LGs can’t pay N62, 000 minimum wage – ALGON

Meanwhile, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has said local councils cannot afford the proposed N62, 000 as new minimum wage because of the lean allocation from the federation account.

Mr Aminu Muazu-Maifata, the national president of ALGON, made this known while speaking to newsmen in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital on Monday.

Muazu-Maifata, who is the chairman of Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, explained that all the 774 local government areas across the country got allocation of about 18 per cent from the federation account monthly, adding that the funds would not be enough to pay the N62,000 minimum wage.

He said that even if the entire monthly allocation were dedicated solely to salaries, it would still fall short of implementing the proposed wage increase.

He, therefore, appealed for an increase in monthly allocations to local governments to enable them meet the proposed minimum wage.

He said, “Apart from payment of wages, we still have other responsibilities, such as provision of affordable health care, education, security, traditional institution, rural roads, as well as youth and women empowerment, among others, to contend with.”

He said although council chairmen had thrown their weight behind wage increment for civil servants, the revenue to the local government could not accommodate N62,000.

Recall that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) had on Friday said they would not afford to pay N60, 000 as new minimum wage. However, in a swift reaction, the NLC, in a statement by its Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, described the stance of the state governors on the issue as insensitive, wicked and selfish, adding that they acted in bad faith.

“It is unheard of for such a statement to be issued to the world in the middle of an ongoing negotiation. It is certainly in bad taste,” it said.

The NLC said the increase of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocations from N700 billion to N1.2 trillion had made the state governments “extremely rich at the expense of the people.”

In separate interviews with Daily Trust at the weekend, civil servants across the country asked the state governors to slash their salaries and allowances and those of their appointees to enable them pay the new minimum wage of N62, 000 proposed by the federal government.

The workers said they would sue the governors should they refuse to implement the new minimum wage when approved by the federal government.

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