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British passport office staff begin 5 week strike over pay, pensions

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British passport office staff begin 5 week strike over pay, pensions

British Passport Office workers began a five-week strike in the increasingly bitter civil service dispute over jobs, pay, pensions and conditions.

More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) at eight sites walked out in an escalation of the long-running row.

PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka said on Monday

According to Serwotka, picket lines will be mounted outside the offices in Glasgow, Durham, Liverpool, Southport, Peterborough, London, Belfast and Newport in Wales.

RELATED STORY:Davido opens up on tragic death of son, Ifeanyi

The union said those taking action will be supported by a strike fund.

Serwotka had written to the government calling for urgent talks in a bid to resolve the dispute.

He had accused ministers of treating its own employees differently to others in the public sector after negotiations were held with unions representing health workers and teachers.

The union is stepping up strikes, with a nationwide walkout of more than 130,000 civil servants planned for April 28.

The Home Office said the passport office had already processed more than 2.7 million applications this year.

It added that over 99.7 per cent of standard applications were being processed within 10 weeks, with the majority of those delivered to customers well under this timescale.

However, there are currently no plans to change official guidance which states that it takes up to 10 weeks to get a passport.

British passport office staff begin 5 week strike over pay, pensions

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N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

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N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

By Halima Abdulkadiri

Chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Oyo State, Sadiq Atayese, has stated that the newly-approved N70,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers is not the solution to the country’s economic challenges.

Atayese made this assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ibadan.

He emphasized that sustainable solutions to the cost of living require positive economic policies from the government. Atayese highlighted the exchange rate as a key factor influencing fuel costs and subsidies.

He stressed that the government must prioritize fighting corruption and implementing policies beyond just increasing the minimum wage. According to Atayese, corruption in high places accounts for over 90 percent of corruption cases in Nigeria.

“Will this new minimum wage actually assuage the daily rising costs of foods and services? Can it bring a stable solution to the nation’s economic challenges? The answer is No,” he said.

Atayese also urged the government to focus on agricultural development and address issues such as security and funding for effective farming. He believes that addressing these critical issues would have more significant benefits than even a minimum wage of N150,000.

“Labour Party will continue to stand for the wellbeing of the people and development of the society,” he said.

The Federal Government and labor unions recently agreed on N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers. Initially, the government proposed N60,000, which was raised to N62,000, while labor demanded N494,000 before revising it to N250,000. Labor leaders agreed to the N70,000 offer due to additional incentives attached.

N70,000 Wage Not Solution to Economic Issues

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Nigerian Army Reinforces Ban on Camouflage Misuse

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Nigerian Army Reinforces Ban on Camouflage Misuse

Nigerian Army Reinforces Ban on Camouflage Misuse

By Halima Abdulkadiri

The Nigerian Army (NA) has reiterated that the ban on the unauthorized use of military camouflage remains in full effect.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, emphasized this in a statement on Sunday while addressing a video showing a soldier harassing a civilian for wearing an Army Desert Camouflage uniform.

Nwachukwu clarified that the footage is an old video being circulated by individuals with malicious intent to create tension between the military and civilians.

He stated that only personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force are legally permitted to wear military camouflage.

Nwachukwu explained that the regulation is necessary because terrorists, insurgents, and impostors have exploited the misuse of military camouflage to commit crimes, posing a significant security threat.

“The Nigerian Army remains committed to upholding the law and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens.

“We urge the public to disregard the re-circulated video and remain vigilant against attempts to sow discord and tension within the country.

“The incident in question occurred in 2021, and the army took immediate and decisive action at that time.

“The soldier involved was arrested, tried, and appropriately punished for his unacceptable behavior, which violated the core values of the Nigerian Army, particularly the respect for others and their fundamental rights,” he said.

Nigerian Army Reinforces Ban on Camouflage Misuse

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Hisbah Destroys N60m Alcohol, Drugs in Katsina

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Hisbah Destroys N60m Alcohol, Drugs in Katsina

Hisbah Destroys N60m Alcohol, Drugs in Katsina

By Halima Abdulkadiri

The Katsina State Hisbah Board has destroyed alcohol and other illicit drugs worth N60 million in Funtua Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

Dr. Aminu Usman, the Hisbah Commander in the state, disclosed this to newsmen on Sunday.

According to Usman, no fewer than 1,750 crates of alcohol and about 33 jerry cans of locally-brewed beer were recently seized and destroyed in Funtua.

Usman explained that this effort is part of their mandate to ensure good morals among the people in the state.

He commended the board’s officials for their dedication and urged them to redouble their commitment.

He also sought the support of religious leaders, emphasizing that Hisbah does not belong to any particular group or sect. Usman praised Gov. Dikko Radda for his full support in helping the board discharge its responsibilities.

Usman appealed to the public for genuine information on places where immoral behaviors are committed. He called on parents, teachers, and community leaders to intensify efforts in instilling discipline and good morals among youths in their communities.

Hisbah Destroys N60m Alcohol, Drugs in Katsina

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