New controversy may have hit the negotiations over consequential salary adjustments on the N30,000 minimum wage as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Monday said the Federal Executive Council could not decide for states what ti pay.
This assertion was made in Abuja by the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, after the forum’s meeting.
He insisted that states would not pay above their capacities.
But organised labour lashed out at the NGF chairman and warned him against statements that could trigger industrial crises in states.
Fayemi said the governors, at their meeting, reviewed progress in the implementation of the minimum wage law.
Clarifying the forum’s position and FEC’s decision, Fayemi said that while state governors agreed on the N30, 000 minimum wage, FEC did not determine what happened in states.
He said that each state had its executive council, which is the highest decision-making body at the state level.
Fayemi stated, “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 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 governor said there was a difference between the national minimum wage increase and the general wage review.
Fayemi maintained, “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,’’ the Governor insisted.