The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige for his comment on the Okigwe – Arondizuogu and Arondizuogu – Uga federal roads .
According to HURIWA, the minister while reacting to issues of allegation of marginalization of the South East on Channels TV programme, ‘News Night’ anchored by Ladi Akeredolu-Ale highlighted some of the roads the APC-led government has bequeathed to the people of the South East.
In a statement by the national coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said as follows:
“We are shocked at the audacity of the ‘Honourable’ Minister to make false claims on national television. This is because our team spent weeks driving round the Arondizuogu roads mentioned by Dr. Chris Ngige as some of the roads done by the present administration of Muhammadu Buhari in the South East of Nigeria to prove to the minister that his claims lack empirical evidence.
“Just imagine the state of roads in Arondizuogu, Imo State; a big and mighty town that encompasses 3 local governments in Imo State – Okigwe, Onuimo and Ideato North. The roads have been death traps for long and Dr. Ngige still has mouth to say the federal government has done the roads.
“The Arondizuogu – Okigwe road is a critical Centerport to Arondizuogu and its deplorable condition has crippled the local economy, impoverished the people and set Arondizuogu back by not less than 50 years. The people, generally, are very angry about the terrible condition of this road which has lingered for many years – more so when a serving federal minister comes on national television to make claims that are not verifiable.
“Arondizuogu suffers from multiple deficiencies of social infrastructures and the worst case scenario of marginalization of unfathomable scale even as the few signs of civilization such as electricity and graded rural roads were done as a result of communal and/or individual efforts.”
HURIWA’s statement continues: “The public can now understand HURIWA’s overwhelming shock, because Arondizuogu is fast making history as one of the communities in Imo State where the duty of road construction and road rehabilitation has been passed to helpless indigenes.
“For instance, the only source of intermittent electricity power to most parts of Arondizuogu in Onu-Imo local government was donated by a single individual who is also reputed to have singlehandedly constructed some culverts and rural roads beginning from his immediate community in a part of Arondizuogu located within Onu-Imo LGA. It must be noted too that Arondizuogu traverses Okigwe and Ideato North local government area councils.
“Even after erecting a multi-million naira 5-star tourism edifice, The Hometown Resort in 2017, Chief Benbella Anachebe (SAN) was forced to singlehandedly tar the state road from Ugwu Akokwa to Eke Ndianiche up to Odum Rd enroute Ndiogbuonyeoma Uno.
“In effect, Arondizuogu is among those communities in Imo state that is feeling the pains of a failed administration under the APC-led administration and Ngige is spending much time in the media spreading falsehood and outright cheap propaganda about some fantastic feats the federal government has achieved which are not in existence anywhere.
“We therefore call on the President; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to note that the Arondizuogu Road is a death-trap and that his Minister of Labour and Productivity has not told him the whole truth about the state of that road. We invite Mr President to visit Imo State and drive through that road so he can then judge between the people and the minister who is not being truthful.
Furthermore, we call for sanction on the Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige for giving a bad representation of the government and for President Buhari to order the transparent renovation of the road to stand the test of time.
“The condition of federal roads in the South- East is deplorable. They have indeed become death traps. Some of them have been abandoned and now out of use. Also, state roads are not better off. The abysmal conditions of federal roads are a stain on the reputation of this administration and to Dr. Chris Ngige in particular who has resorted to spreading political propaganda on television.
“For the sake of being polite and not using appropriately abusive language, the best way to describe the state of the federal roads in the south east is to use words such as deplorable, terrible, awful, dreadful, shocking, lamentable, disgraceful, shameful and unpardonable.
“If there is one single factor that indicates the imperative to restructure the nation’s finances and politics and bring government closer to the people, it’s the unpardonable state of the nation’s federal road network in the south east.
“It’s unpardonable simply because the nation is structured in such a manner that the Executive and National Assembly allocate to themselves a disproportionate share of the budget, while serially failing to alleviate the suffering of ordinary citizens.”
Read more authentic news on our social media platforms
BREAKING: Fire Guts Supreme Court
A section of the Supreme Court complex in Abuja, was gutted by fire on Monday morning.
It was learnt that the fire, which started around 7am, caused panic among staff members of the court who scampered to safety.
Though no human casualty was recorded, however, it was not clear whether sensitive documents and files were destroyed by the early morning fire at the court situated at the Three-Arm-Zone, Abuja.
It was learnt that the fire might have been caused by electrical malfunction in one of the offices within the administrative wing of the court.
The source confirmed that three offices, including that of Justice Mohammed Saulawa, was touched by the fire before it was eventually put off.
Abiodun Pays Tribute To Alaperu’s Late Wife, Harps On Enduring Legacies
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has extolled the exemplary virtues of the late wife of the Alaperu of Iperu, Olori Kehinde Idowu Basibo-Odoru, describing her as a strong pillar for her husband and a unifying factor for the entire royal family while alive.
The late queen was born on April 23, 1962, and passed on at the age of 61 on 27th July 2023. Her funeral and thanksgiving service was held on Friday at the St. James Anglican Church, Iperu.
The governor, in his remarks, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the royal father, Alaiyeluwa, Oba Adeleke Idowu-Basibo, and the people of the town over the loss, as he prayed for necessary fortitude to carry on in her absence.
He recounted the enviable attributes of the late Olori while alive as bold, lovely and supportive; with passion to help those around her, adding that she would be sorely missed by her immediate family, the entire town of Iperu and Ogun State in general.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of Ogun State, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to my brother, the Alaperu of Iperu, Oba Adeleke Idowu-Basibo, on the passing of his adorable wife.
“The late Olori was a friend and reliable companion to her husband till death. She was also a doting mother to her children. We are going to sorely miss her; may the good Lord repose her soul,” Abiodun said.
The governor counselled the congregation on the need to be fair to all in all ways while alive, to leave worthy legacies after death as exemplified by the late Queen.
He continued: “Life is a journey; we all have our exit points. We have no power over that, it is inevitable. What is important is what we do while we are here, what type of tribute would be written about you when you are no more.”
BREAKING: Govt Increases Salaries Of University Lecturers, Others
In a bid to improve the lot of tertiary education, the Federal Government has increased the salaries of the lecturers and non-academic staff in the nation’s public universities.
The increase was approved by the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
This includes payment of a newly approved percentage increment in salaries for academic and non-academic staff of all Federal Government’s tertiary institutions in the country.
This is as the percentage increment for junior staff of tertiary institutions was raised from 23.5% which was reviewed last year to 25%. Our correspondent gathered that the arrears of the increment from January 2023 will also be paid.
Though nothing was said about the withheld salaries of the academics and non-academics who embarked on strike in 2022, it was learnt that the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, earlier wrote the Chairman of the NSIWC, Ekpo Nta, to demand the status of the collective.
According to sources within the Ministry of Education, the decision of the minister to write the NSIWC might not be unconnected from visitations by some of the academic unions and intervention by some pressure groups.
When asked if polytechnic lecturers were aware of the new development, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, said that the union heard of the news and were looking forward to the implementation.
“Definitely, we heard of it and we are looking forward to it. There will be 25% increment for junior lecturers while chief lecturers and professors will benefit from 35% increment,” he said.
The National Vice-President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Chris Piwuna, disclosed that such a letter would be addressed to the management of universities and not ASUU.
A letter by the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of the NSIWC, Eyo Nta, which was addressed to the Minister of Education on September 14,2023 shortly before his departure to the United Nations General Assembly in New York
tagged ‘RE: Implementation of the 35% and 23.5% salary increment for staff of tertiary institutions,’ reads: “I refer to your letter No. FME/IS/UNI/ASUU/C.I/IT?/90 dated 8th September 2023 in respect of the above-subject. Find attached the circulars pertaining to the four salary structures in the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education for your information (attached).
“The 23.5% earlier reflected in our letter SWC/S/04/S.149/I/59 of 28 July 2022 and stated in paragraph 2 of your letter, has been increased to 25% which accounted for the increased cost implications. This Commission is really pleased with the success your informal discussions have achieved. We shall endeavour to support all your efforts aimed at repositioning the Education Sector. Please accept the assurances of my warm regards.”
Consequently, the commission proceeded to issue a circular also dated September 14, 2023 and addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation among others informing them of the implementation of the newly reviewed salaries.
The circular reads: “ The Presidential Committee on Salaries at its 13th meeting having taken into consideration the various stages of collective bargaining in various sectors, and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions, and consequent upon the Federal Government’s approval, as well as 2023 budgetary provisions, approval is hereby conveyed for the revision of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for academic staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January 2023.”
Also, a letter from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation dated September 21, 2023 which was made available to our correspondent on Friday in Abuja confirmed the increment.
The letter which was signed on behalf of the Director, Human Resource of the office, Ajanaku F.O reads, “I am directed to inform you that the Presidential Committee on Salaries at it’s 13th meeting having taken into consideration the different stages of collective bargaining in various sectors and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions and consequently the Federal Government’s approval, is hereby conveyed as revised for the following:-
“Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure II for non-Academic Staff of Federal Universities, with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure for non – Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure II (CONUASS II) for Academic Staff of Federal University with effect from 1st January, 2023.”
NEW TIMES CULTURE
Return Of Amosun’s Loyalists: Abiodun Displayed Exemplary Political Maturity – Group
BREAKING: Fire Guts Supreme Court
Moral Values In A Changing World
Why GOFAMINT General Overseer Demoted His Deputy
BREAKING: UK Suspends Work, Study, Family Visas For Nigerians Over Ukraine War
BREAKING: First Nigerian Female Vice Chancellor Alele-Williams Is Dead
Opinion5 days ago
The West And The Hypocrisy Of Democracy
Opinion15 hours ago
A Response To Toyin Falola’s Obasanjo, Obadide And Obajoko
Interview3 days ago
Coups In Africa: Historical Antecedents, Root Causes, And The Systemic Way Out
Politics3 days ago
Thousands Dump Amosun, Re-Align With Abiodun
Opinion1 day ago
Use Your Penis: Hopes, Expectations And Realities Of African Migrants In Europe