State governors will today meet to take a final position on the new minimum wage demanded by organized labour in the country.
The federal government’s Economic Management Team (EMT) chaired by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had yesterday met with representatives of the government and the governors to take position on the new minimum wage.
At the meeting, the governors were said to have insisted that they lack the capacity to pay the new figure of N30,000 being pushed for by the workers.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the governors were also not comfortable with the N24,000 being proposed by the federal government on the ground that some states are still struggling to pay N18,000.
Organised labour are insisting on N30,000, while state governors are proposing N20,000.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Zamfara State governor and chairman of the Nigerian governors forum, Abdulaziz Yari, said the meeting was for the federal government and the states to iron issues on the minimum wage with the organised labour.
According to him, the governors at the meeting requested to meet today so as to have time to critically analyse the memo from the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, asking them to take a common stand.
“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”, Yari said.
He noted that the meeting discussed the proposal made by the organised labour and the figure proposed by the federal government, adding that the governors still haven’t come out with any figure.
He stated: “So, by tomorrow (today), 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.”
On his part, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige said the meeting had a fruitful deliberation.
He noted: “We held a meeting for us to bring out modalities to respond to the emerging problems thrown up by the national minimum wage committee and we had very fruitful meeting which necessitated the governors having further meeting tomorrow (today).
“We will reconvene tomorrow (today) 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”.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will today hold what it described as a national day of mobilization and sensitization rallies for all workers to show their outrage and mourning in the 36 states of the federation.
The NLC said the rallies are meant to educate and sensitize Nigerians on the plight of workers and pensioners, the insensitivity and duplicity of government toward labour issues.
The protest is part of activities by organised labour towards preparations for a full engagement with government on the national minimum wage.
The national executive council (NEC) of the NLC had last week given its nod to a nationwide strike scheduled to begin on November 6 should government refuse to approve N30,000 as new minimum wage.
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