable act have been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for attempted murder or murder in the event we lose the baby.

In addition, KDSG has decided the following:

  1. Ayuba Wabba and his senior confederates in the NLC are declared wanted and will be vigorously prosecuted for violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, the Miscellaneous Offences and the Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Acts. They are advised to report to the Ministry of Justice and the Police Headquarters to take their statements;
  2. The Ministry of Health will dismiss all nurses below GL 14 for going on an unlawful strike. Salaries that could have gone to them are to be given as extraordinary occupational allowances to the health workers who are at their duty posts to fill the gap of those absconding from duty. The Ministry of Health has been directed to advertise vacancies for the immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed;
  3. Any academic staff of KASU that does not report for work will be dismissed. The authorities of KASU are to submit a copy of the attendance register for all categories of staff daily to the Secretary to the State Government and the Commissioner of Education;
  4. All MDAs are also to submit daily copies of the attendance register to the Head of Service;

KDSG views the actions of the NLC as equivalent to the actions of the bandits kidnapping and menacing our citizens. Bandits illegally use arms, but the NLC is deploying mob action for exactly the same ends: trying to hold hostage the freedoms, economic interests, livelihoods and resources of the people of Kaduna State. It is a vain expectation that this government will respond differently to sets of unlawful actions that have the same ends.

KDSG will not submit its treasury to the entitled minority. We will reform and right-size our public service to meet the needs and resources of the Kaduna State even if the NLC strikes ad infinitum. The government remains committed to using all the resources it can generate to serve the interests of the majority of its citizens, providing social services beyond paying salaries, always putting the interests of the many ahead of the few.

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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NBC Withdraws Operating Licences of Silverbird TV, Others

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operating licences of Silverbird TV

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The operating licences of Silverbird TV, Rhythm FM and others have been revoked by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

A statement issued on Friday by the agency disclosed that the action was taken over the failure of the broadcast stations to renew their licences after being given time to do so.

The affected media platforms were given 24 hours to stop operations or risk being forced to do so with the help of security operatives.

“After due consideration, NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licenses of the under-listed stations and gives them 24 hours to shut down their operations.

“Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance,” a part of the notice today read.

It was stated by NBC that the affected radio and television stations, numbering over 50, were given enough time to pay their broadcast renewal fees of about N2.66 billion but they refused to take action.

“In May 2022, the NBS published in the national dailies, the list of licensees that are indebted to the commission and granted them two weeks to renew their licenses and pay their debts or consider their licenses revoked, frequencies withdrawn and the withdrawn frequencies reassigned to others who are ready to abide by the necessary requirements.

“Three months after the publication, some licensees are yet to pay their outstanding debts, in contravention of the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, particularly section 10(a) of the third schedule of the Act.

“In view of this development, the continued operation of the debtor stations is illegal and constitutes a threat to national security,” the statement said.

In the disclosure, the nation’s regulatory agency for the broadcast platforms warned others yet to renew their licences for the present duration to do so within the next 30 days to avoid sanctions.

“The broadcast stations that are not affected/whose names are not on this list are required to renew their licenses for their current durations within the next 30 days or get their licenses also revoked,” it stressed.

Below is the full list of the affected stations:

     S/N                NAME OF STATION                           LOCATION

  1. Silverbird TV (Silverbird Communications Co. Ltd) Network
  2. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Abuja
  3. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Lagos
  4. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Yenagoa
  5. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Port-Harcourt
  6. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communications Ltd) FM Jos
  7. Rhythm FM (Silverbird Communication Ltd) Benin
  8. Greetings FM (Greetings Media Ltd) FM Network
  9. Tao FM (Ovidi CommunicationS Ltd) FM Okene
  10. Zuma FM (Zuma FM Ltd) FM Suleja
  11. Crowther FM (Crowther Communications Ltd) FM Abuja
  12. We FM (Kings Broadcasting Ltd) FM Benin
  13. Linksman International ltd Keffi
  14. Bomay Broadcasting Services ltd Abuja
  15. MITV (Murhi International Group Ltd) Ibadan
  16. Classic FM (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd) Port-Harcourt
  17. Classic FM (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd) Lagos
  18. Classic TV (Pinkt Nigeria Ltd) Lagos
  19. Smoot FM (Fenchurch Invest Consortium ltd) Lagos
  20. Beat FM (Megalectrics LTD) Lagos
  21. Cooper Communications ltd Lagos
  22. Splash FM (West Midlands Ltd) Ibadan
  23. Rock City FM (Boot Communications ltd) Abeokuta
  24. Family FM (Kalaks Investments Nig. Ltd) Ilugun
  25. Space FM (Creazioni Nig. Ltd) Ibadan
  26. Radio Jeremi (Radio Jeremi ltd) Effurun
  27. Breeze FM (Bays Water ltd) Akure
  28. Vibes FM (Vibes Communication ltd) Benin
  29. Family Love FM (Multimesh Broadcasting Co. Ltd) Port-Harcourt
  30. Wave FM (South Atlantic Media ltd) Port-Harcourt
  31. Kogi State Broadcasting Corporation
  32. Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation
  33. Niger State Broadcasting Corporation
  34. Gombe State Broadcasting Corporation
  35. Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation
  36. Lagos DSB
  37. Osun State Broadcasting Corporation
  38. Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation
  39. Ondo State Broadcasting Corporation
  40. Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation
  41. Bayelsa State Broadcasting Corporation
  42. Cross River State Broadcasting Corporation
  43. Imo State Broadcasting Corporation
  44. Anambra State Broadcasting Corporation
  45. Borno State Broadcasting Corporation
  46. Yobe State Broadcasting Corporation
  47. Sokoto State Broadcasting Corporation
  48. Zamfara State Broadcasting Corporation
  49. Kebbi State Broadcasting Corporation
  50. Jigawa State Broadcasting Corporation
  51. Kaduna State Broadcasting Corporation
  52. Katsina State Broadcasting Corporation
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Stakeholders Prepare for 2022 GTCO Autism Conference

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GTCO Autism Conference

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

All is now set for the 2022 edition of the annual GTCO Autism Conference scheduled for Monday, August 29 and Tuesday, August 30 at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

This year’s event, the 12th, is themed Creating a Community of Awe-Tism Advocates and will involve different stakeholders, including parents, medical experts, caregivers and others.

Organisers of the programme, which has gained wider acclaim for bringing together some of the world’s leading experts in autism, said the GTCO Autism Conference will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions by experienced specialists from renowned institutions in Nigeria and abroad in a hybrid set-up to allow for both in-person and virtual participation.

In addition, there would be one-on-one consultations and Q&A sessions during the conference to provide opportunities for parents and other stakeholders to further engage on best practices for proper diagnosis and treatment of persons on the autism spectrum with the experts.

Some of the partnering organisations include Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Autism Compassion Africa, Ghana, The Color of Autism Foundation, USA, Meharry Medical College, USA, and Behaviorprise Consulting Inc., Canada.

As a special feature and to ensure more persons with developmental disorders can benefit from professional help, provision has been made to offer specialist care to autistic children in the areas of speech and behaviour therapy, child psychology and psychiatry, as well as occupational development for adults living with autism via in-person consultations at the Chapel of Light, Alausa, Ikeja, starting from Tuesday, August 23 to Saturday, August 27 between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm.

“While much has been done over the years to increase the social consciousness around autism and to improve the available support systems for managing developmental disorders, we strongly believe that we can do more individually and collectively to create and uphold a culture of inclusion towards people with ASD to enable them to reach their full potential,” the group chief executive of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, said.

The annual event is a pivotal component of GTCO’s Orange Ribbon initiative and serves as a key advocacy platform for people living with autism and other developmental disorders.

According to Mr Agbaje, “The Orange Ribbon initiative was created to support children and adults with developmental disabilities with a focus on those with autism spectrum disorders.

“Now in its 2nd decade, the annual Autism Conference has over the years created a community of people with a shared commitment to creating better outcomes for those who find themselves in the margins of society simply because they are different from the rest.”

GTCO is a leading financial services company providing banking and non-banking services across eleven countries spanning West Africa, East Africa, and the United Kingdom.

The Group operates a diversified, proudly African franchise and is renowned for its innovative approach to customer service and stakeholder engagement which has endeared the brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond.

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Oyo Government Begs Nigerians to Stop Cutting Trees

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stop cutting trees

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Nigerians have been urged to stop cutting trees and the earth will suffer from it if it is not stopped. This appeal was made by the Oyo State government in commemoration of the 2022 World Ranger Day.

In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun, the government also saluted the bravery of park rangers at the Old Oyo National Park.

World Ranger Day, which is marked annually on July 31, pays tribute to those who have fallen in the fight to save forests, wild animals and trees, as well as a show of support for those still fighting.

Mr Olatubosun said the state government recognises reforms on forestry laws and policies, through its forestry department, advocating the need for enlightenment on forestry activities and the significance of the world celebrating the day.

He added that Oyo State is enjoying relative peace due to the synergy within the security architecture of the state, noting that the government appreciates the efforts of the guards at the National Park, especially in complementing the security architecture of the state.

“One of the cardinal points of this administration is security. The peace that members of the state are enjoying cannot be over-emphasised without the work of National Rangers in the state,” he said.

“Oyo state government is proud to be associated with you because you have been very helpful tremendously by supporting other security agencies in maintaining peace in all our reserves.

“A ranger protects our cultural and historical heritage. Therefore, we appreciate your efforts. Through your efforts, our park and forests must be kept and saved from intruders,” the Commissioner added.

The Coordinator, Old Oyo National Park, Mrs Caroline Samuel Ilori, said the annual celebration was an opportunity to celebrate rangers that have died in the course of exercising their duties, protecting this park.

She added that the day is set aside to celebrate living rangers who have given their all to having our environment protected.

“We are all aware of climate change in our environment; once protected, the forest helps to cushion and help mitigate climate change,” the Coordinator said.

“A ranger plays a key role in our environment; a ranger is a protector, tour guard, security personnel and researcher. He knows what an environment is lacking,” she concluded.

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