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Minister Hails Launch of Digital Platform To Market Tie and Dye Fabrics

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described the launch of the digital marketing platform for tie and dye (adire), AdireOgun.com, as an innovative way to take the authentic fabrics to the global market.

 

Speaking at the launch of the website in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Thursday, the Minister said AdireOgun.com is a game changer for adire makers, ‘adire’ buyers, Ogun State and Nigeria at large.

 

“With AdireOgun.com, anyone, anywhere in the world can log on to this website, window shop and also buy any ‘adire’ material of choice. In other words, this will catalyze trading in ‘adire’ globally. And, of course, by using this website, an interested user is guaranteed to buy original and top-of-the-class ‘adire’ from the globally-acknowledged home of the product,” he said.

 

Alhaji Mohammed said the Adire Ogun Marketplace will be the largest inventory of adire textiles and accessories, with over two thousand merchants from Abeokuta, which is the undisputed premier centre of ‘adire’ production, not just in Nigeria but perhaps in the world.

 

He commended the foresight of the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, for leveraging technology to promote culture, describing AdireOgun.com as a confluence of technology and culture and a great innovation.

 

“Today, we are here for the launch of AdireOgun.com, the Adire Ogun Marketplace. I must commend and congratulate His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, for his leadership, the Ogun State Ministry of Culture and Tourism for initiating this project which, I am told, was created to position Ogun State Adire merchants in a global market, thus ensuring the economic viability and sustainability for their trade,” the Minister said.

 

He said the launch of the website could not have come at a better time as the world continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, with a lot of businesses resorting to smart solutions in order to keep running.

 

Alhaji Mohammed said the various Covid-19 safety protocols, especially social distancing, mean that physical contacts are being reduced to the barest minimum hence the need to come up with the kind of smart solution such as AdireOgun.com.

 

The Minister, along with the Ogun State Governor, made the first purchase of ‘adire’ by placing their orders through the marketing portal.

 

In his remarks, the Ogun State Governor enjoined the Minister to champion the campaign for the use of ‘adire’ at the Federal Government level in order to give expression to the President’s commitment to the development of the local economy.

 

The Minister also used the occasion to present to the Governor the different awards won by Ogun State at the last edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture.

 

Segun Adeyemi

Special Assistant To The President (Media)

Office of the Minister of Information and Culture

Abeokuta, Ogun State

12 Nov. 2020

 

 

ATTACKS IN LAGOS AN INJURY TO ALL – ABIA GOV

 

…Sanwo-Olu Receives Ikpeazu Over Arson

 

…Igbo Leaders, S’South Indigenes In Lagos Stand By Governor

 

Abia State State Governor, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has said criminals who carried out the last month coordinated attacks on public assets and private businesses in Lagos State orchestrated the violence to hurt the whole country.

 

The Governor condemned the arson, stressing that Lagos remains a home for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, language or religion.

 

Ikpeazu spoke on Wednesday during his visit to Lagos to commiserate with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the attacks.

 

The Abia Governor particularly thanked his Lagos State counterpart for protecting the businesses and properties owned by Igbo during the violence.

 

Ikpeazu said: “I am here to commiserate and show my concern to my brother, Governor of Lagos, over the event that happened some two weeks ago. I’m particularly touched by the level of destruction, which will hurt all Nigerians living in Lagos. This is because Lagos is home to all; as commercial city, it is a place where everyone speaks the same language.

 

“I want to particularly thank Gov. Sanwo-Olu for giving protection to our brothers from the Southeast during the crisis. This is an indication that our people and their businesses are safe in Lagos. We will continue to live as a united country. With all of us working together, we can keep flourishing.”

 

Gov. Ipkeazu urged Igbo living in Lagos to continue to abide by the laws of the State and eschew actions that may cause mistrust between them and members of their host communities.

 

He said the political leaders had drawn a number of lessons from the recent youth protests against police brutality, saying Governors were now inclined to drive up inclusion in their policies and programmes.

 

Sanwo-Olu thanked the Abia Governor for taking the pain to travel down to Lagos from the Southeast to identify with the residents over the violence. He promised that Lagos State Government would continue to support business aspirations of the Igbo and protect their rights to live in Lagos.

 

Also, indigenes of Southeast and South-south living in Lagos paid solidarity visit to Gov. Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Alausa.

 

The Igbo leaders, who were led by the Governor’s Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, restated their commitment to the growth of Lagos, while aligning with the move to rebuild the destroyed assets.

 

Igbokwe said a true Igbo son could not have been part of the those who set fire on the public assets, stressing that Igbo people are known as builders.

 

He said: “The attacks are unimaginable in terms of cost and worth. There is nothing that can make a true son of Igbo to participate in destruction of the land where our businesses have been most successful.

 

“There is an adage that says you cannot go and pass faeces where they put your food. We pledge our loyalty and stand by the Government and the people of Lagos.”

 

Leader of the South-south indigenes in Lagos, Otunba Isaac Emiyade, said he had lived in the State since 1977 and had never witnessed public protests in which public assets were destroyed at such level.

 

Emiyade praised Sanwo-Olu for promoting cohesion among all ethnic nationalities cohabiting in Lagos, pledging that people of South-south residing in the State would continue to support move to strengthen peace and progress of Lagos.

 

Responding, Sanwo-Olu said diversity remained the State’s strongest point, pointing out that the spirit of Lagos to host visitors and be a melting pot for all ethnic group had not been dampened, despite violence visited on the State.

 

“One of our strongest point is our diversity. We must not allow what happened to demoralise our spirit to undertake the responsibilities which the State has taken up. Lagos will continue to give everybody living here equal opportunity,” Sanwo-Olu said.

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

NOVEMBER 11, 2020

 

 

OSOPADEC distributes educational materials to students

 

The Chairman, Ondo State Oil Producing Area  Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Hon. Barr. Olugbenga Edema has distributed huge and sizeable amount of quality educational materials to students and pupils of public secondary and primary schools in Ese-Odo and Ilaje Local Government Areas of Ondo state.

 

The event which took place at The Williams Place, an event center at Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area was graced by school principals and Head teachers across the two local council areas.

 

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, who was  represented by the Special Adviser (SA) to the Governor on Education Matters, Dr Wunmi Egbayelo Ilawole, declared the programme  opened. Governor Akeredolu in his speech red on his behalf by Dr. Ilawole said Ondo state government is very particular about the education of students of secondary schools and pupils of public primary schools, adding that the government through the intervention of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has renovated 700 schools across Ondo state and Ilaje as well as Ese/Odo have benefitted immensely from the intervention programme.

 

Dr. Ilawole noted that more recruitment is on the way for teachers while the renovation of school will continue in the second term of the present administration in Ondo state.

 

The Governor charged Principals and Head teachers to continue to ensure that their staff give quality service delivery at all time, promising them the commitment of his government to their welfare.

 

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman OSOPADEC, Hon. Barr. Olugbenga Edema congratulated the students who are beneficiaries of the distribution. He thanked specially the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) for his support for the board since he has come on board as Board Chairman. He said the impact of Gov. Akeredolu’s government is felt among the oil producing communities through the lofty projects  embarked on and completed by OSOPADEC, stressing that more development projects will continue in the second term of Gov. Akeredolu.

 

Among the educational materials distributed are: 2A Exercise books – 40,571 pieces; 2B Exercise books – 15, 714 pieces, 2D drawing books – 15, 714 pieces.

 

Others are 40 leaves notes – 45, 357 pieces, 60 Leaves – 58, 500 pieces, Higher Education note books – 1, 071 pieces and Mathematics set – 12, 750 pieces.

 

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT Chairman)

Ilaje local government Chapter, Comrade Omoyele and Comrade Johnbull Mebawondu, the state President of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), both appreciated the OSOPADEC Chairman and the commission for the kind gesture and philanthropy extended to the future leaders.

 

In attendance at the event were OSOPADEC Commissioners, Hon. Oluyide Mekuleyi and Hon. Ikuepenikan Olumide; the Vice Chairman of Ilaje LG, Hon. Obele Dickson; former state Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Lebi  Adepiti, NUT National Representative, High Chief Gbayisemore among others. Also, the Ilaje LG APC Chairman was duly represented while other prominent stakeholders in the education sector attended the programme.

 

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DOCKWORKERS VS ENL CONSORTIUM:

ENL CONSORTIUM AND PRINCESS HAASTRUP CONTEMPTUOUSLY FLOUT TWO NICN JUDGEMENT ORDER

CDWR DEMANDS IMMEDIATE PAYMENT OF 5 YEARS PENSION

ENL Consortium has been operating Terminal C and D of the Apapa Sea Port in Lagos since 2005 after the concession of the port to private companies in 2005. Princess Victoria Haastrup is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ENL Consortium Ltd, one of the private companies operating the port terminals.

The affected dockworkers were employed in 2006 and there was an industry-wide joint negotiation and agreement between the terminal operators as represented by Private Operators of Seaports Terminals Association (POSTA) and Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria on the 8th day of May 2008. The agreement amongst others agreed to a minimum time wage of N33,000 for all dockworkers and to be increased by 10% every two years. Subsequently, the Private Operators of Seaports Terminals Association (POSTA) metamorphosed into Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN). However, what obtained was an anti-labour practice of paying dockworkers on the basis of piecemeal which is usually known as tonnage and this created an unstable and poor wage for dockworkers.

Unfortunately, the agreement in question was hidden from the workers by the leadership of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) until workers discovered it and started agitating for its implementation.  ENL Consortium Ltd management responded that the dockworkers were not entitled to draw benefit from the agreement because they were ‘casual’ dockworkers and not permanently employed. Only N350,000 disengagement benefits were paid to the workers in 2016, an entitlement that is still controversial and being contested in court.

ENL Consortium Ltd has since 2016 implemented the following anti-labour practices:

  1. Refusal to honour the 2008 agreement to pay N33,000 monthly minimum time wage to dockworkers for a period of 8 years.
  2. Refusal to implement pension contribution for workers between 2006 and 2011
  3. Inadequate protective and safety work tools, thus, exposing workers to hazard; refusal to pay compensation to Mr Vincent Omere who became blind while working for ENL Consortium.
  4. Refusal to fund training program for the dockworkers.
  5.    Refusal to pay leave allowance to dockworkers amongst other entitlements.

After several protests, the affected dockworkers filed a matter in April 2017 at the National Industrial Court (NIC) through their lawyer, Barrister Toluwani Adebiyi. Dockworkers used the suit to contest the characterization of workers as casuals and management’s subterfuge that workers are not entitled to time-related minimum wage as agreed in the NJIC agreement.

The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) sees the characterization of Nigerian workers as casuals or outsourced/contract workers as illegal and an exploitative maneuvering by many business owners to deny workers decent wage and working conditions. According to Section 7 of the Labour Act, employment contract can only be for a fixed period or open-ended period and it does not mean that workers wage and entitlements should be indecent while undocumented workers must be documented within three months.

Correctly, some of the NIC Judges frown at the characterization of workers as casuals. For instance, Justice H.R Gwandu agreed with the claimants (dockworkers) that the dockworkers cannot be casuals after working for more than three months in consonance with section 7 of the Labour Act. Despite this, Justice Gwandu declined to award the N33,000 unpaid time related minimum wage relying on Section 2 of the Trade Union Act, which states that unregistered trade union are prohibited from functioning as one including regulating the terms and conditions of employment.

CDWR feels that Section 2 of the Trade Union Act is not absolute as Section 23 of the Trade Union Act explicitly states that not all unregistered trade union activities/agreement is unlawful except when it has to do with membership subscription, terms and conditions on which members of the union shall employ and an agreement to use the union’s funds for the benefit of members. The judgment also did not take cognizance of Section 54 (1) of the NIC Act 2006 states that a collective agreement is an agreement in writing concluded between an organization or association of employers and organization or association of employees representing employees. Going by the judgment, it means that a group of unregistered trade union of employers can mischievously enter into an agreement with a labour trade union or representatives of workers to pay an increased wage if productivity is improved only for the unregistered employers of trade union to renege on the agreement on the excuse of being an unregistered trade union after workers have achieved higher productivity. CDWR feels strongly that on the basis of equity and justice, the dockworkers should be awarded this N33,000 minimum wage as agreed in 2008. The Dockworkers has vowed to appeal this aspect of the judgment.

ENL Consortium Ltd and Princess Victoria Haastrup displayed their notoriety by refusing to obey the court judgment order to pay the unremitted 5 years pension of workers. Justice Gwandu in her judgment on February 25, 2020, disagreed with the Defendant (ENL Consortium Ltd) pleadings that the claimants (dockworkers) were not entitled to pension because they were not on regular wages and ordered ENL Consortium Ltd to release to the Claimants (dockworkers) information concerning the pensions and also calculate same and pay them within a month of this judgment accordingly. Rather than comply with the judgment order, ENL Consortium Ltd through its lawyer Barrister Ame Ogie filed frivolous appeal processes on March 13, 2020, which has been discontinued in October 2020 having failed to seek leave of Court before filing the appeal, as the matter is of mixed facts and Law; the effect of which is that there is presently no Notice of Appeal or any valid appeal before the court capable of stopping the judgment execution, this mistake of ENL Counsel shows the mischievousness of ENL. The dockworkers through their Counsel, Barrister Toluwani Adebiyi has approached the National Industrial Court again and another order has been issued compelling the ENL Consortium Ltd to file before the Court the full calculation and all necessary information of all the claimants in this suit No NICN/LA/257/2017 of their Pension for the period covering 2006 to 2011 within 7 days after the receipt and service of this Court order on the defendant and failure to do so will be contemptuous of the orders of this Honourable Court. The period to comply with this order lapsed at the close of work on Thursday, November 12, 2020, having been served on Thursday, November 5, 2020. Victoria Haastrup risks being committed to jail for contempt as she continues to recklessly flout court orders to pay dockworkers their five years outstanding pension.

As we issue this press statement, ENL Consortium Ltd and Princess Victoria Haastrup is in contempt of Court having brazenly violated two consecutive orders of the Court and have continued to undermine workers’ interest. The violation of this order reflects how reckless ENL Consortium Ltd and many other big business’ owners violate the rights of Nigerian workers including subjecting workers to all forms of indecent labour practices. Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns ENL Consortium Ltd and Princess Victoria Haastrup for disrespectfully flouting Court judgment order and we demand the strictest sanctions should be meted out to them in consonance with the relevant Nigeria Law. CDWR demands the immediate payment of 5 years pension as ordered by the Court. CDWR also demands that ENL Consortium Ltd should pay adequate compensation to blind Vincent Omere.

 

SIGNED

Comrade Rufus Olusesan                                        Comrade Chinedu Bosah

National Chairperson                                                  National Publicity Secretary