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Nigerian Governors Consider N70,000 as Maximum Affordable Minimum Wage | The Bureau Newspaper

Abuja, Nigeria – In a crucial meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday, Nigerian governors, under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), discussed the financial implications of implementing a new national minimum wage. They concluded that any figure above N70,000 would be unaffordable and unsustainable for most states. The governors reviewed the economic situation and ruled out the N100,000 minimum wage option being proposed by some quarters.

The NGF’s stance aligns with a previous statement by the NGF Chairman and Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who emphasized that the states would only agree to a minimum wage that is “affordable and sustainable.” A committee led by Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma has been set up to further examine the issue and make recommendations.

Sources at the meeting revealed that the governors considered options between N60,000, previously offered to labor by the Federal Government before the recent strike, and N70,000, currently being implemented by the Edo State Government. However, they failed to reach a consensus on a uniform amount.

One source stated, “After deliberation on the minimum wage, we decided to consider options between N60,000 and N70,000 a month. We could not reach a concrete decision on the wage rate for states. Eventually, a committee, to be led by Governor Uzodimma, was mandated to look at all presentations and make recommendations. The NGF will soon reconvene to consider the Uzodimma Committee report.”

The source also noted, “No state can afford to pay a N100,000 minimum wage, and we have ruled out this benchmark. 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 one state has adopted a N70,000 wage.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency has debunked claims that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, proposed a N105,000 new minimum wage to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, clarified, “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.”

In related developments, a fresh wage offer by the Federal Government is expected to be tabled before the tripartite committee negotiating a new national salary scale. This follows a meeting between President Tinubu and Finance Minister Edun, where the cost implications of the new minimum wage were discussed.

A source disclosed, “A lot of things are contained in the report or template he presented to the President, especially what a new wage will cost the government at every grade level in relation to our income and budget. A team will scrutinize the report after which the President will direct that it be presented before the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage.”

The ongoing negotiations reflect the government’s commitment to resolving the minimum wage issue, balancing fiscal sustainability with the need to improve workers’ wages.

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