Umahi blames economic situation for non-payment of new minimum wage

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Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, has blamed the country’s economic situation, for the inability of some state governments to payment the new minimum wage.

Mr Umahi made the blame while featuring on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily Thursday morning.

While accepting that the new minimum wage was paltry, the governor appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its allies currently protesting nationwide to allow the inclusion of the wage in concurrent list.

He said they should negotiate with state governments because some states are not financially buoyant enough to pay whatever is agreed at the center.

“I’m in sympathy with labor honestly. When they cry out about people not paying minimum wage, it’s very disturbing because what can N30,000 do for an average worker? Umahi queried, asking, “But is it the fault of governors and the president? The answer is no. It’s the economic situation and it needs different kinds of engagement.

“What we should do is to bring all cards on the table facing up, and then we should be able to discuss. There’s no right thinking person in this country that will say any worker should be paid less than N30k. It doesn’t sound well at all. I support minimum wage whether it’s by legislation or by negotiation. We need as a people, to sit down, and discuss our problems.

“Labor is not anti-government, they are part of the success of government and of course the failure of government. So it’s important that labor should be able to negotiate with governors,” he said.

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Mr Umahi also said he earns less than six hundred thousand naira monthly as a state governor.