Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The senator representing Borno South senatorial district, Ali Ndume, has said the new minimum wage should be N40,000, instead of the proposed N30,000.
The senator said this yesterday when he featured on News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
Ndume dismissed claims by governors that states cannot pay the proposed amount, adding that it should be accepted and implemented.
The tripartite committee on the minimum wage review had recommended the figure in its report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on November 6.
But the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said the amount was unrealistic, adding that they can only afford to pay N22,500.
Commenting on the matter, Ndume said: “When the governors literally say they cannot pay, I just don’t want to agree with that.
“If you say you can’t pay, how and why? I was thinking that the argument would be backed by facts.
“You know on the average what you get on monthly basis, you know your wage bill, and then you put it up to N30,000 and then put the figures.
“I don’t know the constitutionality of this, but I think that the minimum wage should be N40,000.”
Ndume, however, said the new minimum wage should be realistic based on the capacity of state governments.
“Don’t forget that the labour force of Nigeria is less than one per cent of the population, and whatever the state gets is for the whole state, not for only workers,” he noted.
“So, if you say you take the whole money the state gets and pay workers with it, it is also not fair. So, I think there should be balance in this.”
The senator added that there is a need to
reform the civil service without necessarily retrenching or downsizing the workforce.