The declaration of state governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum that they could only afford to pay N22, 500 as minimum wage is being met with disapproval by the federal government.
“After all, 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 examine the salary structure in public and private sectors 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. Govermors, therefore, agreed to pay a national minimum wage of N22, 500,” NGF Chairman, Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari had said on Tuesday while addressing the media after a meeting of the governors.
However, reacting to the governors’ proposal on Wednesday in an interview with Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Chris Ngige, said “The governors have not even done enough. I told them that this N22,500 is even rejected by the Federal Government.”
Continued: “The national minimum wage is a national legislation being driven by the Federal Government of Nigeria in pursuance to item 34 of the Exclusive Legislative list. “But you don’t go and make a law which people will disobey at the initial stage. If you make a law and fix a figure that is not agreeable, and people don’t have the capacity or ability to pay, then it is nullity.
“This is because the International Labour Organisation, ILO, says in those negotiations, the principle is the ability to pay.”