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UN Appoints NAPTIP’s DG Into UNODC Board 

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The United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA), has appointed Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), to the board of trustees for United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC).
Okah-Donli’s appointment is contained in a statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Vincent Adekoye, an officer in NAPTIP’s press and public relations unit.
The statement said that Okah-Donli’s appointment was announced by the UN Secretary-General alongside other eminent persons from the Philippines, Armenia, Belgium and Panama.
According to the statement, the NAPTIP DG’s appointment guaranteed her membership of the board of trustees for the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC).
It added that her responsibility would be to manage the funds meant for the protection of trafficking victims, especially for women and children.
It explained that all the appointees were all given the assignment of managing the UN voluntary trust fund, which pools resources from International donors for the protection and assistance to trafficking victims with full respect to their human rights.
The statement noted that the appointment was on an ad-hoc and non remunerated basis, adding that this latest one came on the heels of a similar appointment for the DG sometime in July 2019, by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
It said that Okah-Donli had also been appointed in 2019 by the UNESCO as a member of the project advisory committee on empowering young people in Africa through media and communication on irregular migrations.
UN organ’s statement said that “the general assembly established the UN voluntary trust fund for victims of trafficking, to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking in person.
“As determined by the General Assembly, the board is composed of five experts with relevant experience in the field of trafficking in persons who are appointed on the basis of fair equitable geographical distribution.
“Also in consultation with member states and the Executive Director of UNODC.”
It listed other members on the UN assignment as, Ms Maria Susana V. Ople, Director of the Blas F. Ople Policy Centre, Philippines, Dr Victoria Avakova, Health and Anti-trafficking Project Coordinator at UMCOR-NGO, Armenia.
Others were Ms Be Inge be Vervotte, former Belgian Minister for Civil Service and Public Enterprises, Belgium, and Mr Alexis Bethancourt Yau, Panamanian Minister of Public Security, Panama.
It said the five new members would serve a three-year term and provide strategic advice to UNODC trust fund secretariat in the management of the fund.
According to the statement, since the inception of the fund 10 years ago, the UN voluntary trust fund has awarded 4.6 million US dollars as a grant to almost 90 NGO projects, directly assisting more than 3,500 victims of human trafficking per year, from around the world.
The statement added that Okah-Donli had continued to give Nigeria positive visibility across the world as champion and advocate of child protection and trafficking free world, thereby earning numerous awards and honours globally.
Meanwhile, the NAPTIP DG had described her appointment as a pleasant surprise.
“I am overwhelmed by this appointment, I want to sincerely thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his firm support to NAPTIP and the institutional policies put in place to support the agency.
“I also appreciate the support of my supervising Minister, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk, and also Directors and officers of NAPTIP for their unflinching support and cooperation.
“I will surely do my best to rate Nigeria high in this global assignment,” Okah-Donli said.

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‘It’s Suicidal ’, Labour Rejects FG’s Plans To Slash Salaries

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Agency Report

The Organised Labour has condemned and rejected the plan by the Federal Government to slash the salaries of workers in the country.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, who said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that the plan was tantamount to a “mass suicide” wish, for Nigerian workers.

Waba said that NLC was shocked at a statement credited to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on the plan to reduce the high cost of governance by cutting down on the workers’ salaries.

”The minister also allegedly directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), to immediately review the salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies in the country.

”It is almost unthinkable that the government would be contemplating to unilaterally slash the salaries of Nigerian workers at this time,” he said.

Wabba added that, “the question to ask is which salary is the government planning to slash? It certainly cannot be the meager national minimum wage of N30, 000, which right now cannot even buy a bag of rice”.

He expressed the belief that the proposed slash in salaries was certainly not targeted at the minimum wage and consequential adjustment in salaries that some state governors were still dragging their feet to pay.

According to him, it is in public knowledge that the multiple devaluations of the Naira in a short time, and the prevailing high inflation rate in Nigeria, have knocked out the salaries earned by Nigerian workers across the board.

”Nigerian workers are only surviving by hair’s breadth. Indeed, Nigerian workers are miracles strutting on two legs.

”It is, therefore, extremely horrendous for a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pronounce salary slash for Nigerian workers currently.

”This call for salary slash by Mrs Zainab Ahmed is tantamount to a “mass suicide” wish, for Nigerian workers,” he said.

While opposing the move, he demanded an immediate retraction and apology by the Minister of  Finance.

The NLC president, however, said that if there was any salary that needed serious slashing, “it is the humongous remuneration and allowances pocketed by political office holders in Nigeria, who do extraordinarily little but collect so much.

”Workers generate surplus value and revenue for the government.

”We do not constitute any unnecessary cost or burden to governance. It is also important to make the point that salaries are products of contracts governed by laws. They cannot be unilaterally adjusted.”

He said that many countries of the world were increasing the salaries of their workforce and extending social security coverage for their citizens.

According to him, many are providing all forms of palliatives to help their people through the terrible socio-economic dislocations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Waba said that it would be completely strange for the Nigerian government to be thinking of a salary slash.

“This move is not only at great odds with global best responses to the COVID-19 pandemic but also in violation of relevant ILO Conventions and Declarations on Wages and Decent Work.

“We urge the government as a social partner to quickly respond to the demands by Labour for an upward review of salaries of all Nigerian workers.

“Nigerian workers have shown sufficient understanding with the government through the tough patches of the pandemic.

“Now, Nigerian workers demand reciprocity of our understanding. Nigerian workers demand an increase in their remunerations and allowances,” he said.

NAN

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Paying ransomt To Kidnappers Is Foolishness —Obasanjo

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Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, has cautioned against the payment of ransom to kidnappers.

He, however, submitted that the government must develop means to deal with kidnappers and bandits heavily in place of ransom payment.

He noted that the governments of both President Goodluck Jonathan and Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) paid ransom to kidnappers but they denied it.

Obasanjo said he does not believe in payment of ransom to kidnappers and bandits, saying it encouraged criminals indulging in the act.

The former president berated any government that pays ransom, describing them as follies.

Obasanjo spoke on Wednesday at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to members of Tiv professionals Group led by Prof Zacharys Anger Gundu.

Obasanjo insisted that it requires a “carrot and stick” approach to fight insecurity challenges to a standstill.

He said “Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it.

“Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”

Obasanjo expressed fears that those beating drums of division in Nigeria don’t think about the interest of the minority ethnic groups.

He added, “Where do we want those minor groups to stand? Wherever they stand, now they are by virtue of Nigeria’s present situation a little bit protected. But if Nigeria breaks up and they are in a smaller country, they will be oppressed. They will always be exterminated. Are we thinking of that?

“I believe that if we will get it right in Nigeria, any leader must look at Nigeria with the prism of the diversity of Nigeria. For as long as you look at Nigeria with the prism of your ethnic group, then you aren’t going anywhere, either your ethnic group or religious group.

“But is there hope? There is hope.”

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Gumi Warns Against Sacking Pantami, Says Nigeria Will Regret If…

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Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi Monday warned that Nigerians will regret if the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami is sacked from office.
Gumi who gave the warning during an interview with Roots TV said allegations against the embattled Minister were not true and should be discarded.
You would recall that different groups, politicians have since called for the resignation of the Minister over his past support for terror groups insisting that Pantami’s renunciation was not enough.
But in the interview, Gumi said Nigeria should get more people like Pantami and put them in power instead of calling for his removal.
“You cannot Islamise the whole world. Jesus Christ came; he could not Christianise the whole world. Nobody can Islamise or Christianise Nigeria,” Gumi began.
“All his actions, one hundred percent, shows he is not a terrorist. Those who are terrorists are after his life. The Minister should continue. His presence there is fighting the terrorist ideology.
“Show me, one person, he has killed. He has not killed anybody. He has not ordered the killing of anybody. Discard the fake news.
“The man is stabilizing a government among a section of youths, which we want them to come and join in nation-building. They should not throw him away. Leave him. He is not a terrorist sympathizer.
“And you people are fighting them. No. You should get more people like Pantami and put them in power. It will stabilize. Don’t remove him. You’ll regret,” he stated.

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