Governors Reject N60,000 Minimum Wage

The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states have rejected the federal government’s proposed N60,000 minimum wage, deeming it unrealistic and unsustainable. This position was disclosed by the Director of Media and Public Affairs for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Hajiya Halimah Salihu Ahmed, in a statement released on Friday, June 7.

The governors argued that implementing the N60,000 minimum wage would strain state finances to the point where many states would be forced to borrow to meet their payroll obligations. They emphasized that such a wage increase, while beneficial for workers, is not feasible given the current economic realities and revenue limitations faced by the states.

The NGF’s stance highlights the ongoing debate and challenges surrounding wage adjustments in Nigeria, where balancing fair compensation for workers with fiscal responsibility is a complex issue. The governor’s rejection of the proposed wage underscores the need for a more pragmatic approach to wage increases, one that considers the diverse economic capacities of different states.

The NGF has called for a more sustainable solution that does not jeopardize the financial stability of states or lead to increased borrowing. This move reflects the governors’ commitment to maintaining fiscal discipline while addressing workers’ demands for better compensation.

The rejection of the proposed N60,000 minimum wage by the governors indicates the need for continued dialogue and negotiation to find a balanced and viable wage solution that can be uniformly applied across all states without causing undue financial strain.

The statement reads in part, “The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is in agreement that a new minimum wage is due. The Forum also sympathises with labour unions in their push for higher wages.”

“However, the Forum urges all parties to consider the fact that the minimum wage negotiations also involve consequential adjustments across all cadres, including pensioners.”

“The NGF cautions parties in this important discussion to look beyond just signing a document for the sake of it; any agreement to be signed should be sustainable and realistic.”

“All things considered, the NGF holds that the N60,000 minimum wage proposal is not sustainable and can not fly. It will simply mean that many states will spend all their FAAC allocations on just paying salaries with nothing left for development purposes.”

“In fact, a few states will end up borrowing to pay workers every month. We do not think this will be in the collective interest of the country, including workers.”

“We appeal that all parties involved, especially the labour unions, consider all the socioeconomic variables and settle for an agreement that is sustainable, durable, and fair to all other segments of the society who have legitimate claim to public resources.”