The Nigeria Governors’ Forum says payment of minimum wage consequential adjustments will be determined by each state based on their Internal Generated Revenue.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Fayemi Kayode, gave an assurance that governors are ready to comply with the 30,000 minimum wage as agreed by the tripartite negotiation committee.
He, however, explained that they cannot be forced to comply with the consequential adjustment.
According to him, payment will be determined majorly by the Internally Generated Revenue of each state and the number of civil servants on their payroll.
This formed part of the deliberations when the governor’s met at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Monday.
The development comes just days after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) ordered that payments of the new minimum wage and the consequential adjustments, must be completed by the 31st of December, 2019.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Mr Kayode Fayemi, says Nigerian governors do not want workers to down tool on the issue of minimum wage.
Fayemi who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, said the N30,000 minimum wage recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari should rather be an incentive that will boost the productivity of Nigerian workers.
He noted that it was on the basis of this that the NGF collectively agreed to increase the salaries of workers in their domain.
“We don’t want workers to down tools, we want productivity to increase and that is why we said we are ready to pay N30,000.
“We are even ready to pay a level of consequential adjustment but that has to be determined on a state by state basis,” he said.
Although the governor agreed that not all fingers are equal, indicating that not all states are financially buoyant, he however, wants a situation whereby the labour leaders will strike an understanding with the respective state governors.
This to him is because when the governors are being put under undue pressure, it may rather affect the plight of the workers rather than assisting them in view of the current economic realities.
“But clearly fingers are not equal at the state level, there will be challenges and I hope labour and state governments will both display a level of understanding that will assist the workers,” he stated.
Explaining further, he said: “The challenge that we have at the level of governors is on the consequential adjustment which has now been agreed by labour and the Federal Government.
“And for us, we will be meeting. I don’t want to give you a view until my colleagues and I have met to review how we are going to look at the template that has come out of the negotiations at the federal level and see how that can be applied.”
When asked when his administration intends implementing the minimum wage payment, the governor replied saying: “We are starting this month in Ekiti State.”
The establishment of the Special Agro-Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria has the potential of attracting about four billion dollars investments into the country, this is according to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
Governor Kayode Fayemi, the chairman of the forum said this in a conversation with newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Ekiti State Governor explained that the initiative will be of great benefit to all Nigerians.
He said, “SAPZs which will bring together the farming and the processing community and the potential of attracting about one billion dollars from the AfDB and up to 4 billion dollars with the entry of private sector investors.”
The NGF Chairman stressed that the governors were already in agreement with the AfDB, adding that provisions will be made for a desk at the NGF Secretariat where the interests of various states will be tabled.
Those in attendance at the NGF meeting include Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Umaru Fintri (Adamawa), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Godwin Obaseki (Edo).
Others are Darius Ishiaku (Taraba), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Babagana Umara (Borno).
Nigerian governors met in the nation’s capital Abuja on Wednesday under the aegis of the Governors Forum (NGF).
During the meeting, at the NGF Secretariat, the governors discussed plans to set up Agro-processing zones across the country, among other things.
They also agreed to do everything to ensure effective polio immunisation in their states to prevent a reemergence of the disease in the country to ensure that Nigeria is certified polio-free by the World Health Organisation.
The meeting comes hours after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated his cabinet and assigned portfolio to ministers at a ceremony, which was attended by governors and other top government officials.
The newly appointed Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has pledged closer ties with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to ensure the growth of the economy.
While meeting with the NGF delegation in his office, Mr Kyari explained that the partnership will also grow renewable energy and generate revenue for the country.
“What is important to Nigerians are two things – fuel supply and absence of queues in fuel stations. And the second part of this is very critical. How much money we deliver from our transactions into the federation account.
“These two elements are critical and they are very important for the well being of this country,” he said.
The NNPC boss also assured the governors that the financials and operations of the corporation would continue to be communicated to them while ensuring fiscal feasibility for the states in consonance with the medium-term expenditure framework.
A legal practitioner, George Eke, says the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) does not have the powers to prosecute culprits.
Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he said that unlike the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the NFIU is incapacitated with arraigning violators of some financial crimes.
“My only worry is that they (NFIU) don’t have prosecutorial powers. And you cannot begin to threaten anybody when you cannot take the person to court and prosecute him.
In a statement by the NGF’s spokesman, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the governors said the agency was dabbling into a matter that was beyond its mandate.
But reacting, he said the local governments are short of funds, lamented that the state governors have not given the local councils their dues from the joint accounts.
He alleged that most governors have rubber-stamps the local governments to the extent that about 80 per cent of the states don’t have elected local government chairmen.
“We expected that the NGF was going to react in this manner. The reason is that the joint account is very important to the governors.
“As a matter of fact, that is actually what attracts quite a number of people to contest for that position because it is like a free fund.
“The intendment of the constitution is that these monies will be paid into the joint account and the governors, in turn, will pass it to the local governments so that they can have this third-tier development,” he stated.
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), has lamented the level of insecurity in the country, despite the resources invested through security votes.
Head, Media and Public Affairs, NGF, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, said that the idea of state police would help approach the insecurity situation because after such investments to boost security infrastructure, the state police commissioners aren’t answerable to the governors.
The NGF spokesman, who was a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily, on Tuesday, expressed that the state governors are frustrated at the security situation.
“A lot of governors are frustrated with the security situations because they have no control over it, in spite of the huge resources that they invest in it.
“The Governors and the kind of support that they provide to the police force that is posted to their state; I always say that one out of four vehicles you see on the road driven by policemen are bought by governors.
“If you look at the money governors put into providing security, and yet they will call at certain times, and the police commissioner is answerable to only two people; the President and the Inspector General of Police when there is an emergency, of course, governors would be frustrated.”
Bello-Barkindo urged people to reduce the criticisms lashed out at governors over accountability.
“A lot of people criticise governors for spending security votes without accountability.
“We have over time, sort to get the idea of state police so that governors would be able to approach certain emergency problem within their states with immediacy, but that has not been possible.”
The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) is holding an induction programme for all the new and returning governors ahead of the May 29th inauguration ceremony.
The programme which held in Abuja was aimed at supporting incoming governors to develop key governance and management skills that would enable them transition from campaigning to managing the processes of governance.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, all incumbent and outgoing governors and governor-elect attended the inauguration programme.