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NLC Offers Reasons for Picketing MTN

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday said that it decided to picket all MTN offices nationwide because of the unfriendly Labour practice of the company, saying no amount of blackmail will deter them from continuing with the action.

In a statement signed by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, president, NLC, the Congress said all its efforts and those brokered by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association to address the issues of unfriendly Labour practices and disallowing its workers to unionize failed as the company fail to return to the negotiating table.

It said even though the company makes 60 percent of its profit from Nigeria, it is only in Nigeria that MTN workers are not unionised and are subjected to casualisation in total violation of the Labour laws in the country and the ILO conventions.

The statement reads: “Today, Tuesday, July 10, marks the second day of the picketing of MTN offices nationwide by the Nigeria Labour Congress and its civil society allies.

This press statement is intended to explain the reasons for this action as well as debunk the false information being fed to the public by MTN that our members have been unruly in prosecuting this action which is intended to divert attention from the real issues.

“MTN Nigeria, since it commenced operations in Nigeria and in clear violation of extant national and international labour laws, especially ILO Conventions 87 and 98 has denied its workers the fundamental principles of the rights at work.

“It similarly indulges in other anti-labour practices such as casualisation for nearly all types of work, fixed- term contract work for Nigerian workers, worst forms of precarious work, etc.

“It is on record that the Nigeria Labour Congress, on several occasions protested to the MTN and government about these unwholesome practices.

The World Decent Work Day marked on October 7th last year marked a watershed in these protests as NLC briefly picketed their Maitama office in Abuja.

“In response to this action of NLC, MTN reached out to NECA (Nigerian Employers Consultative Association) which brokered a meeting. However, due to inexplicable reasons, MTN opted out of the negotiations to the chagrin and embarrassment of NECA.

“Thereafter every effort by NECA and NLC to get MTN to the negotiating table failed. Frustrated, NECA pulled out of the negotiations. Subsequent efforts by NLC yielded no response either. Left with no other choice, NLC served MTN notice of a picket in line with the provisions of the law. This action commenced across the country yesterday, Monday, July 9, 2018.

“And in prosecuting this picket, our members have been peaceful and orderly.

We have not destroyed the property of MTN and we do not intend to do so as that is not our objective anyway. There is no doubt that we are clear about our objectives and we shall not allow anything to distract us.  We are responsible workers and we are alive to our duties and responsibilities.

“Even when MTN sponsored members of a private security company (with which it works) to attack and injure some of our members, we resisted the option of a proportionate response.

“The Falomo police have in their custody one of the attackers and an ID card of one of the assailants.

“MTN therefore, instead of resorting to cheap blackmail and propaganda should do the needful, give to Nigerian workers in their employ, their rights to freely associate, and hold an opinion as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, the Labour Laws and Conventions 87 and 98 of the ILO.

“It is equally important to explain that Nigeria is the only country MTN refuses to allow workers to unionise. In South Africa where the company comes from, workers are unionised. Indeed, our counterparts in South Africa are worried that we have allowed this matter to linger for so long as MTN may choose to try to impose similar conditions on them.

“In Ghana, workers are unionised as in every other country MTN carries on business. It is important to point out that MTN makes over 60 per cent of its global money in Nigeria. Why then must it be so disdainful of our laws and people.

“However, its acts of impunity are not entirely new. Nigerians may recall it was the same MTN in clear breach of national security that imperiled the lives of our security personnel in the Northeast over which it was fined.

“We insist that companies, no matter how rich or powerful must obey the laws of the land. We insist they must treat Nigerians fairly and decently. No one should be above the law.  Let all Nigerians know we are committed to this operation. We have the will and the means to sustain it.

“Finally, we commend the Nigeria Police so far for their exemplary conduct. We single out for special commendation the police in and around Falomo, Lagos.”

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Galaxy Backbone Bags Award for Digital Innovation in Federal Government

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The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), an Industry-led stakeholder organization, recently concluded their annual .ng awards ceremony.

Through the .ng Awards, NIRA seeks to recognize and acknowledge those who are contributing to the growth of the .ng domain name registration and promotion of the DNS Industry.

The awards, celebrates the achievements and innovation of Nigerian Internet initiatives.

At the 2018 Awards, Galaxy Backbone won the award for the organisation leading the pack in Digital Innovation in the Federal Government. This award, confirms Galaxy Backbone’s status as the Digital Infrastructure & shared services provider to Federal government Agencies.

In the last 5 years, Galaxy Backbone (GBB) has continued to drive digital innovation and inclusion amongst government agencies through the delivery of digital services that improve the way agencies engage and communicate with other agencies and the citizenry.

The 2018 .ng Awards serve to promote and commend the excellent achievements of members, stakeholders and the general public, who contribute towards building a sustainable economy using technology, uplift the image of .ng locally and internationally and stimulating the development of local content on the Internet space.

In 2016, GBB’s CEO Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, while delivering a speech at the 14th Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) Summit 2016 which held in Abuja stated Galaxy Backbone’s commitment to driving digital growth in the nation.

According to Kazaure, “We are fully conscious of the need to be in the vanguard of Nigeria’s digital growth especially within the public sector. Over the years, we have made significant investments in human and technological resources based on our vision to be the leading enabler of digital inclusion in Africa”.

With this award, we are further challenged to deliver world class digital services to agencies and parastatals in government. GBB will continue to operate, improve and upgrade its common services platform to meet international standards and deliver excellence in service to its Clients and stakeholder community.

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HURIWA Asks Buhari to Sack Adeosun, Others over Forgery

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Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance

The Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance, and other members of his cabinet accused of certificate forgery.

 

The association demanded that President Buhari relieves from their offices such persons like Mr. Obono Obla, his senior Special Assistant on prosecution over the West African Examination Certificate.

 

HURIWA said the silence of President Buhari to damaging allegations amongst some of his top officials was an indication that Nigeria was becoming a country of fraudsters.

 

HURIWA also stated that such tendencies to accommodate persons with questionable academic credentials will rubbish the national policy on education, constitutionally enshrined in Section 18 (1), which emphasizes merit and honesty at all times.

 

HURIWA recalled that the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, on June 5th 2018, described as “altered and invalid” the results and certificate it allegedly issued to Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, chairman, Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Property.

 

In a statement forwarded to DAILY POST by Emmanuel Onwubiko, national coordinator, HURIWA recalled that WAEC whilst testifying before the House of Representatives ad hoc Panel investigating Obono-Obla’s alleged forgery, WAEC Registrar, represented by the Femi Ola, deputy registrar, said available evidence indicated that the results were “altered” and thus “invalid.”

 

“Considering the results, particularly on what is before me, I would say what I have brought here is the authentic and genuine one; his is not because it has been altered and such alteration renders it invalid,” Mr. Ola told the panel.

 

“From our record, the genuine candidate is Ofem Okoi Ofem, 09403/247 of Mary Knoll College, Ogoja.

 

“The exam number and number of subjects are the same. The difference is the grade in English literature in which he claimed to have scored C6 despite being marked absent in the true, certified copy,” he added.

 

HURIWA recalled that when asked by the National legislators how he would qualify Obono-Obla’s results, the WAEC Registrar said it was “fake, not genuine.”

 

HURIWA recalled that Mr. Aliyu Pategi (APC, Kwara), chairman of the Reps Investigative Panel, lauded WAEC for striving to maintain its “integrity and probity.”

 

Quoting news reports, HURIWA stated that the House committee Chairman added that the implication was that Obono-Obla gained admission to the University of Jos with a fake WAEC result.

Also, HURIWA asked president Buhari to sack with immediate effect the Finance Minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun for making use of allegedly forged NYSC discharged certificate which amounted to a serious misdemeanor that should fetch her a criminal prosecution and jail if proven in the competent court of law.

 

“The current administration must desist from polluting the international image of Nigeria by toleration many persons of questionable academic credentials who are working in the federal government of Nigeria when there are millions of highly qualified Nigerians from diverse fields searching frantically for employments.

 

“The silence of the current government to the cacophony of allegations of certificate forgery involving top rated government officials shows that the corporate image of the country is imperiled and if this silence and failure to act persists, then the rest of the world will see Nigeria as a country of certificate forgers.

 

“Corruption also includes such crime like forgery of academic credentials which runs contrary to section 15 (5) of the constitution which makes it obligatory that government must abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”

 

HURIWA disclosed that it has briefed some patriotic lawyers to head to court to secure the legal sanction of all the identified persons in government with fake certificates just as it has started drafting a bill to compel the forensic investigations of all the academic qualifications tendered by all federal government officials to weed off the holders of forged certificates and sanitize the federal government.

 

HURIWA reminded Buhari that the Black’s law dictionary clearly identified certificate forgery as a grave criminal offence and as a specie of fraud even as the Rights group wondered why a government that makes heavy weather of its anti-corruption campaign is the same that accommodates top officials with highly questionable academic credentials.

 

HURIWA told Buhari that “both the Criminal and Penal Codes that apply in the southern and northern parts of Nigeria prohibit forgery, citing Sections 463 of the Criminal Code which provides for three years imprisonment for forgery while sections 362 to 364 of the Penal Code deal with forgery with punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment with option of fine or both.”

 

“It becomes life imprisonment if, amongst others, the thing forged purports to be a document which is evidence of title to public debt of Nigeria or a state, or of another country, or forges a document that purports to be a debt of Nigeria, or signature of the president or governor of a state.

 

“Also, both forgery and perjury are criminal offences, the Criminal Code views perjury as an offence whether made under judicial oath, that is a court proceeding or document or not, while under the Penal Code, perjury must be an evidence given under oath or under express provision of law compelling a person to state the truth.

 

“Forgery and perjury are both criminal offences that go to one’s integrity and credibility.

 

“It vitiates the moral and legal trust that public service demands. It calls to question a person’s qualification and competency. And we must etch new paradigms in public services by proceeding in the Courts of Law against forgers and those who lie under oath.”

 

 

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Nigerian Wins Ericsson’s Girls Who Innovate Competition

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Ericsson through its ninth annual participation in the ’Girls in ICT Day’ across the Middle East and Africa recently hosted the second edition of the annual ‘Girls Who Innovate Competition’ under the theme ‘The Future of Education’.

This year, 10-year old Kambinachi Kanu, a final year primary school pupil of Temple Preparatory School, Ilupeju, Lagos, Nigeria emerged the global winner in the 9-12-year-old category.

The initiative aims to support the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, especially Goals four and five – Quality Education and Gender Equality respectively.

Ericsson received many enthusiastic entries from young innovators aged 9 to 18, who competed to win job shadow days, an Ericsson blog feature and a 1,000 EUR star prize.

Their entries showcased different ideas on how technology could shape the future of education globally. From the Middle East and Africa, two other entries from the United Arab Emirates (13-15 category) and Ghana (16-18 category) made it to the finals and emerged regional winners but Kambinachi made it all the way and became the global winner in her category.

Kambinachi’s winning idea is the donation of fairly used tablets to children in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Nigeria thus ensuring the continuation of their education in a safe environment.

Classroom learning will then be limited to days when security is assured and continuous communication with tutors will take place via an e-learning platform.

Girish Johar, Head of Human Resources within Ericsson Middle East and Africa says: “Ericsson remains committed to advancing and promoting technology innovations in the Middle East and Africa. On a global scale,

“ we’re also working towards ensuring that girls interested in pursuing a career in ICT are empowered to overcome discrimination, stereotypes and other gender norms the society might throw at them.

“This is because we believe that the more diverse and inclusive we are, the more innovative and visionary will we be as a company and building the next generation of ICT leaders is just one step in that direction.”

Ericsson has a worldwide mandate for its workforce to be made up of at least 30% women by the year 2020.

The company also supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, two of which relate to diversity and inclusion. Girls in ICT day is supported by International Telecommunication Union – United Nations specialized agency for ICT.

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