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Kwara people have enjoyed 2 years of freedom under Gov. Abdulrazaq’s leadership

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By Tunde Opalana

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State, Asiwaju Tajudeen Abioye has congratulated the people of Kwara State for having a new lease of life under the administration of governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq in the past 730 days.

He said with huge dividends of democracy and human development policies and programmes of the Abdulrazaq’s government, Kwarans are reaping the benefits of Otoge revolution through which they ensure a change of government in Kwara State.

While appreciating the unprecedented simplicity style of Mallam Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq as the Governor of this state, he commended the governor for achieving so much within a short period of two years in the areas of infrastructural renewal, innovation, security, intergovernmental relationship, economic and political developments.

Hon. Abioye, a former member of the Kwara State House of Assembly in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday said Governor Abdulrazaq inherited a state in a comatose condition with myriad of problems, raging from battered economy, insecurity, unemployment and unimpressive half and quarter salaries to the civil servants and decayed infrastructures facilities all over the state.

He said the people of Kwara will not forget how the governor and his cabinet commenced rebuilding the state by sacrificing heavily, in terms of personal benefits, entitlements and privileges, and using the minimum resources to govern the state.

“His approach to governance was not for vendetta but to serve, hence he displayed high level of maturity to handle the fragile peace in the state. In spite the gross misconduct everywhere, the Governor decided handle the impunity he met with utmost caution and care.

“The strong tolerance level this Government exhibits in continuing all the abandoned projects of the past administrations without changing the contractors was second to none. The Government shows unprecedented understanding of continuity in government. This is contrary to what the state witnessed when Gov. Bukola Saraki took over from Gov. Lawal in 2013.

“The Abdulrahaman led administration handles security situation with high sense of responsibility and professionalism. For two years running. the administration has been rated high in security management. This is a departure from the era of mass killings in the name of armed robbery, the era when the rituals killings dominated the state. This government has been prompt to curtain any security challenges in the state since inception.

“We have been witnessing infrastructural revolution in the state, and this cut across all the length and breath of the entire state, this is also unprecedented. The serious national economic crisis and Covid 19 induced economic hardship not withstanding.

“When many states in the country are finding it difficult to pay workers salaries, this government is not only paying full salaries, but pays before every month end. The government also embarked on mass recruitment of teachers and civil servants that has been adjudge the best and most transparent in the history of the state in the last four decades. .

“The magic talent of this administration came to fore, when infrastructural facilities were springing up in every corners of the state. This is marvelous!

“Before the assumption of the new administration, Kwara State had been blacklisted by many federal government agencies for her inabilities to fulfill her obligations to various organs of government that would in turn bring more dividends of democracy to our people.

“But, Governor Abdulrahaman was able to cut cost of governance which gave him good opportunities to paid up all the outstanding debts and balances to various organs of Federal Government. As a result of this, our state has returned to the comity of responsible states in the nation”, said Abioye..

He added that the Otoge struggle that brought this government to power was symbolic and came with a lot of changes and challenges. The hopes were high and expectations were abound.

He said “today, we now have a state that is free for all, the state where every individual has a voice, a state where civil servants opinions matters, the state where traditional institution is referred, a state where gender balancing is hallmarked, a state where politicians now has freedom of association and can sought and get patronage at the federal level with or without the state Governor’s consent and support.

READ ALSO: Buhari Asks Senate To Confirm New COAS, Maj. Gen. Yahaya

“A state where once such benefits particularly, interns of political appointment materialised, the state government will be the first to congratulate such. Incredible!”

While calling on all indigenes of the state irrespective of party leanings to support Governor Abdulrazaq to achieve more success, he charged members of the ruling APC in the state to close ranks and end all political misunderstanding.

“Indeed, we have all laboured and sacrificed to arrive at this pleasant junction, this is the very best time to fly the kite of unity together. The unity of purpose in order to consolidate our achievement.

“This is the time all hands must be on deck to strengthen on our gains. I therefore appeal to His Excellency, Mal. Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq, as the leader, not only for the APC in Kwara, but leader and father of all Kwarans, to please not foreclosed the the reconciliation with any group in the state,” he appealed.

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KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months

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KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months


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A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya Airways will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.
  • The airline in a notice to its customers yesterday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.

The airline in a notice to its customers Monday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

The airline will then resume full operations on the route on September 20, flying three times per week on the Indian route, which is one of the most lucrative destinations on its network.

Passengers on the route will part with Sh46,000 ($419) for one-way air ticket on economy class seats from Nairobi to Mumbai- prices that are relatively the same compared to what it was charging before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Welcome back onboard! Fly from Nairobi to Mumbai starting Thursday 16th September with normal schedules resuming from Monday 20th September 2021,” said the airline in a notice to its customers yesterday.

KQ Suspended passenger flights to and from Mumbai on April 30 until further notice, following a government directive on travel between India and Kenya due to a Covid-19 crisis in that country.

The airline said on Friday that passengers who had booked tickets after May 1, the date of the last flight from Mumbai to Nairobi, will have to change their plans.

Affected passengers, KQ said, could also take vouchers for the value of their fare for future travel within 12 months.

India has seen soaring infection rates in the recent days, since the discovery of a new virus variant. Last month, India put on lockdown one of the states following a spike in cases of Covid-19.

Other countries that have banned flights to India include France, the UK Bangladesh, Oman and Hong Kong that have banned travel to and from India or asked their nationals coming from the Asian country to isolate themselves in government-approved hotels.

India has so far detected 33,264,175 corona virus cases with the number of deaths hitting 442,874 as at September 13.

A large number of patients from Kenya also travel to India every year for specialised medical treatment, especially cancer care, helping to drive medical tourism in the densely populated country that boasts affordable and easily accessible healthcare.

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Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs

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Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs


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Man pulls a cart loaded with second-hand clothes at Gikomba Market in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.
  • Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.
  • Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

The average price of a tonne of second-hand clothing items imported into the country crossed the Sh100,000 mark for the first time last year on reduced volumes in the wake of safety protocols and guidelines to curb spread of coronavirus.

Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.

Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.

Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

Last year’s drop was the first dip since 2011 when 76,533 tonnes were shipped in compared with 80,423 tonnes the previous year, the official data collated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows.

The import bill for the merchandise amounted to Sh12.24 billion, a drop of 31.11 percent, or Sh5.53 billion, year-on-year.

TIn imposing the temporary ban on used clothes, Kebs had applied a standard which prohibits buying second-hand clothes from countries experiencing epidemics to ensure disease-causing microorganisms are not imported into Kenya.

Higher quality and relatively lower prices for mitumba has continued to drive demand for used clothes at expense of locally-made products amid higher margins enjoyed by traders largely operating in informal markets.

The lucrative second-hand clothing market has seen traders from China —a key source market for the merchandise —open shops in Gikomba, Kenya’s largest informal market for mitumba, in recent years to cash in rising demand.

Earnings from exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories fell 5.32 percent to Sh32.92 billion last year compared with 2019, data indicates.

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Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud

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Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud


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Cotu boss Francis Atwoli. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.
  • Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.

Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

Mr Atwoli is the secretary-general of KPAWU. The rival union claimed KPAWU had encroached on its area of workers’ representation.

Justice James Rika, however, dismissed the claim and ruled that the dispute should have been taken through conciliation, and was therefore presented in court prematurely.

He also stated that Kefhau must go beyond its registration and recruit sufficient members from the employers, to be granted recognition and organisational rights.

“Registration on its own, does not afford the claimant (Kefhau) recognition. Until there is proof that Kefhau has satisfied Section 54 of the Labour Relations Act, the status quo must be maintained,” said the judge.

“Kefhau must recruit at least 50 percent plus one, of the unionisable employees in the floriculture and horticulture industry, members of the Agricultural Employers Association to be considered for recognition,” he stated.

He noted that there is a Recognition Agreement and CBA, binding Mr Atwoli’s union and Agricultural Employers Association, affecting 73 Flower Growers Group of employers, and over 60,000 employees.

“It is objectionable for Kefhau to be allowed organisational rights, and the legitimacy to receive trade union dues and agency fees, from over 60,000 employees, just on the strength of registration as a trade union,” said the judge.

Kefhau wanted the court to declare that it is the sole trade union, which is allowed by its constitution to carry out activities in the export floriculture and vegetable industry, and an order restraining Mr Atwoli’s from representing workers in that area.

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