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Minimum Wage: Governors Commit To Paying ‘Better Wages’

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Governors from across Nigeria have affirmed their commitment to improving wages as negotiations with government, private sector, and organized labor continue.

The assurance came after the conclusion of the 7th meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held in Abuja on Wednesday.

In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, chaired by H.E. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Governor of Kwara State and Chairman of the NGF, the governors addressed various national issues and highlighted their collective efforts towards economic and social development.

The meeting featured discussions with key stakeholders, including the Acting Country Director of the World Bank, Mr. Taimur Samad, who briefed the governors on ongoing World Bank programs across Nigerian states aimed at enhancing human capital development, food security, and economic resilience.

Furthermore, the Forum received updates from Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy & Tax Reforms Committee, on progress regarding fiscal policy and tax reforms.

Governors pledged their support for these reforms, underscoring their importance in enhancing economic governance at the subnational level.

A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to deliberating on the New National Minimum Wage.

The governors reiterated their commitment to engaging with stakeholders to achieve a consensus that would lead to improved wages for Nigerian workers.

The communique emphasised their dedication to the negotiation process, aiming to secure better wages for the workforce across the country.

In a statement from the communique, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq stated, “The Forum discussed the New Minimum Wage. The governors agreed to continue engaging with key stakeholders to reach a mutually agreeable solution. We remain dedicated to the process and assure that better wages will result from the ongoing negotiations.”

The governors also discussed the implementation of the Nigeria for Women Project Scale-Up, stressing its importance in promoting gender equality and social development at the state level.

They acknowledged the role of the Ministry of Women Affairs in advancing these initiatives and committed to supporting its efforts across Nigeria.

The NGF meeting highlighted ongoing efforts by state governors to collaborate with federal institutions, international partners, and local stakeholders to address various challenges facing Nigeria. The discussions underscored a shared commitment to fostering inclusive growth and sustainable development nationwide.

Meteor Nigeria had reported the forum’s rejection of the N60,000 minimum wage proposal by the Federal Government.

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

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.

Their rejection followed the completion of the deliberations of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage.

The 37-man committee, inaugurated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was tasked with the responsibility of recommending a new national minimum wage for workers across both public and private sectors.

The committee’s formation, as per the provisions of the Minimum Wage Act of 2019, was the executive’s initiative to resolve the longstanding issue of minimum wage adjustment in Nigeria.

After months of deliberations, consultations, and data analysis, the committee concluded its assignment and formally submitted its report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday, 10th June 2024.

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