Poor Attendance Forces Govs to Cancel Meeting over Minimum Wage

Abdulaziz Yari

• Amaechi meets APC governors

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The scheduled meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) over the new Minimum Wage controversy could not hold Wednesday due to poor attendance.

However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors used the opportunity to hold consultations with the Minister of Transportation and Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.

As at 6 p.m when the meeting was supposed to have commenced, only five of the governors were present.

The governors who were in attendance were those of Bauchi, Niger, Jigawa, Adamawa and Zamfara States. Four states—Enugu, Katsina, Nasarawa and Kaduna were however represented by their deputies.

THISDAY gathered that the meeting, which had the issue of new minimum wage as its major agenda, failed to hold for lack of a quorum.

A source at the NGF secretariat said the meeting had to be shifted because most of the governors did not attend.

According to the source, most of the governors who did not attend, blamed their absence on their busy campaign schedules in their states.

The source could not give a clue on when next the governors will be meeting to trash out the nagging issue of new minimum wage for workers.

The Chairman of the NGF and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, directed a staff of the secretariat to inform journalists about the cancelation of the meeting.

None of the governors who came for the meeting was willing to speak to journalists.

At the last meeting of the NGF, the 36 states governors rejected the N30,000 new minimum wage being proposed by the tripartite committee.

Instead, the governors insisted to pay N22,500, blaming their inability to pay N30,000 on the harsh economic situation in most of the states.

Meanwhile, Yari and other APC governors who came for the NGF meeting went into a closed-door discussion with Amaechi.

Although details of the meeting were not disclosed, THISDAY learnt that issues relating to the APC’s strategies for the forthcoming elections were discussed.

According to a source, Amaechi’s presence at the NGF may have been at the instance of the Zamfara State governor.