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June 14, 2024

As governors say they can’t pay N60k minimum wage, by Adekunle Adekoya

As governors say they can’t pay N60k minimum wage, by Adekunle Adekoya

LAST weekend, their imperial excellencies, the state governors, finally spoke on the minimum wage, an issue that appears to be a huge threat to industrial harmony in the country in the foreseeable future.

The Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, said that the N60,000 minimum wage proposal is not sustainable and cannot fly, saying that if they try it, a few states will end up borrowing to pay workers every month as they do not think this will be in the collective interest of the country, including workers.

According to them, if they sustain the proposed N60 minimum wage by the Federal Government, it would result in many states spending all their Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, allocations on just paying salaries with nothing left for development purposes.

The statement read: “The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) agrees that a new minimum wage is due. The Forum also sympathises with labour unions in their push for higher wages.

“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 cautions parties in this important discussion to look beyond just signing a document for the sake of it; any agreement to be signed should be sustainable and realistic.

“All things considered, 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. A few states will end up borrowing to pay workers every month. We do not think this will be in the collective interest of the country, including workers.

“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 a legitimate claim to public resources.” I am still wondering why none of the governors ( except Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo who is already paying N70,000) deemed it necessary to be part of the negotiations. The representatives of the governors, namely: Mohammed Bago of Niger; Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Umar Radda of   Katsina, Charles Soludo of Anambra, Ademola Adeleke of Osun, and Bassey Otu of Cross River shunned meetings of the Tripartite Committee on the New Minimum Wage till the committee adjourned, only for the Governors Forum to come out and declare inability to pay N60,000.  Who agreed on N60k with who? Makes no sense to me at all. They should have been there to drive the negotiations. From the NGF statement, it looked like the state governors and the Federal Government are working the same script. While Labour has rejected claims by the President on the minimum wage, saying there was no agreement, I  have a strong feeling that the road ahead, in terms of industrial harmony, is going to be bumpy, unless national interest and the interest of the suffering masses of Nigeria, guide the thinking of those in the Labour movement and the politicians running our affairs. Let’s wait and see.

FEEDBACK

On reversion to the old Anthem

Dear Sir, 

I thank the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal matters for their good work. I also thank Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno North), Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele; Senator Jimoh Ibrahim (APC, Ondo South); the Senate President for their wonderful contribution. Indeed all members of both Green and Red Chambers for this monumental change.

The confab of 2014 (10 years ago) recommended this change. But timid men and women in the Red and Green Chambers could not change it.

  The late Justice Kutigi and Professor Akinyemi, Senator Chief E.K. Clark sang this anthem to close the confab of 2014.

Therefore all praise to our President Tinubu who is able to do what people who claim to be great could not do. Tinubu is just a wonderful great leader you can never understand. I am not a politician, so I was amused when great writers like Amaechi and Adekoya of Vanguard newspapers were negative on the comeback of this great National Anthem (See Vanguard, Thursday 30th, and Friday 31st May pages 17, 18).

I want to advise Adekoya that some of these SANS messed Nigeria up. So please disregard the dangerous opinion of Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN. He is not and never more knowledgeable than the 600 men and women of Confab 2014. He is never better than the men and women in the Red and Green Chambers. I must confess to you that for the period I was principal of colleges, I taught the content of this anthem in literature classes and sang it in the Assembly Halls.

The Anthem is very poetic and rich in words and meaning. Thank God the uninspiring, un-poetic, sadistic Anthem has been abrogated by Tinubu.

Great men and women in the National Assembly and BIG BROTHER BOLA please use the same way you gave us this Anthem to give us the 18 new states created/suggested by Confab 2014. Also same way give us light, food, fuel. God bless Tinubu and our men and women in the Chambers.

Prince Churchill Owamiyemi Oki (JP)

Dear Sir,

l share your worries and concerns. But misinforming the reader of your priced column using “Emir Sanusi’s warped remuneration of NASS members is intellectual laziness. NASS budget goes beyond 469 elected members — NASC, BUREAUCRATS, LEGISLATIVE AIDES, PCC, LEGISLATIVE INSTITUTE and APU, etc, all drawing salaries and allowances. RMAFC has an approved remuneration for all categories of elected officials. Granted our legislators are more of enemies than representatives of the masses, distortion of facts will diminish us before advanced democracies. Pls rework your algebra for proper accounting. 

Hon. Ngozika lhuoma, Abuja