Nigeria: Aremu Urges Northern Governors to Apologise Over Almajiri Repatriation

1 June 2020

Vice President of industriAll Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu has expressed dismay over the repatriation of the Almajiri children to their states of origin.

He said Northern Nigeria Governors should apologise for deporting Nigerians within their own country.

Aremu, in a statement on Monday, said, rather than returning Almajiri to their states of origin, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Northern Governors, should have concentrated on how to educate every child in the region irrespective of whether they are abandoned by their parents or not.

He appealed to Kaduna State Government and the health workers' unions to return to the negotiation table and resolve the issues around the 25 percent deduction from their salaries.

Also read: Coronation Merchant Bank organizes virtual forum on impact of COVID-19 and declining Oil Prices on the Nigerian Economy

According to the labour leader, "there is no doubt that Governor ElRufai of Kaduna State had offered leadership in the fight against the pandemic. This has made the spread controlled at 8 deaths, 258 confirmed cases, and 157 recoveries. Unfortunately, the remarkable achievements of the state are being undermined by the unnecessary 25% salary deduction which also led to an avoidable one-week warning strike.

"All employers must emulate the President who is creating almost 1 million jobs. The federal government has unveiled the details of its plan to employ at least 1,000 persons from each of the 774 local government areas in the country." He said

Commenting on global issues, Aremu called on Africa Union (AU) to rise up like some African leaders and fight for the independence of the African Development Bank (AfDB) against foreign influence.

He said, global trade unionists have been following the controversies around the long list of accountability, due process and human resource allegations against the management of the Bank under its current President, Mr. Akinwunmi Adeshina, but the United States of America cynically still insists on "a further probe despite the clean bill of health given to Mr. Adesina by the board of directors of the bank over sundry allegations.

"There is an urgent need for a categorical position by Africa Union (AU) on the unfolding development within AfDB, especially as the U.S.Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin audaciously did an open letter disagreeing with the conclusions of the ethics committee of the board of directors of AfDB," he said.

"It is surprising that while the bank's African shareholders are satisfied with the findings of the Ethics Committee, the United States, a non-African with 6.5 percent of the shares is insisting on a further probe despite the clean bill of health given to Mr Adesina by the board of directors of the bank. Coming on the eve of the re-election bid of Mr. Adeshina it is self-evident that America wanted to get him out of the Bank even when notable African shareholders "made up of all the heads of state and governments of ECOWAS region had endorsed him for the second term."

"Since its founding, AfDB has financed 2,885 operations, for a total of $47.5 billion, while it has consistently received an AAA rating from the major financial rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's (S&P), Moody's, and Fitch Group."

"Adesina's achievements ... .certainly Africa still suffers from huge financial deficits to meet its enormous development challenges. However, there is no doubt that under then-current activist Bank leadership, the Bank has been mobilizing and allocating resources for investment and offering policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts."

"Through the Africa Investment Forum, the AfDB in 2018 and 2019 attracted more than $80 billion in infrastructure investment interests. This has rightly refocused the African perspective from Aid dependency to domestic investment. Notwithstanding the resistance from abroad especially the United States, the Bank spearheads an increase of the Bank's shareholder general capital from $93 billion to $208 billion."

"Adeshina is passionate about value addition and beneficiation to abundant Africa's agricultural raw materials in particular. Last year, for the first time in its 56 years of formation, Industrial Global Union entangled with the Bank on financing value addition in the mining sector in South Africa. Certainly, the multiple award-winning President of the Bank is an asset to the Bank and Africa," he said.

The labor leader advised that, after 57 years of AfDB's establishment, AU should revisit the unthinking wholesale financial liberalization which allowed for non-African countries to join the bank and even dictate the terms of discipline.

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