- Minimum wage, stamp duties on agenda
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The governors of the 36 states in Nigeria met wednesday night in Abuja to deliberate on the issues that led to the deadlock of the last meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in Abuja.
It was gathered that the governors who met under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) would be expected to agree on a common agenda to be tabled before the National Economic Council (NEC) tomorrow, to be presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The forum under the chairmanship of Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, also met with the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, to discuss the contentious issue of minimum wage implementation as well as the issue of stamp duties, which is currently in court.
For the third time in a row, the FAAC meeting was deadlocked as the state commissioners for finance rejected the revenue put on the table by revenue agencies.
FAAC members had resolved not to accept the allocations for the month until a clear system of determining the revenue of the Federation revenue was put in place.
The governors also discussed the update on the recovery of stamp duties, which was another subject of controversy as the states claimed the amount due to states had not been remitted.
The governors had in April set up a three-man committee to investigate the alleged N20 trillion unremitted stamp duty funds to the Federation Account.
The committee, which was chaired by Govenor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state governor, had Governors Emmanuel Udom and Abubakar Bello, of Akwa Ibom and Niger States, respectively, as members.
On January 15, 2016, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had issued circular directing banks to deduct N50 stamp duty on every N1,000 deposit made into current accounts.
In 2017, the senate alleged that N20 trillion due to be paid into the Federation Account from stamp duty charges realised from bank transactions was withheld between 2015 and 2017.
The senate said projections for stamp duty in 2015, 2016 and 2017 revenue frameworks of the nation’s annual budget were put at N8.713 billion, N66.138 billion and N16.96 billion.
On the minimum wage being proposed by the government and the labour, the governors were insisting on staggering the implementation of the new wage if approved.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was proposing a minimum wage of N65,000 for workers.
The governors are also had on the agenda for discussion the issue of the last tranche of the Paris Club refund and the states that are yet to get payment.