The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has agreed to pay the sum of N22, 500 as new minimum wage for workers, as against the existing N18,000.
Chairman of the Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
He explained that 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.
Governor Yari added that the meeting did not take a position that would only reflect a figure, but also a sustainable strategy based on the ability and capacity of the states to pay.
The organised labour had demanded N30,000 as new minimum wage but the NGF said most of its members do not have the capacity to pay the sum.
As series of negotiations and meetings between the government and labour leaders ended in a deadlock, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) threatened to embark on a fresh nationwide strike on November 6.
The unions explained that the decision was necessary following what they described as the government’s unwillingness to implement a new minimum wage for workers in the country.
This, among other things, led to a meeting of the NGF with the Federal Government, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The meeting had also ended inconclusively, prompting an emergency meeting of the state governors today.
Read the full statement below
Following a meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum where we deliberated on the National Minimum Wage after a briefing from our representatives at the Tripartite Committee, we submit as follows:
The welfare of all Nigerians is our ultimate concern. In all our States, we are concerned about the deteriorating economic situation experienced by the vulnerable segment of our population.
In agreeing to a National Minimum Wage, however, the Forum is even more concerned about development, particularly in the health, education and infrastructure spheres.
It is, therefore, our considered position that since the percentage of salaried workers is not more than five per cent of the total working population, our position must not just reflect a figure, but also a sustainable strategy based on ability and capacity to pay, as well as reflective of all our developmental needs in each State.
Afterall, Section 3 of the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission Act provides that “the Commission shall recommend a proposition of income growth which should be initiated for wage increase and also examined the salary structure in public and private sector with reasonable features of relativity and maximum levels which are in consonance with the national economy.”
It is in this sense that we feel strongly that our acceptable minimum wage must be done in such a way that total personnel cost does not exceed 50 per cent of the revenue available to each State.
Governors, therefore, agreed to pay a national minimum wage of N22,500.
Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar
Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum