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We can’t afford N18,000 minimum wage, says Fayemi

By Gbenga Ariyibi
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said the state government does not have enough resources to pay the N18,000 minimum wage recently approved by the National Council of State, saying the state government would re-negotiate with the labour leaders on the acceptable minimum wage to be paid the state workers.

The governor in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant, SSA, on Media, Mr Mojeed Jamiu, said most governors were not taken along before the council approved the N18,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The statement read in parts,“but one of the challenges we are facing is that the resources are not available to cater for the need of workers and when they are available, they are lopsided. In our own case, we will always be supportive of every effort to improve the earning of workers, but we also know that there are challenges. One of the key challenges that we face is the unequal revenue allocation formula.

You cannot ask a state like Ekiti to meet the current obligation we have been asked to pursue without a corresponding increase in the resources that come to the state. Right now Ekiti pays at least N1.7 billion monthly as its wage bill every month and we receive about N2.5 billion from the Federation Account.

“So, once we tell the workers in a transparent manner, that this is what comes to the state, if we increase the wage bill from what it is now to what has just been approved, the options will be clear to us. We will jointly take decision to pursue it because for us the real problem is the diminishing power of the wage of our citizenry. If the purchasing power is adequate, there won’t be need for an increase.

N18000 is not enough money. By my calculation, it is about 120 dollars and I don’t think that is too much for any worker to earn, but the challenges we face cannot even be attended to by that limited amount of money. We have to realize that majority of the workers are at the local level.


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