Governors: Consequent Adjustment of Minimum Wage Depends on States’ Ability to Pay

Kayode Fayemi

By Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Governors of the 36 states of the federation under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have said that the consequential adjustment of the N30,000 minimum wage will depend on the ability and capacity of each state to pay.

This was the outcome of the over two hours meeting of the governors held in Abuja Monday.

Also, the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, is expected Wednesday to submit the report of the committee he chaired on the crude oil and other special reports to the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.

Briefing journalists after its meeting, the Chairman of the NGE and Ekiti State Governor Fayemi Kayode said that the governors “reviewed the current progress in the implementation of the Minimum Wage Law and resolved that consequential increments will depend on the capacity of each state government”.

Fayemi said that there would be consequential adjustment for the payment of the minimum wage.

According to him, “The FEC does not determine what happens in the states; states have their own State Executive Council and that is the highest decision-making body at the state level. The forum as the representative body of the states keenly followed what happened in the negotiations that led to that template.

“As far as we are concerned, the best the forum can do is to stick with what has been agreed with the states. States are part of the tripartite negotiations. States agreed to that N30,000 minimum wage increase. States also know that there will be consequential adjustment but that will be determined on what happened on the state-by-state basis because there are different number of workers at state level, there are different issues at the state level.

“Every state has its own trade union joint negotiating committee and they will have to hold discussion with their state governments.

“You know that the day after this agreement was reached with labour, I was on record and I made the position of the governors clear, that for us, this was a national minimum wage increase, not a general minimum wage review.

“Yes, that may necessitate consequential increment. We have no doubt about that but that is a matter for the states to discuss with their workers.”

Speaking on the other items of the communique, he said: “Following a health update by the NGF Secretariat, the governors commended the rapid response of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to nip the August 2019 yellow fever outbreak which broke out across the country. Members pledged to commit counterpart resources to strengthen mass vaccination campaigns in their respective states.

“Members commended the progress made by state governments through their Social Health Insurance Authorities to enroll and provide health insurance cover for citizens across the country.

“In the last one year, state governments have registered over two million people compared to five million Nigerians registered under the National Health Scheme over the last 14 years.

“Finally, the NGF remembered Dr. Stella Adedavoh, the physician who attended to Patient William Sawyer during the Ebola outbreak in 20I4 in Lagos State. Dr. Adedavoh died from the Ebola virus on 21 October, 2014, but her memory lives on with the dream of health care for all Nigerians.”

He also said that Kaduna State Governor el-Rufai will submit the report of crude oil and other special projects to the National Economic Council on Wednesday, being the body that set up the committee in the first place.

Fayemi, who said that the National Economic Council will Wednesday, added that the Governor el-Rufai ad hoc committee on excess crude account and other special account will submit its report Wednesday.