Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, has said the Federal Government is not in support of the ₦22,500 proposed by Nigerian state governors as the new minimum wage.
The Minister made this disclosure barely 24 hours after governors under the auspices of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), unanimously announced ₦22,500 as what is affordable to pay workers.
“The governors have not even done enough. I told them that this ₦22,500 is even rejected by the Federal Government,” Ngige said.
Nairametrics had reported that Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara State, who’s the Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), said the ₦22,500 would be an increment from the existing ₦18,000.
According to Yari, the decision followed an emergency meeting of the governors where they deliberated on the new minimum wage after a briefing from the forum’s representatives at the Tripartite Committee.
The governor noted that the welfare of the people was the ultimate concern for the forum, lamenting the deteriorating economic situation experienced by the vulnerable segment of the populace.
Before agreeing to a figure, he explained that the governors considered the stride of development in their states, particularly in health, education and infrastructure.
Nairametrics had reported that the governors lamented over the proposed new minimum wage. The State governors had unanimously made known that they cannot afford the new minimum wage proposed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
There are indications that the organised labour may resume its suspended strike in 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 ₦30,000 as minimum wage, the governors proposed ₦20,000, while the Federal Government said it could afford ₦24,000.
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 ₦7,500 to ₦18,000.