Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has urged Organized Labour to shelve its planned industrial action in the interest of the country, adding that the move would not achieve the intended aim.
In an interaction with journalists in Lagos, Fayemi, said during the tripartite negotiation, governors made it clear to labour leaders that a national minimum wage law is not tantamount to a general wage increase. He, therefore, opined that consequential adjustment should not go beyond workers between levels 7 and 9.
‘’We don’t want workers to down tools. You may recall that when the negotiations started the governors’ proposal was N24,000. The negotiations went back and forth and we ended up with N30,000, and the governors in principle we said we will pay.
‘’However, in private discussions with the President, we made it clear that this is another recipe for a future bailout. When it was N18,000 we were struggling. I don’t consider N30,000 a living wage in today’s Nigeria, let’s be frank. But you cannot promise what you don’t have. We agreed N30,000; We all agreed that we will look for a way to boost the revenue going to the states.
We have been working on that. We don’t want workers to down tools. However, we have also made it clear. During the tripartite negotiation, we made it clear and labour leaders agreed with us that a national minimum wage law is not tantamount to a general wage increase.
‘’The fact that we move people who are below N30,000 to N30,000 and above does not automatically mean that we do the same thing for people who are earning N400,000. It is a minimum wage law, not a general wage law.
‘’Consequential adjustment should not go beyond levels 8 and 9. We proposed a nine per cent increase for Levels 7 -12; and five per cent for levels 13 and above and they said no, they want 45 per cent for everybody. Of course, that is difficult, where are they going to get it from? This economy is in the doldrums. If you have an economy where your debt servicing is N2.4 trillion, what are we talking about? I hope good sense will prevail and they realise that the strike is a futile exercise.”