The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Tuesday agreed to pay a national minimum wage of N22,500, equivalent to $60 united states dollar up from the existing N18,000.
The governors said this Tuesday after an emergency meeting of the 36 states Governor in Abuja.
The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Yari disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the end of its 2nd emergency meeting held in Abuja.
Yari said that the decision was arrived at after a briefing from the forum representatives at the Tripartite Committee.
The governors are not comfortable with the figure being proposed by the federal government on the ground that some states are still struggling to pay N18,000. Organised labour are insisting on N30,000, while N24,000 is the figure proposed by the federal government. The governors last night insisted that the minimum wage must be handled in such a way that total personnel cost does not exceed 50% of the revenue available to each state.
Organised Labour yesterday insisted that there is no going back on its planned nationwide strike slated for November 6, warning vehemently that it can no longer guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the country.
The workers also threatened that they will vote out governors who refuse to support the N30, 000 for a new minimum wage.
The workers, during a protest held across the country, insisted that the federal and state governments have the capacity to pay N30,000 as a new minimum wage.
In Abuja, the protesting workers carried placards with inscriptions, ‘No minimum wage, No work from Nov. 6’, ‘minimum wage of N30, 000 not negotiable’, ‘minimum wage will boost Nigerian economy’, ‘no minimum wage, no vote’, ‘upward review of minimum wage will not trigger inflation’, ‘Ngige and governors do not own Nigeria; Nigeria belongs to all workers’, among others.
Full statement by Mr Yari 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