Governors in Nigeria have described as unpatriotic the insistence of the Nigeria Labour Congress that N30,000 was the least it would accept as the national minimum wage. 

They added that it was an attempt to hold President Muhammadu Buhari and the nation to ransom.

The governors, however, said they would have loved to pay the N30,000 minimum wage being demanded by workers, but regretted that paucity of funds would not allow them to do so.

They also said that they were not under any obligation to open their books to the NLC, but had been doing so to show transparency in the running of affairs of their states.

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The governors, under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, made their position known in a statement they issued on Monday through the Head, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, in Abuja.

They said that the claim by the NLC by its Secretary General, Peter Eson, that governors were merely refusing to pay the N30,000 national minimum wage, was not true.

Bello-Barkindo described Eson’s assertion as “not only mischievous, but misleading and made in bad faith.”

He said, “Governors have collectively made it abundantly clear that they would have been happy to pay workers the N30,000 but times are hard and because of financial constraints and other limitations, many states cannot afford it, for now."

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