Nigerian Governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum have declared that they are still struggling to pay the current minimum wage of N18,000.
Though they said they were not against the upward review of the minimum wage, they nevertheless said the ability of states to pay must be considered.
Chairman of the Forum, who is also the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, said this while briefing journalists after the meeting of the governors held in Abuja on Wednesday night.
National President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, was also at the meeting.
Yari said that the issue was not just on agreed figure to be paid by the governors, but the “ability or resources to take care of that agreed minimum wage.”
He said that the forum had made it clear that the governors were not against any upward review of salaries or against the NLC to get minimum wage reviewed.
He said, “But, the problem of state is the capacity to pay what is agreed. As we are talking today, we are (still) struggling with N18,000.
“Some of the states are paying 35 per cent, some 50 per cent and still some states have salary arrears.
“So, it is not about only reviewing it but how we are going to get the resources to cater for it.”
Yari added that Wabba was invited to brief the forum on states performance in the use of London and Paris Club refunds.
The Federal Government disbursed the fund to states with the condition to use a larger percentage of the money to pay workers’ salaries.
He said while some states had recorded some progress in line with the condition they signed with the Federal Government, others were still owing arrears.
According to him, “So, we invited the National President of NLC to give us details on how some states performed. Some other states that are not up to date, where are they.
“So they have signed Memorandum of Understanding with the NLC at the national level and their representative in states on when they are going to overcome the issue of salary arrears.
“That has been done and it has been taken to the Central Bank Governor to ensure that those states were also paid.”