Lagos Ready To Pay Above N30,000 Minimum Wage – Gov Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that the state is ready to pay more than the N30,000 benchmark for the national minimum wage.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said during a meeting with the organised labour unions held at the State House in Alausa on Tuesday that the implementation of the new minimum wage payment would take off when the Federal Government and labour unions conclude their negotiations.
The governor also said that the state was drawing up its finances and creating additional revenue sources that would enable the government sustain the new minimum wage payment.
Sanwo-Olu said his government understood the day-by-day challenges being faced by workers in the state to do their tasks, which informed the decision by his administration to pay more than the N30,000 minimum wage benchmark.
The addition, he pointed out, was to motivate workers and encourage them to cope with challenges that may hinder their productivity.
He said: “As a government, we take the issue of minimum wage very seriously. We know how important and germane it is to the wellbeing of our people. We are technically ready to implement the new minimum wage.
I made commitment during my previous interactions with the labour unions before my assumption of office and I am still keeping to the promise made. However little it is, we will certainly pay more than N30,000 minimum wage.
“We understand the position Lagos occupies and we understand the challenges workers are facing in Lagos. If other states can raise up to that amount, I believe Lagos needs to show a bit more to appreciate workers’ contribution to the growth of our state.”
During interaction with the labour unions’ leaders, Sanwo-Olu listened to various demands of the workers, which included arrears of workers’ medical allowance, introduction of premium insurance for the workforce, timely pension payment for retired workers, mortgage scheme for housing, befitting labour secretariat and representation of workers’ unions in MDA boards’ appointments.
Sanwo-Olu said he had directed the commissioner for finance to look into the unpaid arrears of workers’ medical allowance, with a charge to clear the backlog and make payment to the affected workers.
The governor added that the state was planning to absorb its entire workforce in the recently introduced health insurance scheme, observing that the ministry of health was harmonising the modality to ensure all workers were covered in the scheme.
He also said his administration had started to tackle challenges limiting workers’ productivity, including massive rehabilitation of critical highways across the state to reduce travel time and diffuse road congestion.
In reaction, chairman of Lagos Council of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Gbenga Ekundayo, listed re-introduction of town hall meeting with labour unions and appointment of more women into the state’s cabinet as part of the promises fulfilled by the governor.
Mr Ekundayo informed the governor that the labour unions had been meeting to develop a framework that would make the government to capture traders in informal sector in the tax net.
Chairperson of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos chapter, Funmi Sessi, described workers as government’s partners in progress, while appreciating Sanwo-Olu for keeping some of his promises with the workers’ union.
She promised that the organised labour would continue to support the government’s efforts towards improving the wellbeing of the residents and workers in Lagos.