Minimum Wage: Ngige warns no exemption for any governor

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has warned governors of the 36 states of the Federation that there is no exemption from the payment of the N30,000 monthly minimum wage the federal government signed with the Labour and enacted into law by the National Assembly.

National Daily learned that the Labour Minister in Abuja cautioned that the enforcement of the new minimum wage will translate into salary arrears for workers, insisting that no governor is exempted from paying N30,000 as minimum wage.

There have been arguments that some states have not been able to pay the N18,000 minimum wage and would, therefore, not be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage. Most states were said to be encountering dearth of revenue to meet up with such responsibility.

Ngige, however, maintained that all employers of labour in the country must comply with the law. He disclosed that a committee was working out a new template for upward consequential adjustment for those already earning above N30,000.

“It is a national law and no governor can say he will not pay. Issue of the national minimum wage is item 34 on the exclusive legislative list of the third schedule of the Nigerian constitution.

“Every state government is now owing workers if they have not started paying N30,000. They are owing workers effective from 18th of April, a new minimum wage.

“We are now in a committee working out a new template with which we will adjust upward, the consequential adjustment for those already earning above N30,000.

“The minimum wage is for the most vulnerable down the ladder and that is the man on grade level one step one. So, you must consequentially adjust for the man on grade level two, grade level three, grade level four and five, because that man on GL 1 step 1 has overtaken them with his new payment.

“You know that you must budget for it. That is what is causing the delay. But whenever the encumbrances are removed, they will pay arrears with effect from 18th April, 2019,” Ngige had declared.