Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has promised to pay any amount agreed upon by the negotiating committee on minimum wage.
The governor said this on Tuesday in Makurdi, Benue capital, when members of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and other unions visited him to demand the upward review of wages.
Africa News 24 reports that organised labour proposed a minimum wage of N30,000, vowing to shut down the country if the demand is not met.
Ortom, who was represented by his chief of staff, Terwase Orbunde, said he was not against the upward review of workers’ minimum wages “in spite of the current economic challenges bedevilling the country”.
His words: “I will work in line with the outcome of the new minimum wage committee. I am known for championing improved welfare for workers. I did it when I was the chairman of Guma local government area,” he said.
“When I came on board as governor, primary school teachers were not receiving the N18,000.00 minimum wage. I stepped up their salaries without waiting for them to mount pressure on me to do so.
“I wanted them to be at par with other civil servants in the state. They did not march in protest before I increased their salaries. I am not against a better life for workers.”
While Ortom’s colleagues had said they lacked the capacity to pay N30,000, Femi Adesina, spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari, said those holding public offices would not be able to pay N30,000 even if they sacrifice their pay.