Governor of Zamfara State and chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, Abdul’aziz Yari, has hinted that governors can no longer cope with the N18,000 minimum wage regime in view of the country’s economic situation.
He said the only option available was for the governors to review it or sack workers.
The governor stated this while speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The NGF chairman said the governors were concerned over the poor state of the economy and how governments at all levels could seek for alternatives ways to cushion the effects of the dwindling oil revenues in the country due to fallen prices of crude at the international market.
“Although in the decision we never said that we are going to stop the payment of N18,000 minimum wage but we are looking at the situation in the country and in the global economy.
“What we said is that when the National Assembly enacted the law of paying N18, 000 minimum wage, then oil was about $118 per barrel and today where we are, oil is $41 per barrel.”
Yari stressed that “Let me make it very clear to Nigerians, Governor’s Forum is not the enemy of labour in any way.”
According to him, the governors have only raised the concern that if the states continue with the current situation, they would in the near future find it difficult to meet up with their financial obligations.
“So, if it continues like that, definitely we will find it difficult to continue. We have to sit down with the labour and see how we can review, either continue or downsizing or what we are going to do.”
“We want to find a solution because we have to be realistic that we have so many things to touch.
There is infrastructure deficit, there is need for security, there are other things like social lives of our people and nation as a state,” he added.
The governor continued that the receipt from federation account alone was not enough to meet numerous demands.
“Some people received N400 million, N500 million, others received N55 million, two digits. And there are other issues, not even the salary; their pension is over a billion. So, how can we continue borrowing and servicing the service aspect of our expenditure, or over head. How can we do that?
“We are telling the public that we are planning to sit down with the President and his team and the state governors as a team and the experts to come out with the way forward and how we are going to handle the poor state of the economy in the country.

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