Minimum Wage: We Are Working On What We Can Pay Sustainably – Govs

Minimum Wage: We Are Working On What We Can Pay Sustainably – Govs

Minimum Wage: We Are Working On What We Can Pay Sustainably – Govs
Minimum Wage: We Are Working On What We Can Pay Sustainably – Govs

Minimum Wage: We Are Working On What We Can Pay Sustainably – Govs

While the conversations for a new minimum wage for workers in Nigeria rages on, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum says it is yet to conclude work on what the states can sustainably pay.

A statement issued by the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, noted that as members of the 37-member tripartite committee for the national minimum wage which is yet to conclude its work, “the governors are reviewing their fiscal space to see the consequential impact of the various recommendations.”

“While we acknowledge various initiatives adopted of recent by way of wage awards and partial wage adjustments, it is imperative to state that the 37-member tripartite committee inaugurated on the national minimum wage, is still in consultation and yet to conclude its work.

“As members of the committee, we are reviewing our individual fiscal space as state governments and the read in part.

consequential impact of various recommendations, to arrive at an improved minimum wage we can pay sustainably,” the statement.

However, the governors said they remain committed to the process and promised that better wages will be the invariable outcome of ongoing negotiations.

“We remain committed to the process and promise that better wages will be the invariable outcome of ongoing negotiations”.

Meanwhile, the organised labour has submitted a proposal of N615,000 monthly minimum wage for workers, urging the federal government to approve same.

States can pay proposed N615,000

Even though many have wondered if the new demand by the workers is sustainable, the labour unions have maintained that their N615,000 demand which is a huge leap from the current N30,000 minimum wage is justifiable considering the present economic realities of the country.

According to the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, the ability of the governors to pay the newly-proposed minimum wage will depend on them setting their priorities right.

Ajaero, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, dismissed claims that some states will struggle to pay such amount if approved.

“Well, I think we need to understand the issue of ability to pay and the issue of not getting the priority right now,” Ajaero said.

“Most of the states that have shown a willingness to pay are not among those that are getting the highest revenue. Even during the time of General Muhammadu Buhari, some states were declared as not having enough money to pay and he released funds for them to pay, those states still went ahead and refused to pay.

Now, it’s not a question of whether the quantum of money they have or not is what they decide to do with such money. If they get their priority right, then a lot can happen.”

Suggesting that states should go into mechanised agriculture among others, the NLC Chairman believes self-sufficiency in food production will help Nigeria fight the biting economy.

“Remember I told you before that if we do what we are supposed to do in terms of what is expected of us as a government and as people and we’re able to check inflation, check all other indices; check the cost of foodstuff; go into massive agriculture; have a kind of self-sufficiency in the nation, then we will pay less attention to the quantum to hundreds and of millions and thousands,” Ajaero said.

New Minimum Wage To Take Effect May 1

The expectations of the Nigerians workers for the announcement of a new minimum wage by the government was not met as the tripartite committee on new minimum wage is yet to conclude its work. However, the Federal Government assured the workers that a new minimum wage, whenever it is agreed, will take effect from May 1, 2024.

The Minister of State Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, gave the assurance on Wednesday while addressing Nigerian workers at the May Day celebration in Abuja.

She said it is regrettable that the new national minimum wage is not ready before today, but that a wide consultation is ongoing to ensure that the document is out together as soon as possible.

The organised labour has, however, handed the Federal Government May 31 deadline to come up with a realistic and reasonable new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

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