in ,

Governors Set Wage Limit at ₦70,000: NGF’s Decision Sparks Debate

Governors are not considering a minimum wage that is higher than N70,000, it was learnt last night.
At a meeting yesterday in Abuja, the state helmsmen reviewed the economic situation and concluded that anything above N70,000 will not be affordable and sustainable.

They ruled out the N100,000 option being dangled by some people.

Sources at the meeting said the governors, who met under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), considered options between N60,000 offered to Labour by the Federal Government before the strike, and N70,000, which is what the Edo State Government has started paying.

Having failed to reach a consensus on a uniform amount, a committee headed by Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma was set up.

Uzodimma is the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) – governors elected on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Yesterday’s position of the governors is in line with a previous statement by Chairman of NGF and Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq that states will only agree to a minimum wage that is “affordable and sustainable”.

A source at the meeting said: “After deliberation on the minimum wage, we decided to consider options between N60,000 and N70,000 a month. We could not reach a concrete decision on the wage rate for states.

“Eventually, a committee, to be led by Governor Uzodimma, was mandated to look at all presentations and make recommendations.

“The NGF will soon reconvene to consider the Uzodimma Committee report.”

The source added: “No state can afford to pay a N100,000 minimum wage and we have ruled out this benchmark.

“Records available to us indicated that some states are still paying N18,000 because they are unable to afford N30,000 (which came into effect in 2019). Only a state has adopted a N70, 000 wage.”

No N105,000 proposal, says Presidency

The Presidency debunked claims that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, submitted a N105,000 new minimum wage proposal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The President met yesterday with Edun after an audience with an International Finance Corporation (IFC) team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

It was gathered that Edun submitted the proposal for a new wage for the least-paid Nigerian worker to the President.

However, reports published by some online media platforms claimed that the minister proposed N105,000.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, described the N105,000 proposal as false.

“The Honorable 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”, Onanuga wrote on his verified X (formerly Twitter) handle.

New minimum wage: Edun takes cost implications to Tinubu

A fresh wage offer by the Federal Government may be tabled today before the tripartite committee negotiating a new national salary scale.

The possibility follows a meeting between the President and Finance Minister.

Edun was accompanied to the meeting by Information and National Orientation Minister Mohammed Idris and Budget and National Planning Minister Atiku Bagudu.

Although the Finance Minister merely told reporters after the meeting that there was ‘’no cause for alarm,’’ a source said he presented and discussed the template and the cost implications of the new wage proposal to the President.

The Finance minister was believed to have outlined the costs of new wage across all levels of government workers and the anticipated fiscal impacts of each option on the national budget.

“A lot of things are contained in the report or template he presented to the President, especially what a new wage will cost the government at every grade level in relation to our income and budget.

‘’A team will scrutinise the report after which the President will direct that it be presented before the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage.

“And I am sure the presentation before the committee will be done tomorrow (today).

“You will recall that the President was clear when he gave the instruction on Tuesday,’’ the source added.

At their meeting eight days ago, the Federal Government and the Organised Private Sector increased their initial offers to N60,000. Labour rejected it but further cut its initial demand of N615,000 to N494,000.

The intervention by the Presidency led to the signing of an agreement between the government and labour, part of which is that the government will be committed to paying more than N60,000 as minimum wage.

That ended terminated the strike after only one day.

Like Wednesday, not much was achieved by the tripartite committee yesterday.

A member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Nation that they were awaiting the template which would have formed the crux of their deliberations.

He, however, said the panel broke into sub-committees to deliberate on how to conclude talks on the new wage.

Yesterday’s meeting was attended by Edun, Bagudu, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and Uzodinma.

Speaking to reporters, Uzodimma expressed optimism that an agreement on minimum wage could be reached to today.

He said: “I am sure we will reach some concrete agreement when we reconvene tomorrow. That will form what will be presented to the plenary (National Assembly).

“It is not about the amount. We are taking a holistic approach. Wages should be anchored around our capacity to generate revenue and the sovereignty of the country is important to all of us.

“It is not about the workers. It is about Nigeria- our nation. We have obligations as citizens to work with the government of the day to ensure that all parties are satisfied.”

What do you think?

Written by Joe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Outrage Erupts Online: Netizens Slam Reno Omokri Over Controversial Post on Yam-Cutting Culture in Nigeria

Peter Obi Clarifies: ‘I Remain a Loyal Member of Labour Party’ Amid Defection Rumors