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Senate Considers Bill To Stop Employers From Casualizing Graduates

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Senate Considers Bill To Stop Employers From Casualizing Graduates

A bill seeking to stop employers in the private and public sectors from engaging employable Nigerian graduates as casual workers is under consideration at the Senate.

The proposed law entitled “Prohibition of Casualization Bill 2020” is sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP, Ondo Central).   Leading the debate on the bill, Akinyelure said that “casualization of Nigerian graduates in the Nigerian labour market has become a subject of great concern as more workers continue to groan under  this immoral strategy of cutting cost by employers rendering them inferior to their counterparts in other countries of the world.”

He lamented that “Statistics from the Nigeria Labour Congress shows that many workers in the telecommunications, oil and gas sectors are engaged as casual labourers by employers of labours.

“Other sectors with thousands of casual labourers include mining, steel, banking and insurance.

“In all these sectors, staff outsourcing and casualization have become the order of the day as such workers no longer have regularised employment terms and, therefore, Nigerian graduates are treated as second class citizens in their own country of origin while foreigners from underdeveloped Countries from Asia , Indian, Pakistan, Lebanon with less qualification to Nigerian graduates are placed as managers above Nigerian graduates in many private and even government establishments in Nigeria.”

Akinyelure warned that the scourge of casualization of employment in Nigeria was gaining grounds in an unprecedented proportion, intensity and scale.

“The increase in the spread and gradual acceptance of this labour practice in the Nigerian labour market has become an issue of great concern to stakeholders,” he lamented.

“Employers of labour are increasingly filling positions in their organizations that are supposed to be permanent skilled workers with casual employees.

“The trend has been largely attributed to the increasing desperation of employers to cut down organisational costs and thereby taking advantage of large numbers of unemployed graduates roaming the streets of our major cities in Nigeria.

“Mr President and distinguished colleagues, engagement of large attendants of the work force on the basis of casualization has become worrisome in the Nigeria labour market.

“Mr. President, let me re-emphasize that on a daily basis, these workers are recruited at the gate and fired at will, in spite of the fact that these workers continue to generate enormous profits for the various establishments they work for, they remain classified as casuals and subjected to deplorable and inhumane working conditions.

“Apart from the fact that these categories of workers are working under spate of uncertainties, casualization also reveals a brutal work growth process similar to slave labour,” he said. Akinyelure while citing the banking industry as a hub for casualization, blamed banks for turning female marketers into harlots and sexual slaves in a desperate attempt by them to keep their jobs and meet unrealistic deposit targets.

“Mr. President, in the banking and insurance industry for instance, many young graduates particularly female are employed as marketers and given unrealistic customer deposit ceiling targets running into millions. They are hired and fired at will when such unrealistic targets are not met.

READ ALSO: U.S. Supports Nigeria Dairy Industry, To Train Stakeholders

“The female among them who are desperate in keeping their jobs turn to harlotry and sex slavery, moving from one office to another looking for invisible customers who had a stash of fund to enable them to meet their targets.Mr. President, it is high time this evil and devilish act were stopped,” the lawmaker fumed.

Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), while re-echoing Akinyelure’s observation said, “Our girls have been turned into what we cannot imagine. Most of them have been asked to look for funds, and when they come us, I always tell them, I do not even have the funds to eat, how can I have funds to keep with you in the bank?

“And they will never be promoted if they don’t bring in such funds, and this is a banking industry that is privately owned, yes, but has made so much profit, and from the profit they could at least take the few that they can manage properly, rather than take a lot that they will be giving pittance.”

The lawmaker, therefore, harped on the need to have a legal framework to ensure that casualization does not exist.

“If you must take workers, take the number you can on proper emoluments,” she said.

On his part, Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC, Osun Central) while citing the position of the Supreme Court – which gives employers the power to hire and fire – called for caution in the way the bill was tweaked, adding that the National Assembly “must make a distinction in making the prohibition between employment in the public sector and employment in the private sector.”

READ ALSO: Why Peace Of Niger Republic Matters To Nigeria – Buhari

The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege on his part, while throwing his weight behind the bill, lamented the treatment of casual workers by oil companies operating in the country.

Another lawmaker, Mohammed Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), said, “I think we need to be a bit careful with this bill, reasons are not far-fetched.

“Both in the public sector and the private sector, when we talk about casualization, there are certain organizations even in the public sector that require the services of casual workers.

“I give a simple example with the Independent National Electoral Commission. When election period comes, they engage close to about 700,00 to 900,000 people, who they engage all over Nigeria for the purpose and conduct of election.

“A lot of manufacturing firms today, if they say they are going to engage everybody as a permanent employee, even the graduates, because there are certain functions that just unskilled personnel cannot handle, you need to have somebody that has requisite qualifications.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks charged the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to strike a balance in the bill to ensure that casual workers in the country were not made victims of layoffs.

“The fact remains that we need employment for our people, especially our teeming youths on one hand.

“On the other hand, we don’t want discrimination. If we say no casualization at all, some of our people could be victims of layoffs, and, of course, we know what casualization brings. You don’t have any entitlements outside of what you’re given immediately.

“So, we need to strike a balance to ensure that those who have to be employed on an adhoc basis – like one of our colleagues tried to show in INEC recruitments for example – and even in some of the sectors, don’t suffer too much, but that we emphasize getting permanent and pensionable appointments or employment opportunities for our people.

“I think government has a role. While government cannot employ everyone, we have the responsibility to create the environment or climate for employment opportunities to be available, either in government MDAs, or because the economy is good; private sector could engage even more than the government can do.

“So, we have the opportunity now to take this matter before the Nigerian public, and whatever we feel is the general view is what we should try to reflect when we finally pass the bill as we wish to, because this is a very important and indeed a sensitive bill because we need to have a balancing act.

“If you say no casualization in Nigeria at all, there’ll be consequences definitely. And, if you don’t say anything about it, some people will just be suffering – in the words of the sponsors of this bill – from the very devilish and evil treatment of those who employed them.”

The bill after scaling second reading was referred by the Senate President to the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to report back within four weeks.

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Nigeria’s Headline Inflation Rises To 21.9%

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Nigeria's Headline Inflation Rises To 21.9%

Nigeria‘s headline inflation has risen to 21.09 per cent according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for the month of October.

The CPI report which was released on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that there was an increase of 0.32 per cent from the 20.77 per cent recorded in September.

The data suggests that the headline inflation rate climbed by 5.09 per cent in October 2022 as compared to the same month the year before (October 2021).

“In October 2022, on a year–on–year basis, the headline inflation rate was 21.09%. This was 5.09% points higher compared to the rate recorded in October 2021, which was 15.99%.

READ ALSO:  Nigeria’s Inflation Rises Over 18 Per Cent

“This shows that the general price level for the headline inflation rate increased in October 2022 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., October 2021) by 5.09%,” the report read.

The report added that “On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate for October 2022 was 1.24%, this was 0.11 % lower than the rate recorded in September 2022 (1.36%).

“The percentage change in the average CPI for the twelve months ending October 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 17.86 percent, showing a 0.91 percent increase compared to the 16.96 percent recorded in October 2021.”

The year-on-year food inflation rate in October 2022 was 23.72 per cent, an increase from the previous month’s rate of 23.34 per cent.

“On a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in October was 1.23%, this was a 0.21% decline compared to the rate recorded in September 2022 (1.43%).

“This decline was attributed to the reduction in prices of some food items like tubers, palm oil, maize, beans, and vegetables,” the report further stated.

 

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N52b Cash Deposited In Banks Over Naira Re-design Policy

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N52b Cash Deposited In Banks Over Naira Re-design Policy

About N52 billion cash has been deposited in banks barely two weeks after the announcement of plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign some naira notes.

There were indications that the deposit sum may increase in the next few days because it is suspected that about N3 trillion cash was in circulation at the time the apex bank announced the policy.

The CBN claimed that some of the identified depositors were politicians, bureau de change operators, businessmen, real estate financiers, and traders.

It was also learnt that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies have directed banks to keep records of depositors, including institutions.

 READ ALSO: I’m Fully Behind CBN Governor On Redesigning Naira Notes – Buhari

The screening of high-profile depositors, especially currency hoarders and money launderers, may begin soon.

There was the fear that the redesigning of some naira notes may affect cash haul during the ongoing 2023 campaign.

According to a reliable source, who was armed with facts and figures, security and intelligence agencies have confirmed huge cash deposits of N52 billion in banks in less than two weeks.

The source said some representatives of one of the agencies appeared before a Senate Committee on Tuesday in Abuja behind the curtains.

The source said: “As the cash was being taken to banks, we were getting the details of all the depositors and in some cases, we could trace the sources.

“As of Tuesday, over N52billion cash has been deposited in various banks. Some of the deposits have been traced to some politicians, bureau de change operators, suspected money launderers, middlemen, drug barons, businessmen and traders.

“All the banks have been directed by the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to keep records of cash depositors and their KYC. They are also mandated to make the list available when required.
“With this directive, it will be easier to uncover currency hoarders, speculators and those sabotaging the nation’s economy.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “Some politicians, governors and suspected fronts of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) have been on the radar of some anti-graft agencies.

“Some state governments cannot pay salaries because the corrupt table payment system they have adopted is not practicable with the CBN directive.

“Apart from redesigning the notes, the CBN is also complementing the anti-graft agenda of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Redesigning Of Naira May Not Hold As Finance Minister Disagrees With Emefiele

“Nigerians have virtually abandoned the cashless economic policy for cash transactions.

“We may be on our way to addressing basic issues compounding our anti-corruption campaign as a nation.”

On October 26, the CBN announced its decision to redesign the naira.
It cited significant hoarding of banknotes, worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes, and increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting.

It added that over 85 per cent of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks.

CBN said as of the end of September, N2.73trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currencies in circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks and supposedly held by the public.

 

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Lagos To Spend N1.6 Trillion Next Year

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Lagos To Spend N1.6 Trillion Next Year

The Lagos State government plans to spend N1.692 trillion next year.

The state governor,  Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presented the estimated N1.692 trillion budget estimates for the 2023 to the House of Assembly.

The ‘Budget of Continuity’ comprises revenue of N1.342 billion and deficit financing of N350,000 billion.

READ ALSO: Why We Aren’t Surprised By Wike’s Endorsement Of Sanwo-Olu – Jandor

This further comprises total Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.108 billion and federal transfers of N234 billion.

The estimate also proposes a recurrent expenditure of N759 billion and Capital expenditure of N670 billion.

 

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