The new minimum wage may not realise full-scale implementation without some disappointments, as some state governors have hinted on low funds and opted to increase tax being paid by the people.
Some of the governors made their positions known at the 2019 International Workers’ Day celebration that held in different states across the country on Wednesday.
Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor of Enugu State, said the state lacks required funds to meet the new wage, and urged workers to pray for an improvement in economy to boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
Ugwuanyi said: “In as much as the government will remain true to its obligations, I will tell you the nation’s economy is not robust.
“I have taken notice of the new national minimum wage as signed into law, but workers should pray for improvement in financial resources of the state.
“We will ensure that these issues are comprehensively and satisfactorily addressed in concert with other relevant government agencies and departments.”
Similarly, David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State, said he would neither be the first nor the last to pay the new wage.
He said workers should prepare for an increase in tax if they want to receive N30,000 as minimum wage.
“You see this issue of minimum wage, I will not be the first nor the last to pay it, but I will pay. Civil servants and others should be prepared to pay tax in Ebonyi State," he said.
Responding to some of the comments by the state governments on their inability to pay the new wage, Comrade Agnes Funmilayo Sessi, Lagos State Chair of Nigeria Labour Congress, said any governor that says it cannot pay the new wage has failed the people and should resign.
She said: “Any governor that feels that they cannot pay the salary of the workers should resign. That means they have failed in their duties and they are incapable of holding that position.
“If they can reduce corruption and bogus spending, there is no state that will not be able to pay the workers the new wage. When they are electing them, did they promise the people that they will starve them?”