The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) on Tuesday night announced that it has settled for N22,500 as the new minimum wage for government workers in the country. The announcement came hours after national leaders of organised labour mobilized public workers for rallies and insisted the November 6 nationwide strike will go on as planned.
Labour has been demanding for N30,000 as new minimum wage while the federal government has declared intention to pay N24,000.
But in a communiqué issued at the end of second emergency meeting of the NGF in Abuja, the governors explained that the salaried workers constitute not more than five percent of the total working population.
They also noted that the interest of the larger population was taken into consideration before arriving at the N22,500 new national minimum wage.
A Communiqué read by Chairman of NGF and Governor of Zamfara state, Mr. Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar, said: “Following a meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum where we deliberated on the National Minimum Wage after a briefing from our representatives at the Tripartite Committee, we submit as follows:
“The welfare of all Nigerians is our ultimate concern. In all our states, we are concerned about the deteriorating economic situation experienced by the vulnerable segment of our population.
“In agreeing to a National Minimum Wage however, the Forum is even more concerned about development, particularly in the health, education and infrastructure spheres.
“It is therefore our considered position that since the percentage of salaried workers is not more than 5% of the total working population, our position must not just reflect a figure, but also a sustainable strategy based on ability and capacity to pay, as well as reflective of all our developmental needs in each State.
“Afterall, Section 3 of the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission Act provides that ‘the Commission shall recommend a proposition of income growth which should be initiated for wage increase and also examined the salary structure in public and private sector with reasonable features of relativity and maximum levels which are in consonance with the national economy.
“It is in this sense that we feel strongly that our acceptable minimum wage must be done in such a way that total personnel cost does not exceed 50% of the revenue available to each State. Governors therefore agreed to pay a national minimum wage of N22, 500.”