Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara state, Abdul’aziz Yari, on Thursday, disclosed that governors of the 36 states of the Federation have no plans to stop the payment of N18, 000 minimum wage to workers.
The governor made this disclosure while speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
According to the NGF chairman, the governors had rather said that the Presidency and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) might have to re-negotiate the 18,000 minimum wage if the dwindling oil prices continue to affect the revenue generation.
Governor Yari further explained that the governors were only concerned that if the states continue with the current situation, they would in the near future find it difficult to meet up with their financial obligations.
He said, “Although in the decision we never said that we are going to stop the payment of N18,000 minimum wage but we are looking at the situation in the country and in the global economy.
“What we said is that when the National Assembly enacted the law of paying N18,000 minimum wage, then oil was about $118 per barrel and today where we are, oil is $41 per barrel.
“Let me make it very clear to Nigerians, Governors’ Forum is not the enemy of labour in any way.”
“So, if it continues like that, definitely we will find it difficult to continue. We have to sit down with the labour and see how we can review, either continue or downsizing or what we are going to do.
“We want to find a solution because we have to be realistic that we have so many things to touch.
“There is infrastructure deficit, there is need for security, and there are other things like social lives of our people and nation as a state.”
Yari said the receipt from federation account alone was not enough to meet numerous demands, noting that while some people received N400 million, N500 million, others received N55 million.
“And there are other issues, not even the salary; their pension is over a billion. So, how can we continue borrowing and servicing the service aspect of our expenditure, or overhead? How can we do that?” Yari asked.
“We are telling the public that we are planning as a team to sit down with the President and his team and the experts to come out with the way forward and how we are going to handle the poor state of the economy in the country”.
Speaking on Kogi and Bayelsa election, the governor advised the electorates to ensure they all cast their votes. He said, “People should turn out en masse and vote to do their own constitutional or legitimate rights to choose their leadership.