Governors Speak On New Minimum Wage Regime
Some state governors have openly expressed reservations about their ability to pay the new N30,000 minimum wage to their workers.
The governors cited issues of low funds and unfavourable economic conditions as major reasons for their hesitation in implementing the new minimum wage.
The governors who spoke, bared their minds at the 2019 International Workers’ Day celebration that held in different states across the country on Wednesday.
They warned that workers may have to pay more tax if they are to fully implement the new minimum wage regime.
David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State, stated that he would neither be the first nor the last to pay the new wage.
He said workers should prepare for an increase in tax if they want to receive N30,000 as minimum wage.
“You see this issue of minimum wage, I will not be the first nor the last to pay it, but I will pay. Civil servants and others should be prepared to pay tax in Ebonyi State,” he said.
Similarly, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor of Enugu State, as reported by Sahara Reporters, said the state lacks required funds to meet the new wage requirement, adding that workers should pray for a boost in the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
Ugwuanyi said: “In as much as the government will remain true to its obligations, I will tell you the nation’s economy is not robust.
“I have taken notice of the new national minimum wage as signed into law, but workers should pray for improvement in financial resources of the state.
“We will ensure that these issues are comprehensively and satisfactorily addressed in concert with other relevant government agencies and departments.”
However, in a reaction to the comments by some of the state governors on their inability to pay the new wage, Comrade Agnes Funmilayo Sessi, Lagos State Chair of Nigeria Labour Congress, is quoted as saying any governor that fails to pay the new N30,000 wage should resign.
She said: “Any governor that feels that they cannot pay the salary of the workers should resign. That means they have failed in their duties and they are incapable of holding that position.
“If they can reduce corruption and bogus spending, there is no state that will not be able to pay the workers the new wage. When they are electing them, did they promise the people that they will starve them?”