Former president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Peter Esele, on Tuesday said state governors in Nigeria have no excuse to stop payment of the N18, 000 minimum wage urging them to “sew their coat according their size, not cloth”.
Mr Esele urged the governors to look inwards on what they are spending and reduce the convoys they have, which “costs a lot of money”.
The former TUC president further noted that all state governors have security votes “that are not accounted for” and urged the governors to “sew their coat, not according to their size, but according to their cloth”.
He added that “(David) Cameron in the UK does not have a private jet” alleging that “majority of the governors all fly private aircrafts”.
Speaking during Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Esele said that while the last negotiations was on going states made submissions based on what they could pay as minimum wage to civil servants above the N18, 000 they pay”.
He said “Abia State’s submission was N42, 000, Nasarawa even went above N18, 000. All these states made submissions based on what they could pay and majority of them came up with figures higher than N18, 000.
“I also remember during the time of the N7,500, that was the same complain, even when the price of crude was still above $100 from the same state governors”, he said.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum had in its meeting in November expressed worry that more states may not be able to pay workers’ salaries if the revenue of the country continues to be on the decline, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Yari, said after the meeting.
He said the forum discussed the economy and resolved to look for means to enhance states internally generated revenues as well to cut overhead cost, especially the salaries of political office holders.
“The situation is no longer the same when we are used to pay N18, 000 minimum wage when oil was 126 dollars; now oil price is 41 dollars.
“We are coming together in a roundtable with President Muhammadu Buhari and his team of ministers, technocrats, economic experts to see how we can tackle our situation,’’ he said
Mr. Yari said that the governors had also resolved to hold a roundtable with all stakeholders to articulate a robust strategy to tackle the deplorable economic situation in the country.
He also noted that Nigerian governors will eventually reduce the federal minimum wage of N18,000 or downsize because of the current economic crunch.