Why Nigerian Governors Are Not Excited About Minimum Wage
Nigeria's National Minimum Wage is 18,000 Naira, but not every worker in the nation gets alert for this amount every month.
Some have not been paid for months running while others have received between 25 to 30 per cent of their salaries monthly.
While the non-payment of salaries has persisted in most states, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is pushing for a raise and they want 30,000 Naira as the new minimum wage. But that amount for many economists is humongous when compared with states revenue generation abilities.
Most states have been unwavering in their reliance on crude oil revenue allocation.
So on Wednesday, October 17th, Nigerian governors opened up as to whether they can pay the proposed minimum wage.
They had at the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) meeting held in Abuja, discussed the upward review of the minimum wage.
After that meeting, the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, told reporters that the issue was not just on an agreed figure to be paid by the governors, but the “ability or resources to take care of that agreed minimum wage".
Yari said that the forum had made it clear that the governors were not against any upward review of salaries or against the NLC to get minimum wage reviewed.
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“But, the problem of state is the capacity to pay what is agreed.
"As we are talking today, we are struggling with 18,000 Naira.
"Some of the states are paying 35%, some 50% and still some states have salary arrears.
“So, it is not about only reviewing it but how we are going to get the resources to cater for it.”
Yari added that the National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, was invited to brief the forum on states performance in the use of London and Paris Club refunds.
The Federal Government disbursed the fund to states with the condition to use larger percentage of the money to pay workers’ salaries.
He said while some states had recorded some progress in line with the condition they signed with the Federal Government, others were still owing arrears.