Minimum wage: We’re not elected to pay salaries only – Governors

Minimum wage: We’re not elected to pay salaries only – Governors
August 17 09:41 2018

By Ahmed Idris

Governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said on Thursday that there was the need for the critical review of minimum wage because they were not elected to pay salaries of workers alone.

Speaking on behalf of the governors at the end of a meeting in Abuja, chairman of NGF and governor of Zamfara state, Mr. Abdulaziz Yari, said apart from payment of salaries, they also have a duty to provide good roads, electricity, education and other basic amenities to the citizenry.

He expressed concern that state governments have been limited to payment of salaries of workers alone and unable to take care of developmental issues such as health, education and access roads, among others.

He said: “We have a committee of six which represented us in discussions in the committee headed by Labour minister. The committee is yet to give us the final report. When they give us the final report, for which they have our mandate to present our position, and the position most likely is to look at the record of up to 14 years.

“For instance, in global practice, in your income, how much are you spending as salary? So that we can start from there. They have given us interim report, that at the federal government level, over 82 percent is being spent on overhead which cannot move the country forward in terms of infrastructure development and development that we need now.

“So, on our own part, we are saying we are going to look at how our income are trained from our final account from 14 years ago so that we can come up and stay in the middle. I don’t think you people voted us for only to pay salaries. You are looking for good roads, electricity, education and others. So, we can’t do magic. It’s only when we have the funds do all those things.”

He said the governors also deliberated on the way federal government agencies have been handling the war on corruption in the country, and resolved that they must adhere strictly on due process rather than engage in illegalities.

He said while governors support the present administration’s effort to curtail corruption, they were, however p, uncomfortable with some of the actions taken by the anti-corruption agencies.

“We believe strongly that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will not sit down and supervise this illegality in the system. What we are saying is that we all support the government to fight corruption because it is endemic and has suffered the nation for over six decades.

“Definitely, it was part of what we discussed. What we are saying now is that we are going to support the government in terms of what it is doing to fight corruption, but the due process must be respected in whatever action the agencies are going to take in the name of fighting corruption,” he said.