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Nigerian governors settle for N70000 as new minimum wage

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Nigerian governors across the 36 states of the federation have reportedly settled for N70,000 as the new minimum wage for workers, saying no state can afford any amount above that.

The governors made the remarks when they met under the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to deliberate on the economic landscape and the ongoing discourse surrounding the minimum wage.

Among the considerations were proposals ranging from the initially offered N60,000 by the Federal Government to the existing N70,000 implemented by the Edo State Government.

Despite their concerted efforts, a unanimous decision on a standardized wage remained elusive. Consequently, they have opted to establish a committee, led by Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma, tasked with evaluating the available options and presenting recommendations.

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Insiders reveal that the consensus among the governors is that a minimum wage of N100,000 is not viable, particularly considering that some states continue to grapple with meeting the current N30,000 minimum wage introduced in 2019.

“Records available to us indicated that some states are still paying N18,000 because they are unable to afford N30,000 (which came into effect in 2019). Only a state has adopted a N70,000 wage,” the source said.

The governors’ position is in line with a previous statement made by the Chairman of NGF and Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who stated that states will only agree to a minimum wage that is “affordable and sustainable”.

Recall that the organised labour comprising Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) embarked on a nationwide strike after rejecting the N60,000 new minimum wage offer by the federal government. The strike which grounded economic activities was ‘relaxed’ after the federal government committed to pay more than N60,000.

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Initially, the unions insisted on N494,000 as the new minimum wage, but new developments revealed that they have shifted their ground to N100,000 following the criticism and controversy that trailed their proposal which was considered outrageous and unrealistic.

Meanwhile, the Presidency had debunked claims that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, submitted a N105,000 new minimum wage proposal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The President met yesterday with Edun after an audience with an  International Finance Corporation (IFC) team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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It was gathered that Edun submitted the proposal for a new wage for the least-paid Nigerian worker to the  President.

However, reports published by some online media platforms claimed that the minister proposed  N105,000.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, described the N105,000 proposal as false.

“The Honorable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, has not proposed  N105,000 minimum wage.

“The contrary story being disseminated is false”, Onanuga wrote on his verified X (formerly Twitter) handle.

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