By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – As the controversy over calls by organized labour for a N56, 000 minimum wage rages on, the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has said states should be allowed to fix their wages according to their capabilities.
Oyegun said while the demand must be based on the economic realities on the ground and the ability to pay, the NLC should bear in mind that the cost of living is not the same in every part of the country.
The APC leader spoke on Tuesday during a brief interface with the media.
The Nigeria Labour Congress NLC had recently proposed N56, 000 as minimum wage for Nigerian workers. Some other unionists had also demanded N90, 000, as against the current N18, 000.
The APC chairman said: “As for the Labour situation, that is the matter for the executive. It is a matter for the economy and the executive at federal and state levels will have to consider the demand in line with their ability to pay and of course and in line with the reasonable demand so to speak of workers for improved condition.
“That is always what happens. But this must be based on the economic realities on the ground, the ability to pay. Perhaps to even demonstrate that this is not a central but a federal matter that states should be allowed to make their decisions base on their ability to pay. The cost of living is not the same in every part of the country.
“One state at least has broken ranks and made a decision which is just telling everybody, look, please every state should talk to your workers let them see and appreciate your ability to pay and then decide accordingly while the federal government would consider the realities also and take its decisions.”
Also reacting to delaying in appointment into different federal boards and parastatal, Oyegun said: “The only delay is the merger of ministries which brought a lot of questions as to whether board and the rest of them would not also be merged. So, these processes are being gone through and l give you the assurance that much sooner than later their announcement would start being made.”