Minimum Wage: Let states pay according to ability, Southern govs say

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Governors from the southern region, under the aegis of the Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF), have agreed that each state will pay the new minimum wage according to its ability.

The Southern Governors made this known in a communique issued at the end of their meeting on Monday, June 25, 2024, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The SGF called for the consideration of the cost of living and the ability of each state to pay the new minimum wage. They also advocated that each state in the southern part of Nigeria be allowed to negotiate the new wage with the labour unions.

In their 16-point communique, the forum called for the strengthening of fiscal federalism and devolution of powers. The Southern Governors corroborated the National Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon. Aminu Muazu-Maifata, on the new minimum wage.

Muazu-Maifata recently said on Channels Television’s Business Morning segment of the Sunrise Daily breakfast programme that local governments cannot afford to pay ₦62,000 as a minimum wage. He also suggested that an affordable minimum wage should be set and not something unsustainable like the ₦250,000 proposed by Labour.

“The local government administrations in the country cannot afford the proposed minimum wage by the Organised Labour,” he said. “With the present allocation from the Federal Accounts, no local government administration can pay workers the ₦62,000 minimum wage proposal by the Federal Government, let alone the ₦250,000 demand of the Organised Labour.

“Some local governments have not started paying their workers ₦30,000, which was approved as the minimum wage in 2019. You can see that in many local councils across the country, workers are still being paid the former ₦18,000 minimum wage.

“As far as I am concerned, an affordable minimum wage should be set and not something unsustainable.”

Muazu-Maifata also called on the federal government to start the process of an upward review of federal allocation to the 774 local councils across Nigeria.

According to him, this would enable the local governments to pay the proposed ₦62,000 national minimum wage.

Source: The Guardian

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