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Govs Hold Crucial Meeting over SWF, Minimum Wage

29 Sep 2011

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Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala 

By Chuks Okocha 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Wednesday held a meeting to take a final decision on the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), Excess Crude Proceeds, security challenges and the implementation of the Minimum Wage Act in the country.

As at press time, the meeting which was still going on was expected to take a final decision on the controversial SWF and weigh the option of seeking redress at the Supreme Court to determine its constitutionality.

But perhaps to dissuade the governors from the legal option or opposition to the fund, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, arrived the Asokoro district venue of the meeting last night, and eventually addressed the governors on the SWF issue as well as the proceeds from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).

Although it was not clear how the governors reacted to her address, THISDAY checks revealed that they had invited her to educate them on the controversial SWF which is meant to encourage saving of a certain percentage of oil revenue in case of future shocks.

Already, the governors have assembled a team of lawyers led by former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, and Ricky Tafa, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to challenge SWF in court.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, had on Tuesday called on the governors that are against the operations of the SWF to approach the court for redress.

Tambuwal had said: “The Sovereign Wealth Fund is a law of the federation passed by an Act of the National Assembly duly assented into law by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore anyone that has any grouse against the operations of this Act should seek redress from the court and in this case, the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi also said Tuesday that the problem of SWF was about trust, as the governors were afraid of misappropriation of the fund.

Governor, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State had at the meeting of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) last week, queried the rationale behind the SWF, asking why the governors should not be allowed to save their money.

Also, part of the agenda at the meeting is the Minimum Wage Act. The Deputy Chairman of the NGF, Obi, had queried the rationale behind using over 75 per cent of the state resources to pay the salaries of less than 50,000 workers, despite other demanding challenges facing the state.

Also on the agenda is the worrisome issue of insecurity in the country.

Almost all the governors were in attendance. It is believed that the outcome of the meeting will form the agenda of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting initially scheduled for today at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

However, the NEC meeting may have been shifted till next week on account of the 51st anniversary celebrations.

Tags: Featured, Governors, Minimum Wage, News, Nigeria, SWF

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  • Give them what they pay politicians and we shall have money in abundance

    From: Ernieduff

    Posted: 3 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • God bless Nigeria. Nigerians. I want to appeal to federal government to please look eye into the issue of rumuekpe criss in Emohua local government of rivers state. A community that has so many resources. but now the people of rumuekpe are not benefiting from the oil. I appeal to federal govt

    From: Victor amadi

    Posted: 3 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • What are we still celebrating in this country of ours? can someone please tell me?

    From: Asebayo

    Posted: 3 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • Mr Peter Obi of Anambra State is objecting the payment of 18000 naira minimium wage, when ordinary primary six councillor is receiving more than a 100,000 naira monthly plus other allowances. i don't really blame the so called Governors.

    From: Theo Ogbobe, Abuja

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • Let all the governors that are against minimum wages should let Nigerians know what they are earning and other political leaders. Just within a year they will build houses and buy cars. This is the time for them to reduce their extravant spending. What about security vote that no body can question?Governors the earlier you people pay the minimum wages the better for you and your family. Enogh is enough allow Nigeria workers to get their entitlement. God bless Nigeria workers.

    From: Joesph

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • it is well

    From: esther for life

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • Very few of the Governors know what they are doing to better the lives of the people the rest are just in office to loot with their families.

    From: Nihuma Takwi

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • where is that man's eye ? I mean the alhaji besides Ngozi Okonjo Iweala ?????? In her Milk producer or what ? Let the Will of God be done in Nigeria...in Christ's name I pray,AMEN.

    From: anak anom

    Posted: 3 years ago

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