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News Flash: Governors Reject N60,000 Minimum Wage

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Governors at an NGF meeting. Photo: Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

Governors of the 36 states of federation have unanimously opposed the Federal Government’s proposed minimum wage, citing concerns over its feasibility and economic impact.

The Director, Media and Public Affairs of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Halimah Salihu Ahmed, announced the governors’ position in a statement issued on Friday.

The governors argued that the proposed wage is unrealistic and unsustainable, warning that its implementation would force several states to resort to borrowing to meet salary obligations.

“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is in agreement that a new minimum wage is due.

“However, the Forum urges all parties to consider the fact that the minimum wage negotiations also involve consequential adjustments across all cadres, including pensioners.

“The NGF holds that the N60,000 minimum wage proposal is not sustainable and cannot fly.

“It will simply mean that many states will spend all their FAAC allocations on just paying salaries with nothing left for development purposes.”

While acknowledging the necessity of a new minimum wage, the forum stressed the importance of considering the broader socioeconomic implications of such a decision.

The governors said, “We appeal that all parties involved, especially the labour unions, consider all the socioeconomic variables and settle for an agreement that is sustainable, durable, and fair to all other segments of the society who have legitimate claim to public resources.”

The forum urged all parties involved to prioritise “sustainability in the ongoing negotiations, cautioning against hastily signing agreements that could strain state finances.

According to the NGF, a balanced and fair resolution is essential to ensure the collective welfare of all segments of society, including workers and pensioners.

The Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and their affiliates have been advocating for a substantial increase in the minimum wage to address the rising cost of living and improve the standard of living for workers.

Despite series of meetings held between government and labour, things reached a boiling point on Monday when organised labour declared a nationwide strike to press for their demands.

Although the strike was called off on Tuesday, there are fears that organised labour may reintroduce the nationwide strike.

Although organised labour made a demand for a N615,000 monthly minimum wage initially, it showed a willingness to settle for a considerably less minimum wage.

On the other hand, the government and employers have expressed concerns about the affordability and practicality of meeting labour’s demands.

During the week, the president reportedly committed that government would pay a minimum wage that is not less than N60,000.

Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, had issued a terse statement on X.com, on Thursday, to debunk the widely reported N105,000 minimum wage proposal reportedly submitted to the president by the finance minister, Wale Edun.

He wrote, “The Honourable Minister of Finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Wale Edun has not proposed N105,000 minimum wage. The contrary story being disseminated is false.”

The reports that made the round claimed that Edun, in a meeting with Tinubu and Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, had tabled the proposal.

The meeting between Tinubu, Edun and Bagudu had fuelled expectations of an imminent announcement regarding the new minimum wage.

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