The state governors have declared that the agreement between the Federal Government and organised labour over the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage is not binding on the states.
Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), stated this at the end of a meeting of the 36 state governors in Abuja on Monday.
The Federal Government and organised labour had reached an agreement concerning the implementation of the minimum wage on October 18.
However, Fayemi, who is the Governor of Ekiti State, noted that the Federal Government does not decide what happens in states with regards to payment of salaries.
He stated that the agreement applies only to civil servants working with the federal government, insisting that the states will maintain their previous agreement with the state chapters of organised labour.
He said: “I am sure you know the FEC does not determine what happens in the states, the states have their own states executive councils and that is the highest decision-making body at the state level.
“The forum (NGF) as the representative body of the states followed what happened in the negotiations that transpired. As far as we are concerned, the best that the forum can do is stick to what has been agreed with states.
“States were part of the tripartite negotiation and agreed to N30,000 minimum wage. But states also know there will be consequential adjustments. That would be determined by what happened on a state-by-state basis because there are different numbers of workers at the state level, there are different issues at the state level.
“Every state has its own trade union, with a negotiating committee and they would undertake this discussion with their state government. That is simply what we have said.
“The day after the agreement was reached with labour, I was on record on Channels TV, and I made the position of the states clear that for us, we have always been clear that this was a national minimum wage increase, not a general minimum wage review.
“So to that extent, we do not want the media to confuse issues about a national minimum wage increase. And yes that may necessitate consequential increment and we have no doubt about that. But that is a matter for the states to discuss with their workers.”
Governor Fayemi said the consequential adjustments will be determined on a state by state basis.
“Every state has its own trade union, with a negotiating committee and they would undertake this discussion with their state governments. That is simply what we have said,” he said.
The Federal Government and organised labour agreed on 23.2 per cent increase for workers at grade level 07; 20 per cent for those at grade level 08; 19 per cent for workers at grade level 09; 16 per cent for those on levels 10 to 14; and 14 per cent for workers at grade levels 15 to 17.
The state chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had during their state congress meeting in Enugu said the agreement would act as a guideline in their negotiation for the implementation of the consequential adjustments of the minimum wage in various states.