NIGERIAN Governors Forum (NGF) has agreed to start paying the new minimum wage of N30,000 a month as from January after holding a meeting in Abuja where its members accepted that they are now legally obliged to honour the new figure.
Earlier this year, after months of intense negotiations, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to implement the new national minimum wage after accepting the report of the Tripartite Committee on the Review of National Minimum Wage. This was after the senate passed a bill approving the new minimum wage and the president signed the bill into law in April.
Some state governors had complained that they would struggle to pay the new wage but after meeting in Abuja, the NGF said all 36 states have pledged to honour the new figure. NGF chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, said, however, that the amounts paid will not be uniform as while some states can pay up to N50,000, some will pay less but everyone will agree to the minimum of N30,000.
Governor Fayemi added: “Minimum wage is not on our agenda because it a settled matter and governors have all indicated without any equivocation that we subscribe to the act of Parliament that has been passed on the 30,000 minimum wage. There is no debate, we have accepted that.
“If the Nigerian Labour Congress is not fully aware of the status of the negotiations in the various states, we will be happy to share the information with us with them but as far as we are concerned, there is no decision in the NGF to back-track from the minimum wage. However, fingers are not equal, states have to negotiate in terms of the consequential implementation.
“There may be states that are in a position to N50,000. What we can tell you is that no state we pay less than N30,000 when we finally get to that point.”