States will pay only sustainable minimum wage, say governors

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overnors yesterday sounded a note of caution to workers against unduly high expectations from the minimum wage negotiations.

States will pay only implementable and sustainable wages, they said, but expressed commitment to improved salaries for workers.

Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said they would ensure workers in their states earn more than they currently do.

The Federal Government on January 30 inaugurated a 37-man Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage.

It was tasked with recommending a realistic national minimum wage that aligns with the current economic realities, but an agreement is yet to be reached.

The governors are represented by one each from the six geo-political zones on the committee, which also has Federal Government officials, the labour movement and the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

“As members of the committee, we are reviewing our individual fiscal space as state governments and the consequential impact of various recommendations to arrive at an improved minimum wage we can pay sustainably,” the governors said.

Their position is contained in a communique issued on Wednesday after a virtual meeting – the same day workers marked May Day across the country.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is demanding a N615,000 national minimum wage per month.

It said the figure was a product of a painstaking effort through which it captured the cost of living of Nigerian workers and masses in all parts of the country.

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