States will pay new minimum wage based on financial capacity – NGF

*NGF chairman, Dr. Kayode Fayemi

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), umbrella organization of the 36 state governors, has resolved that implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage and the consequential increments should be paid depending on the capacity of the states.

Rising from its meeting held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja today, the forum resolved that any state that is able to pay the new minimum wage could do so while those which do not have the capacity to implement it would not be compelled to do so.

Addressing journalists after the meeting, chairman of the forum and Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said the governors “reviewed the current progress in the implementation of the Minimum Wage Law and resolved that consequential increments will depend on the capacity of each state government.”

He said the governors took the position based on the fact that states have different number of workers with varied trade unions.

When asked to reconcile NGF’s position with that of the federal government, Fayemi declared: “The FEC does not determine what happens in the states; states have their own state executive council and that is the highest decision making body at the state level.

“The forum as the representative body of the states keenly followed what happened in the negotiations that transpired that led to that (federal government) template.

“As far as we concerned, the best the forum can do is to stick to with what has been agreed with the states.

“States are part of the tripartite negotiations. States agreed to that N30, 000 minimum wage increase.

“States also know that there will be consequential adjustment, but that will be determined on what happened on the state-by-state basis because there are different number of workers at state level, there are different issues at the state level.

“Every state has its own trade union joint negotiating committee and they will hold discussions with their state governments.

“You know that the day after this agreement was reached with labour, I was on record and I 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 is a matter for the states to discuss with their workers.”

On the N614 billion bailout deductions by the federal government, Fayemi who confirmed that the Federal government has commenced monthly removal of the money from accounts of various states, said, “On the N614 billion bailout deductions, the money is being deducted from states accounts.

“It has been deducted as far as I am aware, from state accounts,” he added.

Reading a communique issued at the end of the meeting, Fayemi also said that following a health update by the NGF Secretariat, the forum commended the rapid response of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to nip the August 2019 yellow fever outbreak which broke out across p of the country.

According to him, members pledged to commit counterpart resources to strengthen mass vaccination campaigns in their respective States.

Fayemi also disclosed that members commended the progress made by state governments through their Social Health Insurance authorities to enroll and provide health insurance cover for citizens across the country.

In the last one year. He revealed that state governments have registered over two million people compared to the five million Nigerians registered under the National Health Insurance Scheme over the last 14 years.

The Forum remembered Dr. Stella Adedavoh, the physician who attended to ‘Patient 0’ during the Ebola Outbreak in 2014 in Lagos State.

“Dr. Adedavoh died from Ebola virus on 21st October 2014, but her memory lives on with the dream of ‘Health care for all Nigerians,” Fayemi said.

He also said that the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai will on Wednesday submit the report of crude oil and other special projects to the National Economic Council (NEC) which set up the committee in the first place.


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