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Minimum Wage: States should determine what they can pay – Fayemi

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A FORMER governor of Ekiti State Kayode Fayemi believes states should determine the minimum wage they can pay.

The Federal Government and labour unions have been locked in negotiations over a new minimum wage for months. While the latter insists on N250,000, the government is offering N62,000.

But Fayemi is advocating a decentralised minimum wage negotiation, arguing that states should determine what they can pay factoring in their peculiarities.

“Every governor has to deal with the issue of national minimum wage. When I was governor and chairman of the governor’s forum, and I believe even till this recent negotiation, is that we should decentralise minimum wage negotiations and allow states to have their own negotiations with their own labor unions whilst the Federal Government conducts its own negotiations because the fingers are not equal,” he said on Friday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“This should be decentralised and each state should define in conjunction with their labour unions, with transparency with all the records provided to the labor unions and say, ‘Look, this is what we have, but you are also only five or 10% of our population. We also have another 90% of the population that we must attend to.”

Fayemi believes the talk about a new minimum wage is all about dogma, saying a decentralised negotiation does not mean workers in the state will earn less than those at the federal level.

“What we’re dealing with now is dogma. Labour does not want to hear anything about decentralized national minimum wage and decentralised national minimum wage does not mean that what is paid at the level of the state will be lower than the federal,” the former minister said.

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