By Harry Awurumibe, State House, Abuja
For the umpteenth time, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has assured that each state of the federation will pay the Federal Government approved national minimum wage of thirty thousand naira to workers.
Speaking to the State House Correspondents after a meeting on Monday with President Muhammadu Buhari at Presidential Villa, Abuja, Fayemi said that every state government will pay the national minimum wage to workers although he believes that some states may not be able to meet up as “all fingers are not equal”.
Said he, “I have also said to many people who have asked me, fingers are not equal at the level of the states. So, consequential adjustment may not necessarily end up being the same, it will be different from state to state.
“We are not going to adopt hook line and sinker what has been adopted between federal government and labour, that is for federal government workers, what happens in state is a different matter. But I can assure Nigerians that no state is going to pay anything less than N30, 000”.
On the review of the revenue sharing, Gov Fayemi said:
“A review of the revenue sharing formula is still the position of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. We feel that it’s time for the revenue sharing formula to change and we have made a representation to the President and Commander-in-Chief not just under the Buhari’s administration, this has been an ongoing agitation that started way back since the time of President Olusegun Obasanjo, it continued during President Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan. So, it’s not just something that has been brought out under President Buhari.
“And you also know that there is a process to this. The process is that the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, which has the responsibility for this would do its own due diligence, consult widely with critical stakeholders and we have also made available our own representation to RMAFC. Every state has a representative at RMAFC as you know and only last week, RMAFC held a retreat on this and other matters and I believe they will communicate the position.
“Now that we have a full fledged RMAFC in place with a Chairman and other members appointed, it is our expectation that this would be taken up by RMAFC with Mr. President in a manner that we have taken it up.
“Whether that would affect negotiation for the minimum wage, I can tell you no. Minimum wage is a law. But as I have always said to you, a national minimum wage act is not a general minimum wage review. They are two separate things. Governors are committed to the minimum wage act and no one is going to pay anything less than N30, 000.
“Some of us have started paying N30, 000 as you may be aware, others want negotiations on the consequential adjustment to end before they start paying the minimum wage.”