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Mobilise for prolonged national strike, NLC tells workers

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has pledged commitment to workers welfare while appealing to the Federal Government to urgently transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.

Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, made the appeal in a New Year message on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, 2018 remains one of the most traumatic for workers especially given the failure of government to enact and implement the new national minimum wage of N30,000.

“This is in spite of the unimpeachable tripartite process leading to the agreement by the social partners on the new national minimum wage.

“It is unfortunate that the Federal Government is yet to transmit to the National Assembly an executive bill for the enactment of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

“Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue has strained Government-Labour relations with a potential for a major national strike which could just be days away.

“Accordingly, we would use this opportunity to appeal to the Government to do the needful by urgently transmitting the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.

“We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilise for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right,” he said.

The NLC president said the strike became the inevitable last option for labour, while calling on all Nigerians and businesses to understand and support it.

He, however, assured workers that their labour, patience and diligence would not be in vain.

Mr Wabba said the NLC leadership remained committed to giving all that it takes to ensure that workers get just and fair wages in a decent work environment appropriate to their well-being.

He added that the leadership was similarly committed to ensuring there is social protection for workers.

“The new year presents great opportunities for workers, pensioners, civil society allies and their friends and families to put their numbers to good use.

“This is by voting out, not on the basis of tribe or religion but purely policy, any candidate that cannot serve their interest.

“In the year that is ahead of us, the NLC remains unequivocally committed to the national and workers’ goals which include the campaign for industrialisation, against selective enforcement of ‘No Work..No Pay policy of government, among others.

“We will work assiduously to promote and advocate for the removal of all barriers to industrialisation, growth and productivity. We should be able to build a country where we produce what we consume.

“We cannot continue to export precious jobs away to other countries through successive poor policy choices of government and expect to change our unfortunate status as the poverty capital of the world,” he said.

The labour leader also described the use of the “No Work… No Pay” policy by government as aimed at hounding and victimising workers.

Mr Wabba said the NLC would continue to resist such unjust, draconian and insensitive policy and insist that workers’ salaries, pension and gratuity be paid.

“In furtherance to this, the Nigeria Labour Congress will intensify the struggle for regular, predictable and appropriate payment of salaries, pension and gratuity.

“We will continue to insist on accountability. The NLC will continue to promote worker-education and mobilisation through Congress education programmes and other union training programmes.

“These activities will be religiously held with the objective of positive impact on workers.

“Therefore, we urge government at all levels to consider workers as assets and partners in development rather than liabilities,” he said.

He stressed that the NLC would continue to insist that the elections are clean and that the congress focus was particularly trained on the 2019 general election.

Mr Wabba also said the NLC would continue to demand that both the election umpire and political actors play by the rules of the game.

“This is by shunning violence, election malpractices, vote buying, and manipulation of election rules and politics of bitterness.

“We will also deepen our campaign for good governance and fight against corruption in the same manner that we sustained the campaign for tax justice and illicit financial flows.

“We also demand that the recovered loot be invested transparently for the benefit of all Nigerians.

“We say no to the wanton killings under any guise in our country. It also shows a dearth of social justice and the reign of abject poverty. This is a serious setback to the fight against terrorism in our dear country.

“We wish to remind our political leaders that the security and welfare of the people must be the chief priority of any government’s policy and programmes,” Mr Wabba said.

He however reiterated NLC’s resolve to continue to push for the prioritisation of the welfare, security and wellbeing of all Nigerians especially workers of all categories.

He added that “we wish to assure Nigerians, workers that our resolve and commitment to the noble goals and aspirations of justice, equity, decent wages and accelerated national development remains unshakable and inviolable”. (NAN)

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Nigerians ‘spent N3 billion in cinemas for first half of 2019’

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Nigerians spent nearly 3, 124, 026, 959 billion Naira to watch box office movies at Nigerian cinemas between January and June.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figures are according to data provided by cinemas and gathered by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN).

The year opened with ‘Aquaman’, ‘Chief Daddy’ and ‘Up North’ sitting on the top three of the chart, with estimated combined earnings of 168, 263, 512 million Naira.

The movies maintained their positions until the fourth week when ‘Glass’ debuted at number one with ‘Aquaman’ taking second place and ‘Chief Daddy’, third booting ‘Up North’ to fourth place.

This led to combined earnings of 91, 409, 100 million Naira which fell to N77.2 million as January closed with Kevin Hart’s ‘The Upside’ kicking ‘Chief Daddy’ to fourth place.

NAN reports that earnings remained low for February, making it the lowest grossing month with a total of N291.8 million.

Top spots were alternated between ‘Alita’, ‘Cold Pursuit’, ‘What Men Want’, ‘Escape Room’ and ‘The UpSide’.

By March, viewership picked up steadily and the earnings were almost doubled from that of February leading to a total of 434, 432, 431 million Naira.

‘What Men Want’, ‘Alita’, ‘Hire A Woman’, ‘She Is’, ‘Us’ and ‘Babymamas’ enjoyed a relatively good run in March but a chunk of the earnings and viewership went to Marvel’s flick ‘Captain Marvel’.

At the beginning of April, ‘HellBoy’, ‘Shazam’, ‘Little’ and ‘Us’ continued to share the top spot with ‘Captain Marvel’ until the release of the much anticipated ‘Avengers: Endgame’.

NAN also reports that with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, earnings from April climbed from 186, 929, 188 million Naira in its third week to 342, 382, 389 million Naira in its final week.’

The month, which is the highest grossing in 2019, closed with estimated total earnings of 734, 151, 060 million Naira due to (a) major boost from Disney’s ‘Endgame’.

In May, there was a massive dip in earnings similar to that experienced in February. With ‘Endgame’, ‘The Intruder’ and ‘Longshot’, it earned a total of 367, 498, 554 million Naira.

The fall in viewership is usual after a global holiday such as Christmas for December/January and Easter for April.

The numbers picked up in June with ‘John Wick’, ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Aladdin’ leading the numbers. They were supported by ‘Anna’, ‘Men In Black’, ‘Dark Phoenix’ and ‘Bling Lagosians’.

June opened with 161, 132, 714 million Naira but closed with 100, 663, 647 million Naira leading to a total earning of 576, 322, 779 million Naira.

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Go Cashless This Summer With FirstBank Visa Multi Currency Card

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, has introduced the Visa Multi Currency Card, an All-in One-Card and first of its kind to be offered by any financial institution in Nigeria. This card can be linked to all of four currencies namely: NAIRA, USD, EURO and GBP accounts.

With the Visa Multi-Currency card, FirstBank customers – within and outside Nigeria – can now enjoy the luxury of having their local and foreign denominated accounts in any currency, linked to a single Debit card. The Visa Multi-Currency Card is designed to ease the daily cashless transactional needs of customers regardless of where they are across the world. 

Amongst the many benefits of the Visa Multi-Currency card are Point of Sale and Online purchases, access to and use of ATMs worldwide. There is no cash collateral requirement prior to its issuance.

Speaking on the card launch, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Product said “FirstBank takes pride in pioneering the Visa Multi Currency Card in the country, as we remain committed to providing products and services that are designed to ensure the banking convenience of our customers regardless of their location.”

“This card is designed to make traveling fun for our customers and ensure they have a seamless transaction experience during their vacation, tourism and other business-related trips around the globe”, he concluded. 

Traveling abroad for summer, walk into any FirstBank branch today for your Visa Multi Currency Card.

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NSE Suspends Airtel Africa Listing

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The planned listing of Airtel Africa Plc on the trading floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has been postponed.

The exercise was suspended as a result of the failure of the telecommunications company to meet pre-listing requirements.

Yesterday, Business Post reported that Airtel Africa failed to attract at least 300 institutional and high-net worth individual investors, one of the major requirements needed for joining the stock exchange.

The NSE, which confirmed suspension of the listing today, however, did not make it clear when the company would be admitted. It only promised to provide further communication on the issue when all the conditions for the listing in its market had been met.

“The cross border secondary listing of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc has been postponed from the scheduled date of Friday, July 5, 2019.

“This postponement was necessitated by the need to ensure that the company meets all the post NSE approval pre-requisites for listing on the NSE.

“However, the facts before the listing event will hold as planned at 11.00 a.m. on Friday, July 5, 2019,” the statement said.

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