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Editorial

Our new minimum wage conundrum

THE struggle by the Organised Labour to secure a new National Minimum Wage, NMW, scored yet another success on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 as the Senate approved the N30,000 agreed by a tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government. The House of Representatives had already okayed the NMW on January 19, 2019.

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minimum wage

Our new minimum wage conundrum

After this relatively smooth and speedy sail through the National Assembly, and with the undertaking by President Muhammadu Buhari to implement it, the NMW is expected to come into effect, at least at the Federal level, within the third quarter of this year. While we congratulate the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, for its hard-won victory, there are many rivers to cross before reaching the Promised Land.

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CBN

Making CBN’s palm oil boost package work

AHEAD of the anticipated inauguration of the second tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has taken another bold step towards the actualisation of the nation’s economic diversification agenda by shifting the focus of the highly successful Anchor Borrowers’ programme to the palm oil sector. Rice production had taken the main benefit of the programme introduced in November 2015.

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INEC, APC

INEC must guarantee the supplementary polls

AS the nation gets ready for the supplementary elections scheduled for this Saturday, March 23, 2019, the eyes of Nigerians and the international community are still on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to complete the work it started about a month ago: ensuring the emergence of governors and the remaining lawmakers in seven states through free, fair, credible and conclusive elections.

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Limiting number of political parties

Apart from increasing the cost of our elections, it led to the printing of ballot papers that were so long they were difficult to handle. This obviously accounted for the large number of invalid and cancelled ballots which, in turn, resulted in an unprecedented number of inconclusive elections, especially during the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.

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The Military and Our Elections

Shortly before the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections, Buhari deployed the military and ordered them to be ruthless with ballot box snatchers and ensure election riggers “paid with their lives”. Responding, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, affirmed that the Army would carry out the President’s order in line with constitutional injunctions.

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Election

Securing NYSC members as INEC ad-hoc staff

During the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 23, 2019, among scores of people killed was an ad hoc electoral officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Ms. Ibisiki Amachree, who was reportedly hit by a stray bullet in Rivers State. About 13, 637 corps members were mobilised as INEC ad hoc staff for the 2019 general elections.

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