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The workforce of some states is likely to be reduced as their governors are considering this alternative in the light of minimum wage issue.

The Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, who is also the governor of Zamfara state, speaking on Thursday on N18000 minimum wage said it was important that government representatives met with labor unions to take a decision on whether to review the wage or to reduce the workforce.

After a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed-doors inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Yari spoke with State House correspondents.

Yari said that the sharp drop in oil price, which had resulted in drastic reduction in federal allocations to states, made the decision inevitable. He also claimed that NGF should not be seen as Anti-labor.

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Let me make it very clear to Nigerians, Governors’ Forum is not an enemy of labour in any way. Rather, we have been working together. Although in the decision, we never said we are going to stop the payment of N18,000 minimum wage, but we are looking at the situation in the country and in the global economy”.

What we said was that when the National Assembly enacted the law of paying N18,000 minimum wage, then oil price was about $118 per barrel and today oil price is $41 per barrel. So, if it continues like that, definitely, we will find it difficult to continue. We have to sit down with the labour and see how we can review, either continue or downsizing or what we are going to do.’’

As an allocation some states received N400m, N500m. Some others received N55m; two digits. And there are other issues, not even the salary, pension is over a billion.

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In a reaction to this statement by Yari, The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Ayuba Wabba said in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Thursday that the organized labour would neither accept a downward review of the minimum wage nor any move to remove the workers.

The NLC president urged the President to be firm in the sustenance of the on-going campaign against corrupt public officials. He believed that the $5bn reportedly recovered from some former key officials of the past administration is enough for all the present needs.

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