Southern govs advocate state-negotiated minimum wage

The 17 Southern Governors of Nigeria, under the Southern Governors’ Forum, have called for each state to negotiate its own minimum wage with labor unions.

This was one of the key points in a communique issued at the end of their meeting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“The Forum discussed the minimum wage issues demanded by labor and unanimously agreed that the minimum wage should be reflective of the cost of living and ability to pay, and each state be allowed to negotiate their minimum wage,” the communique stated.

The forum also emphasized the need for strengthened fiscal federalism and the devolution of powers, expressing concerns over current practices where mineral licenses are issued without state involvement. This has led to criminal activities, environmental degradation, and no significant revenue for the states or the federal government.

Given the region’s economic and industrial significance, the governors highlighted the need to address inadequate power supply by leveraging recent constitutional amendments that allow states to regulate and distribute electricity.

They also advocated for energy transition plans from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources like CNG and electric vehicles.

The meeting called on the federal government to rehabilitate major roads and transfer some roads to states willing to manage them.

They applauded President Tinubu for initiating the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road project, which spans eight southern states.

Additionally, the governors resolved to develop a regional multimodal transport master plan to enhance connectivity and ease of doing business within the region.

They also announced the creation of the Southern States Development Agenda (SSDA) to foster trade, investment, sustainable growth, economic prosperity, social harmony, and food security.

The forum reiterated its support for state police, citing the success of regional community-based security outfits in intelligence gathering.

The governors also praised President Tinubu for his food palliative support and economic recovery reforms, pledging their support for his “Renewed Hope Agenda.”

The meeting concluded with the election of Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun as Chairman of the Forum and Anambra State Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo as Vice Chairman.

The communique noted that quarterly meetings of the Forum would be held and rotated among member states.

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