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Buhari’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, a mirage if…’

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The leader of the Nigerian Red Card Movement, Dr. Abdulmumin Yinka Ajia, has said that the proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years, will be a mirage if Nigerians would not discard their alleged mutual distrust of one another and learn to work together towards a common and a collective goal.

Ajia, in an interview with Saturday Times, on Friday, said Nigerians must collborate, unite and work together to address insecurity, seccession threats, kidnapping, banditary, herders’/farmers clashes, dwindlling economy and other developmental challenges confronting the nation.

He lamented that Nigerians currently faced food insecurity, poor electricity supply, inflation, fall of the naira and other socio-economic and industrial challenges.

He said, “From having constant electricity, water supply, good schools, cheap and affordable food, and good medical care in the 70s and early 80s for men and women of my generation, the reverse is the case in today’s Nigeria.

“The greater irony is that Nigeria has birthed two generations that were born and are living through a Nigeria that never worked for them. These two generations, precisely, the millennials and Generation Z have been served the short end of the stick by the Nigerian state. We should all work to avert the same fate falling on the Alpha generation. And yet, there is hope that if we work hard at it, we can reverse the tide and build a Nigeria that works for all.

“We can engender a nation of consequence, a place where positive action is rewarded and negative, harmful actions are vehemently sanctioned and punished. The Nigerian people have had enough of maladministration and deepening poverty. In recent time, we have faced and continue to face, an unprecedented level of insecurity but we cannot give into fear, we must come together to defeat all the non – state actors and win the future for ourselves and our children.”

He added, “It should concern each and every one of us that the generation of children born since 2010 (the Alpha generation) have already started witnessing the daily struggles of life in Nigeria. Yet, between my generation – generation X, the millennial generation and Generation Z, we constitute the largest voting bloc in Nigeria. According to the most recent data on Statista, Nigerians aged 15 to 54 years constitute 49. 7 percent while Nigerians aged zero to 14 years constitute another 43.3 percent. The rest of the population share just seven percent.

“The question now is: How did we arrive at a point where the minority is lording it over the majority and mismanaging their affairs?

The answer is that we allowed it to happen to us. Because we did not realize the power in our collective hands. Going forward, I declare before the Nigerian people, that minority rule will not persist in Nigeria anymore.”

He urged the Federal Government to build ecosystems that will foster innovation, create jobs, and brings foreign direct investments.

He said it important to retrain unemployed workers to get jobs in new emerging industries as according to when families are working and ther children are in school learning, the future of the nation becomes brighter and better.

He canvassed for the digitisation of all government transactions, adding the government should pursuepaperwork reduction to foster continuous ease of doing business.

According to him, it is also important to ensure import substitution, reduce government participation in the oil and gas sector to regulatory only; and institute a regime of tax refunds to eligible individuals and households annually.

Ajia said, “FG should set the deadline for filing annual tax returns to June 30th of every year; eliminate oil subsidies; liberalize port operations and adopt global best practices.

“FG should invest 30 percent of the national budget on education and education related areas because investing in our teachers and students is investing in the job creators of tomorrow, today. There should also be free and compulsory Primary 1 to SSS3 education.

“Government should also create the Education Bank for the financing of post – secondary education; grant post – secondary institutions full autonomy while retaining statutory government regulatory oversight; promote STEM education and institute scholarship schemes for high achieving indigent students attending post – secondary institutions.”

He also said that there should be a new primary and post – primary education curriculum to meet the challenge of the 21st century.

He also called for political reformation, national census, encouragement of states to create local government administrations for every 100, 000 people.

READ ALSO: All you need to know about Sickle Cell Disorder

He added that each state should replicate security outfits like the Police, State Security Service, and Correctional Centres.

He said that the gendarmes will double as the state national guards that can be activated by state governments during times of emergency in liaison with the federal government.

Ajia said, “There should be the creation of an Elders Advisory Council to comprise foremost traditional rulers from each state of the federation and Federal Capital Territory. This list should include others with sterling reputable. This will help us to form a society where we govern with consensus not force.

“Work with the national assembly to amend the law as it relates to the FCT in order to create a stronger local administration in the Abuja Municipal Area Council and amend the law to remove unelected Federal ministers administering the federal capital territory.

“These policies are not exhaustive but are some of the clearest and most meaningful ways by which we can reposition Nigeria given the level we have sunk into. These are the policies that will stop the hemorrhaging of the Nigerian state and position us to gain a competitive edge in the 21st century.”

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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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