The Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF,has said states would further dialogue with their workers on minimum wage given their individual peculiar challenges.
Rising from their meeting, on Monday, in Abuja, the governors said only the states could determine what they are able to pay their workers, thereby suggesting the N30,000 agreed upon might not be broadly implemented.
“The FEC does not determine what happens at the states. Each state has an executive council which is the highest decision-making organ in the state”, says Governor Kayode Fayemi, the chairman of the forum.
He said though states agreed to the N30,000 minimum wage, there will be “consequential adjustments” by individual states based on numbers of workers each has.
“There are different issues at states level. Every state has its own trade unions and joint negotiations committee and they will undertake discussions with their state governments.”
Fayemi said salaries “is a matter between the states and their workers.”
“For us this is a national minimum wage increase, not a general minimum wage review,” he said.
However, organised labour has rejected the governor’s statement. The movement, told the PUNCH the agreed salaries package is “sacrosanct”.
“Everybody will negotiate differently based on the state economy but what is
is the minimum wage of N30,000 and how that will be adjusted across the board is the function of collective bargaining between the workforce and government,” Ugboaja, secretary-general of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, reportedly said.
On its part, the Trade Union Congress, TUC, said “the state governments are only playing games”.
“They were represented in the minimum wage committee. They cannot come around to deny their responsibility. They are simply courting labour anger and we are ready for them.
“Guidelines have not been released by the Federal Government but certainly, we have assurances that the template will soon be released,” says a statement from Origi Musa-Lawal, the body’s secretary-general.
He revealed that the agreement is based on 23.2 percentage increase for workers at grade level 07; 20 per cent for those at grade level 08; 19 per cent for workers at grade level 09; 16 per cent for those at levels 10 to 14; and 14 per cent for workers at grade levels 15 to 17.