Governors under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) say they were not voted into power to pay salaries alone but also to provide good roads, electricity, education and other necessary amenities.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari, has spoken out on the ongoing negotiation for a new national minimum wage after a meeting of the governors of the 36 states of the federation on Wednesday night in Abuja.
According to Tribune, the Governor of Zamfara state, told reporters that the governors want the national income to be examined over the last 14 years so that its exact position can be determined.
The NGF chairman regretted that states government have been limited to only the payment of salaries and unable to take care of development responsibilities in other sectors such as health, electricity, education, among others.
He said that the governments have no magic to meet the expectations of the people if they do not have the required funds.
On minimum wage, Yari said: “We have a committee of six which represented us in discussions in the committee headed by Labour minister. The committee is yet to give us the final report.
“When they give us the final report, for which they have our mandate to present our position, and the position most likely is to look at the record of up to 14 years.
“For instance, in global practice, in your income, how much are you spending as salary? So that we can start from there. They have given us an interim report, that at the of the federal government level, over 82 per cent is being spent on overhead which cannot move the country forward in terms of infrastructure development and development that we need now.
“So, on our own part, we are saying we are going to look at how our income is trained from our final account from 14 years ago so that we can come up and stay in the middle.
“I don’t think you people voted us for only to pay salaries. You are looking for good roads, electricity, education and others. So, we can’t do magic. It’s only when we have the funds do all those things.”
Speaking against the backdrop of the freezing of Akwa Ibom and Benue states government accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Yari said that even President Muhammadu Buhari will not support the illegalities perpetrated by the agencies.
He said: “We believe strongly that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will not sit down and supervise this illegality in the system.
“What we are saying is that we all support the government to fight corruption because it is endemic and has suffered the nation for over six decades. Definitely, it was part of what we discussed.
“What we are saying now is that we are going to support the government in terms of what it is doing to fight corruption, but the due process must be respected in whatever action the agencies are going to take in the name of fighting corruption.”