Minimum Wage: Governors, Buhari Meet Again Today

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) will meet President Muhammadu Buhari again today to find a way out of the controversy surrounding a new minimum wage, just as Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) calls for the implementation in January.

The Head of Media and Public Affairs, NGF, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, confirmed the meeting with the President to newsmen at the end of the meeting held on Thursday.

“It was a very short meeting, of course the very last one for the year, the meeting welcomed the newest governor in its midst, the Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

“The meeting resolved to meet the president on the issue of the minimum wage which hopefully will be resolved before the end of the year.

“The governors are also meeting the president tomorrow to thank him for the way he has handle the economy,” Barkindo said.

The governors had offered to pay N22,500 while the federal government want to pay N24,000 against the N30,000 being demanded by the organized labour.

The forum at its last meeting set up a committee to meet with Buhari to canvass its position, which it stated was not reflected in the report of the Tripartite Committee submitted to the president.

Oyetola earlier in an interview with newsmen commended the meeting, saying it offered the governors opportunity to peer review each other and share experiences and best practices.

Some of the governors at the meeting were Edo, Lagos, Osun, Kaduna, Kwara, Kano, Plateau, Kebbi and Gombe States.

The governors of Bauchi, Benue, Adamawa, Rivers and Nasarawa were represented by their deputies.

Meanwhile, NECA has said Federal Government must conclude all legal processes for the implementation of the 30,000 minimum wage before Dec. 31, to ensure its implementation by Jan. 1, 2019.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Why We Can’t Pay N30,000 Minimum Wage – Governors

The 36 state governors of the federation has said they can’t pay the 30,000 minimum wage mandated by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), for fear of running into bankruptcy.

The governors spoke after a meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja.

Recall that labour had insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari should uphold the N30,000 minimum wage it proposed and pushed through with the Tripartite Committee.

The committee however submitted its report last week to the President.

Meanwhile, the governors gave two conditions for paying the 30,000 minimum wage:

•the revenue formula should be reviewed to give more money to the states from the Federation Account, and

  • labour should agree to downsizing of the workforce.

The governors have also raised a panel of eight to meet with President Buhari next week on its misgivings.

The President will need to take the N30,000 proposal before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the Council of State before sending a Bill to the National Assembly for a new minimum wage.

Governors of Lagos, Kebbi, Plateau, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Enugu and Kaduna are in the panel to meet with the president.

NGR Chairman Abdul’aziz Yari (Zamfara State) was sad that the N22,500 proposed by the states was not considered by the Ama Pepple-led tripartite panel.

Yari said: “We have seen what has been presented to the President by the committee. As a member of the committee, the Kebbi Governor (Atiku Bagudu) said the committee did not take our submission of N22,500 because it came late.

“I am surprised how you can do this without the input of the states, because the states are the key stakeholders in this business. So, a situation whereby our report is not taken or considered by the tripartite committee to present to the President then I don’t know how the committee wants us to work.

“But we still say we want to pay but the issue is the ability to pay. If we say ‘no’, it is about the ability to pay, just pay. I don’t know how this formula will come and I don’t know how we can get solution to the issue.

“The N18,000 today, when the President assumed office, 27 states were not able to pay, not that they chose not to pay. So, now that you say N30,000, how many of them can pay? We will be bankrupt. So, as Nigerians, we should look at the issue seriously.

“While other people are saying that governors are flying private jets and living in affluence, that one is not luxury but compulsory.

“The issue of government overhead cost, if you put it together with personnel cost, it cannot solve this problem. Like Lagos that is paying about N7 billion as salaries, if you say it should pay N30,000, it will now be paying N13 billion. From our calculation, it is only Lagos State that will be able to pay N30,000. “As Nigerians, this is our country; there is no other country we have and we should be fair to this country.”

On the way forward, Yari said: “We will continue to talk with Labour; let them see reasons why governors have difficulties. Some of us have Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). For instance, the money Lagos State is using to pay is not coming from Abuja. They have a way of getting their money from the IGR and that is why they can afford to pay.

“They get money through VAT. Apart from Lagos, even Rivers cannot afford to pay. So we have been crying out about this since 2011 but no one will listen.

“One critical example is that some states ration their salaries while some others put everything they earn on the table and ask labour to come and see and they ask them to suggest how much should go for capital and personnel cost.

“Some pay 70 per cent as personnel cost and 30 per cent for capital projects and yet the states cannot pay and they put the remaining as outstanding.

“If you are talking about oil, the price is not what it used to be; from last year to date, it is $20 less from $75 to $55. So where is the money to pay?

“We should not exploit this matter further. We are leaders today, tomorrow others will be there. So, let us look at this matter seriously to see how we can do it properly. It is our primary responsibility to see that everybody is happy.”

Yari went on: “It is the same labour that is pushing for the N30,000 that will still turn around to say that the governors did not do any infrastructure and how are we going to achieve that by paying only salaries?”

The Federal Government takes 52.68 per cent of the federation account revenue; the states 26.70 per cent and the local governments 20.60 per cent.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Kano Govt Agrees To Pay 30,000 Minimum Wage

the Government of Kano State has said it is ready to pay the new minimum wage of N30,000 with additional N600.

According to the state Head of Service, Auwalu Naiya, the decision to pay the N30,000 naira new minimum wage was adopted at the State Council meeting which has the governor and his Deputy in attendance.

Auwalu Naiyya reminded that Governor Ganduje gives much priority to the welfare of Civil servant’s a reason Kano is among the few State that has no payment of monthly salary problems.

Similarly, Naiyya hinted that apart from the monthly salary of over N8 Billion the State always was in the forefront in the payment of Pension and Gratuity.

“Therefore it is as easy as anything for us to pay the N30,000 monthly salary this is because welfare of our workers is Paramount to anything and will always gives it preference”, Naiyya added.

However, the state Labour Union Chairman, Comrade Kabiru Minibir said they have not received any formal communication on the state readiness to pay the new minimum wage.

Kabiru Minjibir who spoke to a local Radio notes that as soon as they received formal communication they would sit on the matter and discuss.

The government also pleaded with the Labour to spare some strategic places like hospitals, banks, filling stations, markets and other areas.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

FG To Resume Meeting On Minimum Wage Sunday

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, says conciliation on the national minimum wage will continue on Sunday despite the court injunction restraining organised labour from embarking on strike.

The National Industrial Court had on Friday ordered the organised labour not to go ahead with the nationwide strike scheduled for Nov. 6

Justice Sanusi Kado gave the order in a ruling on an ex parte application moved on behalf of the Federal Government by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata.

Recall that organised labour had threatened to commence an indefinite strike on Nov. 6 to press for a new minimum wage of N30, 000 for workers.

The minister in the statement, however, insists that the conciliation meeting involving organised Labour, the organised private sector and government scheduled for Sunday remain unchanged.

“The conciliation meeting involving the Organised Labour, the Organised Private Sector and Government scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by 6 p.m. is still on course and will hold,’’ he said.

Ngige said that this will be followed by another meeting of the National Tripartite Minimum Wage Committee meeting on Monday, Nov. 5 at the same venue.

The minister appealed to all tripartite members to attend the meetings in the interest of the nation and finding a solution to the minimum wage impasse.

NAN

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

FG, Govs To Meet On Minimum Wage Today

The Economic Management Team, and state governors will be meeting today, Monday, to harmonize the new minimum wage, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige told state house correspondents on Friday after consultations with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo at the Aso Rock Villa.

Dr Ngige expressed optimism that the meeting would come up useful outcomes before the submission of the report of the Tripartite committee on the new wage.

He said there was no cause for worry by the Labour Congress over the draft white paper on industrial harmony approved by government.

Labour unions had proposed on N30,000, the private sector, the federal government and state governments proposed N25,000, N24,000 and N20,000 respectively.

The minimum wage currently stands at N18, 000

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Minimum Wage: NLC To Stage Protest Against Governors, Lawmakers

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has on Sunday, threatened to mobilise Nigerians against governors and some National Assembly members. This is in a reaction to governors and lawmakers pushing the bill which seeks to remove the National Minimum Wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list.

The bill which scaled through first reading before the House,is set for second reading on the floor of the House where members will debate on it.

In a report in The Nation newspaper, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, accused some members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum of sponsoring such an anti-workers’ legislation. He stressed that labour would explore every legitimate legal means to protect workers. “We have done in the past and we are going to deplore it,” said Wabba.

“All over the world, minimum wage is on the exclusive list. We are talking about protecting the most vulnerable group, that is the principle and philosophy. It is an ILO core issue under decent work agenda. It is a core ILO issue that all countries are conformed to.

“So, first is that it is the level of ignorance because he thinks that it is only for the state. No. It is for the self-employed for those that are from the private sector to protect the most vulnerable people from being exploited from false labour and slavery. That is why minimum wage law is there.

“It is a core ILO convention and in many countries of the world, including capitalist economy. As capitalist as the United Stated (U.S.) is, they have a minimum wage law.

“So, we must first understand the concept. It is not the state government. It is all employers of labour generally, both private and public. So, for public sector, who fixes their own? That is why it is a tripartite issue. I think that there is a level of ignorance he has demonstrated in this without even knowing what minimum wage law is all about.

“First, we condemn it in its entirety. We are going to respond immediately and effectively. Two, let him also go back to the archives. This issue was introduced even by some cabals within the Governors’ Forum at the last constitution amendment and it was defeated.

“It went to a referendum and it was defeated. So, we should start from where we stopped and not to take us back to areas we have actually advanced on.”

Wabba said that millions of Nigerians who are self-employed and those working in the private sector will be subjected to undue exploitation if the national minimum wage is removed from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.

“Who will regulate the case of the self-employed; for instance now, you are self-employed, you are not working under either the state or the federal government where you can even negotiate.

“So, the implication is that once you remove that from the exclusive list, workers will be exploited. We are not even talking of the maximum, we are talking about the minimum.

“Assuming the alteration bill sells through in the National Assembly, what will organised labour, especially the leadership of the NLC, do? It will not said through because we will stop it at all cost. Nigerian workers will not accept this.

“The proponent of the bill, Ayeola Abayomi Abdulkadir (APC-Lagos), seeks to alter the Second Schedule, Part 1 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) by deleting item 34 from the exclusive legislative list and renumbering the existing item 35 as item 34 and subsequent items accordingly.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]