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Minimum Wage: States Should Pay Based On Income Level – el-Rufai

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The Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has said that the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage should be done by each state according to its level of income.

He stated this yesterday at the 2018 National Peer Learning Event organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) titled: “Mobilising Domestic Finance for Development” in Abuja.

While contending that personal income tax should be collected by the states, the governor stressed the need for amendments in the constitution so that some items can be removed I favour of the states.

Responding to a question on why personal income tax should be given to states, el-Rufai said: “I agree with you completely that in a federation there should be taxes that are national while others are sub-national.

“But if you look at our history you will see that we come from civilian-military regimes and many of these personal income taxes Act were done by the military.

“For instance, I do not agree that national minimum wage should be under the federation, it should be done by each state, according to the level of income.

“If you look at the 1963 Constitution, minimum wage was not in the inclusive list, it was added during the military rule. There are number of laws that were enacted during the military rule and there is a need to do something about them,” he said.

LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported yesterday that most state governors were not ready to pay the new wage because of lack of funds.

The report added that the battle for the implementation of the policy had shifted to the states where the workers have warned the governors not to dare them.

On the sidelines of the event, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, said that states cannot improve their internally generated revenue (IGR) if there was no economic growth, stressing that one of the key drivers o economic growth was infrastructure.

He said: “When you build roads, schools, hospitals, things that aid and enable businesses, you begin to see economic growth and as people do well, income goes up and businesses grow, then you have a basis to levy taxes which you will now have to improve the state.”

On his part, Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said that the current situation in the country called for states to increase their revenue generating capacities because it was clear that the new minimum wage would come with added responsibilities.

He said that the first step in driving revenue was improving the efficiency in collection process while the next step would be capturing those who were not in the tax web.



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