Minimum Wage: Labour Unions At Loggerheads With Governors

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Minimum Wage: Labour Unions At Loggerheads With Governors
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State

The Nigerian labour unions have expressed their disapproval over the decision of the state governors to pay only within their capacity as regards the N30,000 minimum wage.

Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, said that the federal government could not determine what happens in the states.

The forum as the representative body of the states keenly followed what happened in the negotiations that led to that template.

As far as we are concerned, the best the forum can do is to stick with what has been agreed with the states. States are part of the tripartite negotiations. The FEC does not determine what happens in the states. Each state has an executive council which is the highest decision-making organ in the state. As far as we are concerned, the states were part of the tripartite discussion and agreed to the N30,000 minimum wage.

States also know there will be consequential adjustments, but that will be determined by what happens on the state by state basis because there are different numbers of workers at states. There are different issues at the state level. Every state has its own trade unions and joint negotiations committee and they will undertake discussions with their state governments.

This is about minimum wage increment; yes that may necessitate consequential increment, there is no doubt about it, but that is a matter between the states and their workers.

The day after this agreement was reached with labour, it was on record that I was on national television and made the position of the governors clear. That for us this was a national minimum wage increase, not a general minimum wage review. Yes, that may necessitate consequential increment, we have no doubt about that but that it is a matter for the states to discuss with their workers.Kayode Fayemi –

Labour unions reacted to the stand of the Forum, criticizing their decision and stating that the minimum wage of N30,000 would be at the center of every negotiation.

The Trade Union Congress on its part said that the federal government had given the assurance that the official template for the adjustments would be made available this week to labour.

The Secretary-General of the union, Origi Musa-Lawal, cautioned Fayemi and stated that the governors could not deny their responsibility.

The state governments are only playing games. They were represented in the minimum wage committee. They cannot come around to deny their responsibility. They are simply courting labour anger and we are ready for them. Guidelines have not been released by the federal government but certainly, we have assurances that the template will soon be released.Origi Musa-Lawal –


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