The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) yesterday insisted on the review of the country’s revenue sharing formula to enable its members fulfil their financial obligations in the states. The body also reaffirmed its stand to pay the new minimum wage of N30,000 but held that it might not adopt the template of the Federal Government on the consequential adjustments.
The decision comes few days to the December 31 deadline for conclusion of discussions on the consequential adjustments prior to the implementation of the new pay. Addresssing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, NGF chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, reassured that no state would pay anything less than the approved N30,000 wage. One of the conditions given by the state chief executives before accepting the pay was that the Federal Government must review the revenue sharing formula.
However, fielding questions on the issue, Fayemi said there was no going back on that position. His words: “A review of the revenue sharing formula is still the position of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. “We feel that it is time for the revenue sharing formula to change and we have made a representation to the President and Commander-in-Chief. It is not just under the (Muhammadu) Buhari administration, this has been an ongoing agitation that started way back to the time of President Olusegun Obasanjo. It continued with the (late) President (Umaru) Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan.”
He went on: “And you also know that there is a process to this. The process is that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), which has the responsibility for this, would do its own due diligence, consult widely with critical stakeholders and we have also made available our own representation to RMAFC.
“Every state has a representative at RMAFC as you know, and only last week, RMAFC held a retreat on this and other matters. And I believe they will communicate the position. “Now that we have a full fledged RMAFC in place with a chairman and other members, it is our expectation that this would be taken up by RMAFC with Mr. President in a manner that we have taken it up.”
Fayemi further said: “Whether that would affect negotiation for the minimum wage? I can tell you no. Minimum wage is a law. But as I have always said, a national Minimum Wage Act is not a general minimum wage review. “They are two separate things. Governors are committed to the Minimum Wage Act and no one is going to pay anything less than N30,000. Some of us have started paying N30,000 as you may be aware, others want negotiations on the consequential adjustments to end before they start paying the minimum wage.”