The federal government and state governors are yet to agree on a common figure as the minimum wage.
The Economic Management Team, EMT, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met with representatives of the governors on Monday, October 29, 2018, towards taking position on the new minimum wage which the organised labour is insisting on N30,000.
The governors at the meeting on Monday had requested to meet on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, under the platform of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum, NGF, in order to critically analyse the memo from the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and finally take a common stand.
But there was indication on Monday that the governors were not in agreement with the Federal Government over the figure for the new minimum wage.
Stressing that state governments were willing to pay any amount demanded by the workers as minimum wage, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, while speaking with State House correspondents, said that their main challenge could be the capacity to pay.
According to him, the meeting was for the government side to look at the bottleneck on the minimum wage with the organised labour.
He said, “The position of the governors is not very clear to some of you. We are willing to pay any amount but the issue is the capacity to pay.”
The meeting, he said, discussed the proposal made by the organised labour and the figure proposed by the Federal Government, adding that “the governors still haven’t come out with any figure.”
“So by Tuesday, we are going to discuss with our governors on the bill by the Minister of Labour and Employment to the NGF Secretariat.
“We will digest it and come up with our own positions as governors because we are critical stakeholders on this issue.” he said
A reliable source from the meeting said that the governors were not comfortable with the N24,000 proposal by the Federal Government and would likely come up with their own figure after meeting today.
According to him, the governors were furious with the N24,000 being proposed when some governors were unable to pay the current N18,000.
Chris Ngige, the minister of labour, said the meeting had a fruitful deliberation.
He said, “We held a meeting for us to bring out modalities for us to respond to the emerging problems thrown up by the National Minimum wage Committee and we have very fruitful meeting which necessitated in governors having further meeting on Tuesday.
“We will reconvene on Tuesday to brief the Economic Management Team and the Vice president and we take it up from there.
“The governors will meet to take a position and brief the Economic Management Team. This meeting is only for the Tripartite Committee of the government side.” he said