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Published On: Tue, Jan 1st, 2019

States will pay N22,500 minimum wage -Govs

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By Ese Awhotu

The Nigeria Governors Forum has said states will pay a minimum wage of N22,500 instead of the N30,000 being agitated for by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.
The Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, said the N30,000 minimum wage demand of labour unions is “neither realistic nor sustainable,”
However, the Forum said any governor who can pay more than N22,500 is free to do so.
The Forum also said insinuations by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that its members were unwilling to pay N30,000 minimum wage were untrue, adding that its members were willing but unable to meet the demand of the workers’ union.
The NGF said a report titled “Minimum Wage: NLC wants governors who diverted bailouts probed” is an attempt by the leadership of the NLC to steer the public away from the promise by President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute another committee to review the minimum wage impasse.
The Head, Media and Public Affairs of NGF, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, disclosed this in a statement released to the media yesterday.
Recall the NLC and its affiliates have insisted on a new minimum wage of N30,000 to replace the current N18,000 being paid to workers as minimum wage.
Negotiations between the federal government and the workers unions have ended up in deadlock as state governments have said they would not be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage.
Following the deadlock in negotiations, the NLC has somewhat backout in any further negotiation of the N30,000, insisting that all President Muhammadu Buhari needs to do is send a bill to parliament for a N30,000 minimum wage.
Recall that members of the House of Representatives had warned of an impending nationwide strike by workers if the Federal Government does not consider increasing the minimum wage to N30,000.
The current minimum wage of N18,000 came into effect in 2011.
However, seven years after, the lawmakers said in Abuja that no Nigerian worker could survive on a monthly wage of N18,000.
The members, at a session presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, passed a resolution urging the government to implement its wage review plans immediately amid the threats of a nationwide strike by labour unions.
The motion was moved by a former oil and gas union leader, Mr. Peter Akpatason, a member of the All Progressives Congress from Edo State.
However, while there were speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari had endorsed the N30,000 minimum wage, the presidency frowned at misinterpretation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s remarks when he received the report of the Tripartite Committee on the Review of National Minimum Wage from the committee’s chairman, Amal Pepple, stating that President Buhari had expressed his commitment to ensuring the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage.
“But the president’s speech at the event was immediately made available to the media and nowhere indicated that the president endorsed N30,000 Minimum wage.
“It is not the duty of the president only to endorse a new national minimum wage. The process involves the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Assembly.
“It is imperative for us to always avoid misinterpreting a written speech,’’ the presidency said.
It would be recalled that President Buhari had pledged that the Federal Government would soon transmit an Executive bill (on National Minimum Wage) to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.
He said: “Our plan is to transmit the Executive bill to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.
“I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.’’
Buhari also expressed delight that the committee had successfully completed its assignment in a peaceful and non-controversial manner.

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