NLC Strike Looms: Buhari, governors yet to agree on minimum wage

Reports from Abuja reveals that the both the President Buhari led Federal Government, and the State Governors are yet to agree on a unified figure for the new minimum wage.

NLC has issued a strike notice to the government stating organized labour will embark on an industrial action on November 6. The labour unions are insisting on a minimum wage of N30,000 but the federal and state governments are unwilling to meet that demand.

The governors at the meeting on Monday had requested to meet on Tuesday 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 are 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.

“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,” he said

“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 added.

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. The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige said the meeting had a fruitful deliberation.

“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.” Ngige said.


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