The Proposed 60 000 Minimum Wage By FG Too High, We Can't Pay- State Governors Lament

The proposal of a N60,000 minimum wage by the Bola Tinubu Government has been unanimously dismissed by all 36 state governors of the federation, as communicated in a press release by the Director of Media and Public Affairs of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Hajiya Halimah Salihu Ahmed, on Friday.

The Governors have deemed the N60,000 minimum wage as excessively high and impractical for them to sustain, expressing concerns that its approval would compel many state administrations to incur further debt in order to meet monthly salary obligations.

Following the rejection of the federal government’s N60,000 minimum wage offer by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), both unions commenced an indefinite strike action on Monday. However, the strike was temporarily suspended by the Labour Union for one week to facilitate additional negotiations with the federal government, which had pledged to raise the wage from N60,000.

In a statement, the NGF emphasized the necessity of a new minimum wage while also extending sympathy to labour unions advocating for higher wages. Nevertheless, the Forum urged all parties to consider the broader implications of the minimum wage negotiations, including consequential adjustments across all employment levels, including retirees.

Highlighting the need for a sustainable and pragmatic approach, the NGF cautioned against hastily signing any agreement solely for the sake of formality. The NGF asserted that the proposed N60,000 minimum wage is neither sustainable nor feasible, positing that it would result in excessive allocation of resources towards salary payments, leaving minimal funds for developmental projects. Additionally, some states may resort to borrowing to meet monthly payroll demands, a scenario deemed unfavorable for the nation's collective interests.

In light of these considerations, the NGF appealed to all stakeholders, particularly labour unions, to take into account the socioeconomic dynamics and strive for an agreement that is both sustainable and equitable for all segments of society with legitimate claims to public resources.

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