GOVERNORS WARN, IT WILL TAKE HASH MEASURES OVER LABOUR UNION POSITION
Often time domestic issues are presented as issues of obvious concern irrespective of the factors responsible, yet with regards to concerned entities. In the same vein, stakeholders and regional heads of government parastatals have overtime kicked against issues of obvious interest in relation to civil service welfare, hence, the latest from state governors isn’t an exception, an attempt which saw governors warn their opposition – Labour over its position towards civil servants demand.
Meanwhile, prior to the above headline, focus on global political decisions and challenges which will cut across domestic and international levels will undoubtedly be our cutting edge. Recently, political decoupling has in recent time emerged as an issue of global concern precisely among world powers and biggest economies.
Drifting from there, a look in this subject – governors’ position towards labour would rather help in addressing this context.
According to reports, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum has met to re-strategize over a dialogue with President Muhammadu Buhari concerning the proposed 30,000 naira minimum wage, which is aimed at resolving the present challenge. However, a committee was constituted by the forum to meet with Mr. President over a workable formula that would help address the issue that is already gaining momentum.
Based on findings after the emergency meeting of governors on Wednesday, chaired by Zamfara State Governor, ‘Abdul’aziz Yari’, who related the outcome of the meeting with journalists shortly after the meeting, while in his response, he made it clear that labour 30,000 naira minimum wage demand was impracticable.
Also in his response regarding the governors warning, he equally said the proposed wage would only be paid if labour will agree to the downsizing of the workforce which will cut across the country “or Federal Government itself accedes to the review of the national revenue allocation formula”.
Meanwhile, the governors nominated among the members of the committee to meet the president regarding the matter, includes the governors of Lagos, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Plateau, Enugu, and not to exclude Kaduna states.
Further on this, Yari also added that “We have seen what was submitted to the president by the Tripartite Committee. Which as a result the representative of the committee did not receive their submission of 22,500 naira because it was delivered late.
“I am overwhelmed. Lamenting on how this could be done without the input of the state since the states are the key stakeholders in this business. Stating a situation whereby their report was not taken or considered by the Tripartite Committee then he does not know how the committee wants them to work”.
He equally stressed that we still say we want to pay, and the issue is the ability to pay. While at the moment, we’re paying 18,000 naira (as minimum wage today), stating that when the president assumed office, over 27 states were unable to pay 18,000 naira, while the latest could result in high tension climate since a good number of states have not been able to pay the already-in-place minimum wage, and not that the governors declined paying.
However, now they are asked to pay 30,000 naira, so how many states can afford to do so? We will be bankrupt if they are to pay that. So this makes it a serious issue.
In the process, he made reference to Lagos state, citing that the money used in this areas is not from Abuja while noting that they have a way of generating their own money from the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) and through VAT, reason why the state can afford to pay. Adding that the state (Lagos) salary budget is at N7bn per month, but with 30,000 naira increment, its figure will be N13bn
Lagos Elsewhere as governors warn labour, it was noted that a state as rich as River State can’t afford to pay, as that has been one of the reasons they’ve been crying out since 2011, yet none cared to listen.
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