Governors reject N60,000 minimum wage

State governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) say the N60,000 minimum wage for workers is not sustainable.

In a statement issued on Friday, June 7, by Halimah Salihu Ahmed, the director of media and public affairs for NGF, the governors said the proposed minimum wage of N60,000 “cannot fly”.

The governors argue that they would have nothing left to pursue developmental projects as all their allocations would be spent on paying salaries.

“However, the Forum urges all parties to consider the fact that the minimum wage negotiations also involve consequential adjustments across all cadres, including pensioners. The NGF cautions parties in this important discussion to look beyond just signing a document for the sake of it; any agreement to be signed should be sustainable and realistic.

All things considered, the NGF holds that the N60,000 minimum wage proposal is not sustainable and cannot fly. A few states will end up borrowing to pay workers every month. We do not think this will be in the collective interest of the country, including workers.

We appeal that all parties involved, especially the labour unions, consider all the socioeconomic variables and settle for an agreement that is sustainable, durable, and fair to all other segments of society who have legitimate claims to public resources.”

The Labour unions on Monday, June 3, embarked on a nationwide strike as they push home their demand for a living wage. Labour had proposed N615,500 and then N494,000 as the new national minimum wage, which the government said was unrealistic.

The strike was suspended on Tuesday, June 4 for negotiations on a new minimum wage. At a meeting between leaders of the labour and representatives of the government, George Akume, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), said Tinubu is committed to a national minimum wage higher than N60,000 but the state Governors are now contesting this.

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