According to the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, the federal government has rejected the 22, 500 naira minimum wage proposed by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).
Ngige said this in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, October 31, 2018.
The minister said that he has made it known to the governors that the federal government is not in support of their proposal.
You will recall that on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara and chairman of the NGF announced that governors have agreed to pay 22,500 naira to workers after months of deliberation.
Commenting, Ngige said the 22,500 naira is lower than the 24, 000 naira recommended by the federal government. According to him:
“The governors have not even done enough. I told them that this 22,500 naira was even rejected by the federal government.
“The national minimum wage is a national legislation being driven by the federal government of Nigeria in pursuance to item 34 of the exclusive legislative list. But you don’t go and make a law which people will disobey at the initial.
“If you make a law and hoax a figure that is not agreeable, which people don’t have the capacity or ability to pay because the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says in those negotiations, the principle is the ability to pay”.
Speaking on the NGF position, Ayuba Wabba, president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) who also featured on the programme, said the governors’ position is unknown to labour laws and contrary to the overall decision of the tripartite committee on the minimum wage.
Wabba asked governors to meet with workers in their state to discuss the 30,000 naira minimum wage agreed by the committee. The NLC president said:
“Let every state governor go back to their states, gather their workers and tell them if they are willing to pay the 30,000 minimum wage or not”.
However, labour has threatened a nationwide strike from November 6, 2018 if its demand is not met.