The implementation of the new minimum wage may witness hiccups in states across the country, as state governors, on Monday said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) does not have the power to negotiate for them.
The governors, who met in Abuja on Monday, also insisted that though they consented to the N30,000 minimum wage, they cannot pay above their capacities in relation to consequential adjustment.
Briefing the press after the meeting, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, said the Federal Executive Council could not decide for states, adding that the governors, at their meeting, reviewed progress in the implementation of the minimum wage law.
He said that each state had its executive council, which is the highest decision-making body at the state level.
Fayemi said: “The forum as the representative body of the states keenly followed what happened in the negotiations that led to that template.
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“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 at 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 states level. Every state has its own trade unions and joint negotiations committee and they will undertake discussions with their state governments.”
The NGF chairman also insisted that there was a difference between the national minimum wage increase and the general wage review.
Fayemi said: “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 a 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”, he said.
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