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Ajimobi, Makinde differ on payment of minimum wage

[FILE PHOTO] Oyo state, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and the governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, are singing different tunes over the payment of the new minimum wage of N30,000.

While the outgoing governor says the state is committed to paying, the in-coming governor says it cannot pay.

Ajimobi was speaking yesterday at the Adamasingba Stadium where workers converged to celebrate the May Day.

Represented by his deputy, Moses Adeyemo, the governor disclosed that representatives of labour and government met recently on the issue of the new minimum wage.

He said the government would do the needful as soon as processes for the take-off of the new wage were completed.

Speaking at the event, the state chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Emmanuel Ogundiran, warned employers of labour against contract job and casualisation of workers.

Ogundiran stressed the need for dignity of labour and social justice. “We want workers to live a better life. One hundred years of workers’ poor welfare, suffering, slavery and non-achievement must stop.”

On his part, Makinde argued that state governments ought to have been allowed to negotiate new minimum wage for their workers, as condition of living varies from state to state.

While agreeing that the new minimum wage had become law, he told reporters in Abuja after attending the induction programme for governors-elect that he was planning to negotiate with the state branch of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the matter, as “Oyo cannot pay the new wage” of N30,000 signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Makinde said the federal government should not impose a national minimum wage on states, since Nigeria is a federation.

He added that it was for the same reason that the call for the restructuring of the country had become forceful.

Meanwhile, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi has assured workers in the state that his administration would give the N30,000 minimum wage “necessary attention”.

He stated this during the May Day celebration at Halilu Abdu Stadium, Birnin-Kebbi yesterday, assuring the workers that his administration would continue to improve on their welfare.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Umar Yauri, said: “Be assured that the new minimum wage signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari would be given all the necessary attention by this administration.”

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