Oyo can’t pay N30,000 minimum wage ― Gov-elect

State governments ought to have been allowed to negotiate the new minimum wage for their workers as the condition of living varies from state to state, Oyo state Governor-Elect, Seyi Makinde, has said.

He told reporters in Abuja after attending the induction programme for returning and newly elected governors, that he intends to negotiate with the state branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) because Oyo cannot pay the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000 just signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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

He said it is for the same reason that the call for the restructuring of the country had become strident.

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Asked to assess Oyo’s ability to pay the new wage, the Governor-Elect stated: “It has been signed into law. I personally believe that individual states should have been allowed to negotiate this because conditions of living in Lagos are obviously not the same as living in Ibadan.

“And I will definitely say without fear or favour that it’s part of the reasons why we are thinking of restructuring. That’s a federal system of government.

“We have a federation but the state governments I believe, are no subordinate to the federal government. They are coordinate governments.

“Then, when the federal government makes a law that says ‘well, we are going to pay 30,000 as minimum wage,’ what’s the condition in my state? Can we support it? I don’t think.

“We are going to engage the Nigeria Labour Congress in my state and we see how we go from there.”

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