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Minimum wage: Buhari, govs may clash as FG sets up advisory panel


Indications emerged in Abuja on Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari might clash with governors if he presented a bill to the National Assembly, proposing N30,000 as the national minimum wage without considering the states’ ability to pay.



Buhari had while inaugurating a Technical Advisory Committee on National Minimum Wage in Abuja on Wednesday said there would be negotiations with workers already earning above N30,000 to help the Federal Government and the states to implement a new wage increase smoothly.



A new proposal of N30,000 is now before the President, which will be forwarded to the National Assembly on January 23 as a bill.



But the governors said they had already told the President the financial crisis the proposed  N30,000 minimum wage would bring to their states if approved.



A governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told one of our correspondents that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, as a body, had sent to the President financial analysis of how the increment would affect 30 states.



It was gathered that the governors had earlier submitted a report carried out on six states to measure the impact of the increase in minimum wage from N18,000 to either N22,500, N24,000 or N30,000 on states’ finances.



The governor listed states that were covered in the first report to include “Kebbi, Ondo, Edo, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Plateau.”



It was gathered that some states had agreed to pay more than N30,000 but the governors were said to have collectively said the minimum wage should be pegged at N22,500 in order to help some states that were not financially viable.



Such states, it was gathered, included Kogi, Osun and Benue.



It was gathered that Jigawa State even offered to pay as much as N44,000 if the minimum wage was left at N22,500.



The governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added, “So, what we did was to help states that can’t pay N18,000 now to struggle and pay the N22,500 while those paying now should be able to manage the increment without much problems.
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