Governors should not be forced to pay uniform minimum wage – Okupe

Doyin Okupe a former presidential aide, has called for a review of the national minimum wage Act which mandates governors of all the Nigerian 36 states to pay a uniform minimum wage to the workers in their various states.

Okupe, made this known while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Saturday said all governors should be allowed to decide on their own the amount they can pay.

“We should not make laws that is un-encompassing that makes it compulsory for all governors in the federation to obey them. They are sub nationalities on the own.

“I mean for instance, if you pay a minimum wage in Lagos, why should I pay that in Sokoto? Let every governor decide for his own state by his own people that this is what I can afford,” Okupe said.

According to him,  what the President should concern himself about is the Federal Government and allow the states and the labour unions at the state level to agree on minimum wage.

For several months, there have been a back and forth between labour and the Federal Government on what the new minimum wage should be.

At the expiration of an ultimatum issued by labour on May 31, the unions embarked on strike on June 3, shutting down businesses across the nation.

The action was however suspended on Tuesday after the Federal Government promised to increase the minimum wage to an amount bigger than N60,000 as they resume negotiations.

The tripartite committee is still locked in meeting trying to agree on a new wage and is expected to make the announcement any time soon.

Recall that the 36 state governors have said that the N60,000 minimum wage proposal by the Federal Government is not sustainable and cannot fly.

A statement by the Acting Director, Media Affairs and Public Relations of the Forum, Mrs Halima  Ahmed, noted that if allowed to fly, many states will use all their monthly allocations from the federation account to pay workers’ salaries.

The governors appealed to members of the tripartite committee to agree on a minimum wage that would be fair and sustainable.