Again governors express worry over new minimum wage

PDP Govenors

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has reinstated its  concern with new minimum wage, even as it claimed not to be against the upward review of workers pay.

The chairman of the forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, said the concerns bothers on the ability or resources to pay the agreed minimum wage.

He disclosed these while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the forum meeting held on Wednesday in Abuja.

He posited that NGF is not in anyway against the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to get minimum wage reviewed.

“But, the problem of state is the capacity to pay what is agreed. As we are talking today we are struggling with N18,000. Some of the states are paying 35 per cent, some 50 per cent and still some states have salary arrears,” he said.

“So, it is not about only reviewing it but how we are going to get the resources to cater for it,” he stressed.

On the use of London and Paris club refunds, he said that the National President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, was invited to brief the forum on states performance.

The Federal Government disbursed the fund to states with the condition to use larger percentage of the money to pay workers’ salaries.

He said while some states had recorded some progress in line with the condition they signed with the Federal Government, others were still owing arrears.

“So, we invited the National President of NLC to give us details on how some states performed. Some other states that are not up to date, where are they.

So they have signed Memorandum of Understanding with the NLC at the national level and their representative in states on when they are going to overcome the issue of salary arrears.

“That has been done and it has been taken to the Central Bank Governor to ensure that those states were also paid.”

Mr Yari also disclosed that the forum took far reaching decisions on the state of security in the country, he however said that the decisions would be channelled to the right quarters for appropriate actions.

An update was also received from the NGF Secretariat on Polio and Primary Healthcare Under One Roof.

He said governors expressed commitment to facilitate the development of a minimum package and investment plan for State Primary Healthcare Boards.

He added that observations were raised about the issue of PHC, including concern that the function of the local governments was being taken away.

“It was made clear by some governors that the PHC has nothing to do with the national, that it is just a domestic issue of local governments.

“Those issues were raised, debated and we are going to put a memo in place to the National Economic Council so that it can be discussed.”

The forum according to him also received briefing on the forthcoming 24th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) from Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, the Chief Executive Officer of the NES Group.

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