Governors restate commitment to minimum wage payment

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Governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), have reaffirmed their commitment to pay N30,000 minimum wage to workers in their states.

NGF Chairman Kayode Fayemi gave the assurance while addressing reporters at the end of the forum’s meeting in Abuja.

Fayemi denied allegations by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that many governors had not started negotiations with their state NLC chapters over the implementation.

The Ekiti State governor affirmed that negotiations had started in all states.

“What we can tell you is that no state will pay less than N30,000 when we finally get to that point,” Fayemi said.

Reading the communique of the last meeting of the forum for 2019, the forum’s chairman said the transfer of the 2018 World Bank-funded State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) grants to states would take place in March 2020.

He said the forum received an update from the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) and the World Bank team on the SFTAS on the Independent Verification Assessment (IVA) conducted across states, which hinted that the exercise would be concluded in January 2020.

Also, Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Mrs Zainab Ahmed has said the arrears of consequential adjustment for the new minimum wage will be paid to workers this December.

Mrs Ahmed gave the assurance yesterday while answering questions from stakeholders during the highlights and breakdown of the approved 2020 budget in Abuja.

She said the Federal Government had made adequate provision to pay the arrears of the consequential adjustments of the approved new minimum wage to its workers.

“I want to confirm to you that we have made adequate provision in the 2020 budget on the issue of minimum wage.

“And we are also planning to pay the arrears of the consequential adjustments in December,” Mrs Ahmed added.

Also, the Kwara State government has set up a minimum wage negotiating team.

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Its members will interface with representatives of the labour unions to sort out grey areas on the implementation of minimum wage in the state.

The team comprises government officials and leadership of the labour unions in the state.

Earlier this week, AbdulRazaq had directed the Head of Service (HoS), Mrs Modupe Susan Oluwole, to constitute a panel to discuss the minimum wage question in Kwara.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Rafiu Ajakaye said the team comprises Commissioners for Finance (Chairman); Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (member); Works and Transport (member); Special Adviser to the Governor (Special Duties); Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Finance; Service Welfare; Establishment and Training; Justice; and Local Government Service Commission; Kwara State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); Kwara State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC); Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council and Secretary of the Joint Negotiating Council.

The secretary of the committee is the Director (Establishment and Pension), Mrs Onaolapo Alaya, the statement added.

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