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News headlines for the 16th of March 2021

News headlines for the 16th of March 2021

National Assembly, Labour meet today over minimum wage bill crisis

  • The leadership of the National Assembly and the organized labour are to meet today (Tuesday) over a bill in the House of Representatives seeking an amendment to the 1999 Constitution by removing matters relating to wages from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List.
  • Leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trace Union Congress had led a protest march to the National Assembly last week Wednesday, while their state chapters also held rallies across the country over the proposed decentralization of the national minimum wage.
  • Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, while addressing the workers, who stormed the National Assembly Complex after a protest rally around the Abuja metropolis, said the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was in Lagos, had fixed a meeting between the lawmakers and the labour unions for Tuesday.
  • Although,when contacted around 3pm on Monday, the sponsor of the bill, Mr Garba Datti Muhammad, said he was neither invited to the meeting nor aware of any meeting to be held with labour today (Tuesday).

Bandits invade another Kaduna school, kidnap 3 teachers

  • Bandits again attacked a primary school at Rema in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State yesterday, abducting three teachers, while the pupils fled in different directions.
  • No pupil was taken away but the bandits went away with five motorcycles belonging to the locals and rustled some cattle.
  • Birnin-Gwari is one of the areas in Kaduna State that had been under constant attacks by bandits.
  • The latest attack came barely 24 hours after the military rescued 307 students of Government Science Secondary School, Ikara, in a failed bandits attack.
  • It will be recalled that 39 students of Federal Government College of Forestry Mechanization in the same area of Kaduna, had last Friday been taken away by bandits, after 180 others were also rescued by a combined team of the military, police and other security agencies.

AstraZeneca fear: Vaccination suffers setback, five more countries halt exercise

  • The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has said it is aware of the increasing concerns about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, noting that Nigeria has suffered a major setback in the campaign to make citizens and residents take the jabs.
  • The PTF also decried that some prominent Nigerians had been using the cases of side effects, especially in Europe to discourage their followers from accepting the vaccine.
  • The National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, who was represented by the National Incident Manager, Dr Muktar Muhammad, made this known at the press conference of the task force on Monday.
  • Muhammad stated this as five more countries halted the administration of the vaccine because of the fear of the possible deadly side effects.
  • Recall that The Federal Government had on Thursday said Nigeria would continue to administer AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine despite its suspension by eight European countries.

NAFDAC collects water samples, others to investigate cause of strange disease in Kano

  • The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has collected water samples and flavour products for laboratory analysis, following the outbreak of strange infectious disease in Kano metropolis.
  • The State Coordinator of the agency, Mr Shaba Muhammad, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kano, that the samples were referred to its laboratory in Kaduna for analysis.
  • Muhammad said the agency received report of manifestation of a strange disease suspected to be caused by drinking sachet water and locally processed drinks in the metropolis.
  • Reports indicated that the infection involves sachet water and local drinks suspected to be prepared with expired and adulterated products.
  • He urged residents to be vigilant and check the label of the products, Muhammad said the agency had scaled up surveillance to check circulation of fake and counterfeit products in the state.

Countries are complaining about Nigeria’s multiple foreign exchange rates – Okonjo-Iweala

  • Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday, listed conditions that could make Nigeria benefit from the global body.
  • She gave the conditions when she visited the President, Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential villa.
  • She apprised the President of the opportunities for Nigeria in the global organisation as well as the challenges. The new WTO boss commended Buhari for the pulsating support she received from the country in the race for the position.
  • Answering questions from journalists after meeting with Buhari, Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO was concerned about Nigeria’s multiple exchange rates regime and how it would affect trade.
  • She said some member states had also complained about Nigeria’s invoking the balance of payment agreement to be able to conserve foreign exchange.
  • Recall that The Central Bank of Nigeria had in March 2020 said it would migrate to a single exchange rate for the Naira by collapsing the multiple exchange rates policy that determined the value for the local currency.
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