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Olumide Akpata Emerges NBA President

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Olumide Akpata

By Adedapo Adesanya

Mr Olumide Akpata has emerged as the next president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) following Thursday’s election.

This was disclosed by Mr Taiwo Taiwo, Chairman of the NBA Electoral Committee, who noted that Mr Akpata won the election with over 50 per cent of the total votes cast.

His rivals for the office of the NBA president were Mr Dele Adesina (SAN) and Mr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN).

Mr Akpata, who is not a Senior Advocate, beat the other two candidates and this makes him the first non-SAN NBA president in years.

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Mr Akpata won the election with a total of 9,891 votes of the total 18,256 ballots cast, while his closest rival, Mr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) polled 4,328 votes, with Mr Dele Adesina (SAN) polling 3,982 votes.

Other winners are Mr John Martin for NBA first Vice President; Second Vice President, Mr Adeyemo Kazeem; General Secretary, Mrs Joyce Oduah; Assistant Secretary, Mrs Uchenna Nwadialo; Mr Olukunle Edun, Welfare Secretary; Mr Rapulu Nduka, Publicity Secretary; and Assistant Publicity Secretary, Mr Naza Afam.

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The new NBA president is a Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial Practice Group at Templars Law Firm.

He was born on October 7, 1972, and attended King’s College in Lagos. He was called to the Nigerian bar on December 15, 1993, after obtaining his law degree from the University of Benin the previous year.

He was elected as Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (SBL) council in January 2012, and subsequently as the vice-chairman in August 2014, before emerging as the Chairman in August 2016.

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After handing over to his successor, he still sits on the council of the NBA-SBL and is also the Vice-Chair (West-Africa) of the International Bar.

He advises on various aspects of Nigerian corporate and commercial law, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, corporate law, labour and employment, media entertainment, technology, and regulatory compliance.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Nigerian Oil Workers Threaten to Shut Down Chevron

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Shut Down Chevron

By Adedapo Adesanya

Some oil workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have threatened to disrupt oil field operations of Chevron Nigeria Limited.

The Nigerian oil workers, through its joint executive union, NUPENGASSAN, threatened this action following the refusal of the company to meet its 14-day ultimatum issued to address their demands.

In a letter addressed to the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Chevron Nigeria Limited, the aggrieved employees alleged the energy firm of inhumane treatment of three of their members.

“The inhuman treatment meted out to the affected Nigerian workers is antithetical to all applicable laws of the federal government of Nigeria as well as other international laws that guide employment and the protection of the rights of workers.

“As a union, we are greatly disturbed by your disregard for due process the termination of the Nigerian workers,” a part of the letter read.

The union also raised dust over what it described as the unlawful disengagement of Bukola Sola Adebawo, James Ukachukwu and John Ayeni.

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The group noted that the firing of the three workers attached to IESL, Candid Oil and Expameadow was influenced by Chevron, which it claimed adopted new labour policies that were detrimental to contract labour workers and in contravention of labour laws, as well as in disregard of the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

And as a result, the Joint Executive Committee of NUPENGASSAN in Chevron issued a 14-day notice, demanding that the termination of the Nigerian workers be rescinded, warning that it would take all steps deemed necessary to protect the rights of the Nigerian workers.

But after the 14 days’ notice expired, Chevron and the contract companies refused to meet the demands of the union.

The group said the 10 major issues raised in their letter dated January 21, 2021, have remained unresolved despite several meetings and the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

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“Our findings revealed that the management has tactfully perfected the plans to casualize the contracts, moving present IEME maintenance labour contract personnel to a service contract on reduced pay which will be determined by the new service contractors.

“All personnel on the IEME maintenance labour contract will be forced to go home, and the new companies will provide new employees for the service contracts,” the unions said, adding that the company was also determined to short-change staff who were compelled to work from home in the payment of compensation for ergonomic tools.

“CNL through her labour contract companies has directed labour contract personnel working from home to provide receipts for ergonomic chairs and tables for them to compensate with N70,000.

“The ergonomic chair costs $1,250 in the market; therefore, we are demanding unconditionally N150,000 flat payments to all affected labour contract personnel working from home as compensation for ergonomic tools required to work safely at home,” the oil workers’ group said.

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The union said that what it found most troubling was the surreptitious move to casualise the labour force, adding that – “it has come to the notice of NUPENGASSAN JEC that management plans to change all the manpower contract (Labour Contracts) to service contracts as it is presently happening to – IEME, Xepameado, and Ykish contracts. The contractors that supply manpower to Chevron are being categorized as service contract while the jobs remain as labour jobs.”

“The plan to change all jobs to casual jobs is against the FML&E guidelines. It is only a contractor that supplies manpower and tools to the organization that can be categorized as a service contract! The JEC is demanding that all manpower contracts should be changed to a labour contract with immediate effect.”

In its latest letter, the union threatened to shut down Chevron oilfield operations without further notice if the company fails to take necessary steps.

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Buhari Appoints Ilelah as NBC Director-General

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Balarabe Shehu Ilelah

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A veteran broadcaster, Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, has been appointed as the substantive Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Mr Ilelah was selected for the job by President Muhammadu Buhari, a statement issued on Friday by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the media aide to the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed.

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It was disclosed in the statement that the appointment of the new head of the broadcasting industry regulatory agency is for five years in the first instance.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, a veteran broadcaster, as the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

“The Minister of Information and Culture, [Mr] Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday.

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“He said Mr Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance,” the statement said.

Mr Ilelah is replacing Mr Armstrong Idachaba, who has occupied the position in an acting capacity for a while.

Mr Idachaba was recently in the eye of the storm when he directed all broadcast stations in the country to deactivate their Twitter accounts following the suspension of the social platform in the country by the federal government.

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PenCom to Register 21,000 Retirees on Online Enrollment Portal

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online enrollment portal

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that 21,000 prospective retirees would be registered soon on its newly developed online enrollment portal across the nation.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner, Technical, PenCom, Mr Anyim Nyerere, at a workshop organised by the commission for Pension Desk Officers (PDO’s) on Enrollment Application on Wednesday in Lagos.

Mr Nyerere said that 11,000 prospective retirees were due for the annual pre-retirement enrollment exercise in 2019/2020 while 10,000 prospective retirees were expected for the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

He explained that the 2019/2020 retirees-to-be were pending due to the inability of PenCom to conduct the physical annual pre-retirement enrolment exercise due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that following the development, the agency had developed an online enrolment application with the capabilities to register, verify and enrol prospective retirees.

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Mr Nyerere said that the application would provide the guidance note accordingly which would help to compute the retirees’ benefits.

“This nouveau application, which will be hosted on the commission’s website, will enable prospective retirees to log on to register with their details on the Retiree Registration Module (RRM).

“It is an established norm within PenCom to conduct physical annual retirement verification and enrolment exercise on the Federal Government of Nigeria employees of the Treasury Funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) scheduled for retirement within the next fiscal year.

“This exercise is aimed at validating and determining the retirees’ accrued pension liabilities for budgetary allocation by the federal government.

“PenCom regrets the inability to conduct this physical annual pre-retirement enrolment exercise due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Therefore, the need to observe the necessary safety measures as directed by the government thus becomes inevitable.

“The PDOs and the public within the pension industry will appreciate the challenges in not conducting the physical pre-retirement enrolment exercise,” he said.

According to him, the desire of the commission is to ensure that the exercise is done so as not to affect the validation and determination of the accrued pension liabilities of the prospective retirees for government budgetary purposes.

Mr Nyerere noted that the MDAs would be required to upload the list of potential retirees who had not been enrolled before, including their full name and signature specimen of its authorised signatories, among others.

The commissioner stated that the workshop was to expose the PDOs to the online enrolment application procedures for the verification of the prospective retirees.

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He said, “the PDOs will guide prospective retirees on how to complete the information on the application.

“The PDOs will equally ensure that the retirees’ information submitted by the MDAs are accurately completed in line with the online enrolment guidance notes.

“This workshop will help equip the PDOs with the requisite knowledge on how the retiree registration module operates for the smooth implementation of the online enrolment application.

“Necessary safeguards and modalities have equally been put in place for the exercise.

“We hope the PDOs will strictly comply with the provisions of the guidance notes on the enrolment for the conduct of the upcoming nationwide pre-retirement verification and enrolments exercise.”

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