State governors in Nigeria have unanimously made known that they cannot pay the new minimum wage proposed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). This was made known by the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Abdulaziz Yari.
While indications emerged that organized labour may resume its suspended strike as early as November 6, Yari said the governors were not against upward review of the minimum wage, but lack the capacity to pay it.
The NLC had demanded N30,000 as minimum wage, the governors proposed N20,000, while the Federal Government said it could afford N24,000.
According to Yari, the issue was not just on the agreed figure to be paid by the governors but also the “ability or resources to take care of that agreed minimum wage.”
Yari said the problem of the states is the capacity to pay what is agreed, adding that some states are still struggling with the N18,000.
“Some of the states are paying 35 per cent, some 50 per cent and still some states have salary arrears. So, it is not about only reviewing it but how we are going to get the resources to cater for it.” Yari added.
Recall that the NLC had suspended its nationwide strike. The National President of the Congress Ayuba Wabba, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja.
According to him, the decision was taken to enable the committee mandated to set the wage, reconvene on October 4.
The union had earlier given the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to complete deliberations on the new minimum wage or face a strike action. It subsequently commenced the strike on Thursday 27th of September 2018.
Prior to This
President Muhammadu Buhari, in November last year, inaugurated the National Wage Committee led by former minister and Head of Service, Ama Pepple.
During the 40th anniversary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja, the minister had stated that the new minimum wage would commence before the end of September, this year. He later backtracked, because the state governors were yet to submit their proposal on a new wage system.
The minimum wage was last increased by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2011 from N7500 to 18,000.