By Umar Isa
The Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, on Monday, expressed dissatisfaction over what it described as false, the assertion that governors are refusing to pay the N30,000 national minimum wage as demanded by workers.
In a statement by NGF Head, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the governors said the N22,500 they proposed was arrived at after extensive deliberations among all 36 governors.
The governor said the decision was made in accordance with their individual financial capacities and liquidity, considering the economic situation of the country and the states’ other obligations to the majority of the people of their various domains.
The statement said the governors were guided by the report of the Tripartite committee set up by the President.
According to the statement “Governors have collectively made it abundantly clear that they would have been happy to pay workers the N30,000 but times are hard and because of financial constraints and other limitations, many states cannot afford it, for now.
“The forum had offered workers a token increment to the sum of N22.500 from the current N18, 000 after the submission of the report of the Tripartite Committee set up by the President and headed by a retired Head of Service Ms. Amma Pepple on October 6th.
“Governors also emphasised that N22.500 is a “baseline threshold”, meaning that any governor who can pay more than N22,500 is therefore free to go ahead and do so.
“Let it be known that governors have met the President twice on this matter and presented their books to buttress their point.
”The president appears satisfied with the governors’ position, thus the decision to set up a new committee.
“It is important to add that, there has never been a time in this country, when states have embarked on a more aggressive revenue drive than they are doing today. And this is without exception or prejudice to any state.