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Nigeria contributes $710m to ECOWAS, more than 13 countries put together

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Nigeria has contributed more money to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) than 13 other Members states put together in the last 12 years, statistics have shown.

Statistics on payment of the Community Levy obtained by our correspondent showed that between 2003 and 2015, Nigeria paid $710, 497,352, equivalent to 480, 355,205 West Africa Units of Account (UA).

The West Africa UA is the official nominal monetary unit of measure or currency used to represent the real value.

The document was presented by the ECOWAS Commission as part of the Status of the Community report during an Extra Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament.

In the same period, 13 other countries contributed a cumulative amount of 697. 947 million dollars.

The countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal Sierra Leone and Togo.

Out of the 13 countries mentioned, Guinea Bissau contributed the least amount of 3. 107 million dollars followed by The Gambia with 11. 171 million dollars and Cabo Verde with 12.879 million dollars.

Within the period, Sierra Leone contributed 19. 632 million; Liberia 29. 988 million dollars,; Guinea 31. 101 million; Niger 37. 788 million ,; Togo $48. 961 and Cote d’Ivoire $54. 173 million.

Benin Republic contributed a total of $76. 147 million; Mali paid $93. 538 million; Burkina Faso with $105. 278 million; while Senegal paid $174. 177 million.

The highest paying country after Nigeria is Ghana which paid $327. 976 million within the same period.

According to the statistics, a total of $1. 736 billion was contributed within the period by all 15 member states, with Nigeria paying 40.9 per cent of the amount.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the budget for each financial year is met by the member states through their contributions to the Community Levy, a 0.5 per cent tax imposed on goods from non-ECOWAS countries.

The national customs administrations of member states are responsible for “assessment and collection” of the levy and daily record “accounts of amounts received”.

However, the contributions by Nigeria is not equivalent to the weight it pulls in the sub-regional body, especially in the Parliament.

For instance, out of the 35 seats allocated to Nigeria in the Parliament, many of the representatives are usually absent during plenary.

At the plenary in May 2018, only four members out of 35 were present on the day Nigeria presented its Country Report.

Also, during its recent ongoing Second Ordinary Session, less than 10 were present for the aforementioned presentation.

The absenteeism by Nigerians also got the attention the Bureau of Parliament and other members who expressed displeasure at the attitude of the Nigerians.

Some representatives from Nigeria also admitted that the attitude had become worrisome and needed to be addressed.

Hon. Shehu Garba who briefed newsmen after the presentation by Nigeria at the on-going session, said that it was time the leadership of the delegation intervened and deployed people who had time for parliament’s activities.

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Plateau unrest: Military taskforce accuses elites of manipulating, misguiding youths into violence

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Nigerian Army

Nigerian Army


The Special Military Taskforce code named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), saddled with the responsibility of maintaining peace in Plateau State, on Tuesday blamed elites in the state of manipulating and misguiding youths into perpetuating violence.

Commander OPSH, Major General Augustine Agundu, made the disclosure in Jos at a youth summit organised by OPSH and Civil Military Relief Initiative to foster unity and peaceful coexistence.

Agundu said within his five months as OPSH Commander, he was able to interact with different groups (ordinary/elite) and he understood the true situation of things.

“My deduction here on the Plateau is that the youth have been manipulated and misguided into violence.

“Some mischief makers are exploiting the vulnerability of the youth population to unleash mayhem on law abiding citizens,” he stated.

The Commander said, according to UNICEF figures, 45.8 percent of Plateau population are youth under the age of 30 years.

According to him, with almost half of the population being youth, it therefore means that the youths should be prepared to take up leadership responsibilities and not indulge in the act of violence.

“Some claim to be representing you, but in truth they prosper in atmosphere of chaos and bloodletting”, he explained.

“May I arouse your consciousness and urge you to never allow yourselves to be used as agents of disintegration.

“This crises on the Plateau has lasted for too long and must stop now if we all agree in unity of peace purpose,” he added.

He said, “An average Plateau youth is energetic, vibrant, hardworking, focus and result oriented.”

Agundu urged them not to allow anybody to belittle their capacity to positively change the society.

He appealed to them not to indulge in drugs, stating that the crises is perpetrated as effect of drug consumption.

The Commander expalined that the summit by OPSH, is a non kinetic approach to entrench enduring peace in Plateau.

According to him, he convened the meeting so that eyeball to eyeball, the youth who have bore the brunt of most crises, and were most often used to foment the trouble to understand that it would take them no where.

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New minimum wage: Oshiomhole declares stand on N30,000, reveals what Buhari will do

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Adams Oshiomhole, Chairman of APC

Adams Oshiomhole, Chairman of APC


The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole has thrown his weight behind the clamour for a new minimum wage.

Oshiomhole stated that the refusal to pay new wage will amount to creating poverty for Nigerians.

He spoke at a reception in honour of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba on his election as President of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in Abuja.

The former Edo State Governor also stated that there was no basis for governors to refuse to pay what he tagged living wage to workers.

He, however, assured workers that President Muhammadu Buhari will not do anything that will undermine their welfare.

According to Oshiomhole, “I am sure you must have read some of my comments on the minimum wage. I have told people that even I was to become the Secretary General of the United Nations I am a creation of Labour and I will never, publicly or privately, do anything that will undermine or do anything that is designed to possibly affect the welfare of Nigeria workers.

“I am a believer Nigeria needs to have a National minimum wage. I do not belong to those who say because we are in a Federation, we should have different wages.

“I join in amplifying that we cannot apply the principles of federalism separately.

“If we have the National Salaries and Wages Commission that makes it possible for me as governor of Edo State presiding over about 4.3 million population to earn the same salary as the governor of Kano and Lagos state who are presiding over 15 million, that argument cannot change when it comes to fixing a National minimum wage.

“The primary purpose of government is the welfare of the people. The most portent asset of the people is the state that protects you from the oppressor.

“This President is not about to put that asunder no matter the pressure from any section of governors or state.

“I believe that we have to work together not only to get wages fixed, but to ensure also that they are paid. When the President makes public statements like the ones he has made, he has challenged you to take advantage and make sure that when he provide those resources as he has done almost four times, you ensure that they are used for the purpose for which he provided the money. If you don’t, I don’t think you have someone else to blame.

On state governors refusal to pay N30, 000 demanded by labour, Oshiomhole said: “Minimum wage is not about party but about Nigeria.

“When I was a member of the governors’ forum, I did publicly advise my colleagues then that when it comes to the issue of minimum wage, I am not with them. Not only secretly but publicly too, I am going to dissociate myself.

“I believe that we need a National minimum wage. I believe that Nigeria is capable of paying a National minimum wage.

“I believe the primary purpose of government is the welfare of the people and that payment of wages is not a process of prosperity.

“If Nigeria was to wake up tomorrow and there is no one liter of oil and you must employ a worker, you are obliged to pay.

“Wages is a consequence of work. He who must employ must pay and even the Bible says a laborer is entitled to his wages.

“I believe this view and I have canvassed them. I had an extensive interview on this and I spoke extensively on it.”

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Enugu workers hail Gov. Ugwuanyi over 13th month salary

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Gov. Ugwuanyi

Gov. Ugwuanyi


Workers in Enugu State have confirmed receipt of the 13th month salary as 2018 Christmas bonus from Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration to celebrate the season with their loved ones.

Confirming the news, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Enugu State Council, Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe disclosed that “some workers have started calling me that they have received alert for the 13th month salary”.

The elated labour leader had in a letter issued to Gov. Ugwuanyi, which was co-signed by his secretary, Comrade Benneth Asogwa, appreciated the governor’s “magnanimity for the approval and payment of the 13th month salary (Christmas bonus) to the civil servants and workers of the state-owned parastatals in Enugu State”.

They stated that the Congress was delighted that “for the first time the state-owned parastatals will be paid 13th month salary alongside their colleagues in the civil service”.

The Congress noted that the governor’s kind gesture towards the civil/public servants of the state has “demonstrated your continuous love for the workers of Enugu State by putting smiles on their faces in this Christmas season”.

They therefore, pledged their unflinching support for the success of his administration.

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