Say financial burdens will leave states with no funds for development

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Governors of the 36 states of the federation under the auspices of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have expressed concern over the proposed N60,000 minimum wage, stating that it is not sustainable and cannot be implemented without significant consequences.

In a statement issued by NGF’s Acting Director on Media Affairs and Public Affairs, Halimah Ahmed, titled: “The forum’s stand on the: N60,000 minimum wage not sustainable: NGF”,  the governors emphasised the need for a realistic and durable agreement that considers all socioeconomic variables.

The NGF acknowledged the need for a new minimum wage and sympathised with Labour unions in their push for higher wages. However, the forum urged all parties to consider the broader implications of the negotiations, including consequential adjustments across all cadres, including pensioners.

They warned that the proposed N60,000 minimum wage would lead to significant financial burdens on states, potentially leaving them with no funds for development purposes.

The Forum said in some cases, states might be forced to borrow to pay workers every month, which would not be in the collective interest of the country, including workers.

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The governors appealed to all parties involved, particularly labour unions, to consider the long-term sustainability and fairness of any agreement.

The NGF emphasised the need for a solution that balances the needs of workers with those of other segments of society who have legitimate claims on public resources.

“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is in agreement that a new minimum wage is due. The Forum also sympathises with labour unions in their push for higher wages.

“However, the Forum urges all parties to consider the fact that the minimum wage negotiations also involve consequential adjustments across all cadres, including pensioners. The NGF cautions parties in this important discussion to look beyond just signing a document for the sake of it; any agreement to be signed should be sustainable and realistic.

“All things considered, the NGF holds that the N60,000 minimum wage proposal is not sustainable and cannot fly. It will simply mean that many states will spend all their FAAC allocations on just paying salaries with nothing left for development purposes. In fact, a few states will end up borrowing to pay workers every month. We do not think this will be in the collective interest of the country, including workers.

“We appeal that all parties involved, especially the labour unions, consider all the socioeconomic variables and settle for an agreement that is sustainable, durable, and fair to all other segments of the society who have legitimate claim to public resources.”


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