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FG Approves 14 Days Paternity Leave For Civil Servants

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The federal executive council (FEC), presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, approved 14-day paternity leave for civil servants.

Folasade Yemi-Esan, head of civil service of the federation, disclosed this while briefing state house correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting.

Yemi-Esan explained that paternity leave will allow fathers to properly bond with their newborn babies or adopted children.

“We’ve gotten approval to include paternity leave. This is something that is new. And this is something that the unions in the service asked that we include, and luckily, we’ve been able to include it,” she said.

“We’ve also been able to ensure that leave now is calculated based on working days, not on calendar days; that also has been approved.

“Paternity leave is the leave that is approved for men, when their spouses or wives have given birth to a newborn baby. Or if the husband and wife have just adopted a baby of less than four months, then the man is entitled to paternity leave of about 14 days.

“So, that is what has been approved for men, so that the men and their babies also can bond well. It’s important because we want the young children and the youth to bond properly with their fathers, just as they bond well with their mothers.

“This is the first time that this has been approved — for men to form bonds at the early stages, especially at the early stages of a child’s life; that is when it’s very important for this bonding to take place.”

The development comes months after the federal government approved paternity leave for staff of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Speaking at an unveiling ceremony for the presentation of NITDA’s employee-centric conditions of service, held in Abuja, Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, said the development was in line with the new service scheme for workers at the agency.

Prior to the approval for NITDA staff in March 2021, there was no provision for paternity leave for civil servants, while female employees are entitled to three months of maternity leave.

The house of representatives had, in 2018, rejected a bill seeking to grant paternity leave to married men.

Meanwhile, a few states in the country — including Lagos and Enugu — have approved paternity leave for employees.

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NLC Protests Poor State Of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway

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The Ogun chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Wednesday, blocked the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway over the bad state of the road.

According to NAN, the Lagos chapter of the union also joined the protest.

The protesters carried placards with inscriptions like “We don’t want palliatives”, “We want good roads”, “Dapo Abiodun save our souls from bad roads” and “We are not slaves in our country”.

Emmanuel Bankole, the NLC chairman in Ogun, said the union was not happy with the condition of portions of the Lagos-Abeokuta road and its environs.

“We will not allow anybody to take away our right. In times like this, we do not have any option other than to express our displeasure with the government,” he said.

The chairman said the 21 days ultimatum given by the NLC to Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, after his visit to Sango-Ota, had lapsed.

Bankole said Fashola had promised to commence palliative work on the road but nothing much had been done since then.

“We deserve better than what we have seen today. What we see today is below our expectations,” he said.

Funmi Sessi, chairman of the Lagos chapter, said the protest was “long overdue”.

“We believe in action and the time for talking is gone. There is an urgent need to ameliorate the sufferings of the masses,” she said.

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Nigerian Press Council Seeks Law To Regulate, License Journalists

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The Nigerian Press Council (NPC) has pleaded with the house of representatives to enact laws to empower the council licence journalists.

Francis Nwosu, executive secretary of NPC, made the demand on Wednesday when he appeared before the house of representatives committee on information, national orientation, ethics and values.

Nwosu said this will also enable the council to generate revenue for the federal government and curb unprofessionalism in the industry.

“We appreciate the effort of this committee to help have a good footing in the Nigerian media space. As you can understand, there is no way we can earn any revenue except we have an act to regulate the media industry,” he said.

“Aside from the rooting implementation of credible media space in Nigeria to help the government to check fake news and disinformation in the society, we are also trying for our players to understand the need to draw a line between journalism practice and journalism business.

He said newspapers need to register as corporate organisations and pay royalties to enable the NPC make money.

“Journalists [need] to register with the council, have a licence to operate. That way, we can have some funds to the coffers of the council,” he said.

“These are the ideas we are thinking can help instead of depending entirely on the federal government for revenue. We can generate some amount every year from the registration of journalists and the registration of media houses.

“By this way also, we are also talking about supervising journalism training institutions and ensure that the right things are done in the institutions of learning so that we have well-trained journalists with good professional skills to do the right job for the best interest of the nation.”

Olusegun Odebunmi, chairman of the committee, said it is important for the journalism practice to be monitored.

“As regards the pure regulation of the journalists, no doubt about it,” he said.

Odebunmi said the committee is working on such regulation, adding that this will identify the players in the industry.

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FG lists Diezani’s Bras As Part Of Forfeited Items For Sale

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The federal government has listed personal effects like bras and waist trainers as part of the list of assets forfeited by Diezani Alison-Madueke, former petroleum minister.

Diezani had fled the county shortly before former President Goodluck Jonathan handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

She is alleged to have stolen $2.5 billion from the Nigerian government while she was minister — an allegation she has denied.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has since commenced a process to extradite her.

The federal government has gained forfeiture of Diezani’s properties located in Banana Island Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, including 18 flats and six penthouses.

Other properties listed include 125 wedding gowns, 13 small gowns, 41 waist trainers, 73 hard flowers, 11 suits, 11 invisible bras, 73 veils, 30 braziers, two standing fans, 17 magic skirts, six blankets, one table blanket and 64 pairs of shoes.

The federal government has begun the process of screening 613 independent valuers expected to manage the sale of the assets permanently forfeited.

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