Journalism of Courage

When it comes to minimum wage, states not FG should own process –  Makinde, Gov-Elect

Oyo state Governor-Elect, Seyi Makinde, has said states in Nigeria ought to have been allowed to negotiate the minimum wage according to their abilities.

“And I will definitely say without fear or favour that it’s part of the reasons why we are thinking restructuring. That’s a federal system of government. 

Makinde, told journalists at the end of induction for returning and newly elected governors, organized by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), said the federal government should not impose a national minimum wage on states since Nigeria is a federation. 

“We have a federation but the state governments I believe, are no subordinate to the federal government. They are coordinate governments. 

“Then, when the federal government makes a law that says ‘well, we are going to pay 30,000 as minimum wage,’ what’s the condition in my state? Can we support it? I don’t think… 

According to him, condition of living varies from state to state, adding that he was prepared to negotiate with the state branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000 just signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

“This makes it compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay to their workers the sum of N30,000. And this excludes persons who are employing less than 25 workers, persons who work in a ship which sails out of jurisdiction and other persons who are in other kinds of regulated employment which are accepted by the Act. 

“It also gives the workers the rights, if you are compelled by any circumstance to accept salary that is less than N30,000, to sue your employer to recover the balance and it authorises the minister of labour and any person nominated by the minister of labour, or any person designated by the minister of labour in any ministry, department or agency to on your behalf take action in your name against such employer to recover the balance of your wages.”

Asked to assess Oyo’s ability to pay the new wage, the Governor-Elect stated: “It has been signed into law. I personally believe that individual states should have been allowed to negotiate this because conditions of living in Lagos are obviously not the same as living in Ibadan. 

Buhari had in April 18th signed the National Minimum Wage Bill into law.

“We are going to engage the Nigeria Labour Congress in my state and we see how we go from from there.”

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