The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has declared that the proposed N60,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers is too high and unsustainable. This announcement came in a statement released on Friday by the Director of Media and Public Affairs for NGF, Halimah Ahmed.

The NGF expressed concerns that adopting the N60,000 minimum wage would force many states to allocate their entire Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) funds to salaries, leaving no resources for developmental projects.

“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum is in agreement that a new minimum wage is due. The Forum also sympathises with labour unions in their push for higher wages,” the statement read. “However, the Forum urges all parties to consider that the minimum wage negotiations also involve consequential adjustments across all cadres, including pensioners. The NGF cautions parties in this important discussion to look beyond just signing a document for the sake of it; any agreement to be signed should be sustainable and realistic.”

The statement emphasized that the proposed N60,000 minimum wage is not feasible. “It will simply mean that many states will spend all their FAAC allocations on just paying salaries with nothing left for development purposes. In fact, a few states will end up borrowing to pay workers every month. We do not think this will be in the collective interest of the country, including workers,” the statement continued.

The NGF called on all parties involved in the negotiation process, especially the labour unions, to consider all socioeconomic factors and reach a sustainable agreement. “We appeal that all parties involved, especially the labour unions, consider all the socioeconomic variables and settle for an agreement that is sustainable, durable, and fair to all other segments of society who have a legitimate claim to public resources,” the statement added.

This development comes after the organised labour suspended their industrial action, which began on Monday, following an agreement with the Federal Government. The labour unions had vowed to reject any minimal increase to the N60,000 offer proposed by the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage.

Less than 24 hours after the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, presented the cost implications of a new minimum wage to the President, the governors acknowledged the necessity of a new minimum wage but maintained their position on the unsustainability of the proposed amount.