We Cannot Afford ₦62,000 ‘New’ Minimum Wage – ALGON

The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) has stated that local councils cannot afford the proposed ₦62,000 as the new minimum wage.

They attribute this to the meagre allocation received from the federation account, which is a major factor contributing to their rejection of the proposal.

The National President of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Alh Aminu Muazu-Maifata, told journalists in Lafia on Monday that all 774 Local Government Councils in the country receive a little over 18% of the monthly allocation from the Federation Account.

He argued that this grossly inadequate funding is the reason they cannot meet the proposed ₦62,000 minimum wage.

Naija News reports that ALGON’s argument over the new minimum wage comes amid ongoing deliberations between the federal government and organized labour.

The Federal Government and private sector representatives in the tripartite committee for negotiating the new minimum wage had suggested ₦62,000, while organized labour shifted from ₦494,000 to ₦250,000.

Commenting on the deliberations so far, Muazu-Maifata stated that even if the local government executives choose to allocate their entire monthly funds for salaries, ALGON would still lack the means to implement the new minimum wage.

“Apart from paying wages, we still have other responsibilities such as providing affordable healthcare, education, security, traditional institutions, rural roads, youth and women empowerment, among others, to contend with,” the ALGON president declared.

Muazu-Maifata, who also serves as the Chairman of Lafia Local Government Area (LGA) in Nasarawa State, expressed his support for salary increments for civil servants. However, he highlighted the challenge faced by the local government due to limited revenue.

In light of this, the ALGON president appealed for an increase in the monthly allocations of all 774 LGAs across the country. This, he said, would enable them to meet the proposed minimum wage requirements and adequately compensate their employees.

“I want to appeal for increased allocation to local governments in Nigeria. ALGON has a lot of responsibilities to meet up with the ₦62,000 minimum wage. We will also give priority to issues of security at the local level and attract interventions from development partners to our various councils,” Muazu-Maifata added.

He also advocated amending the constitution to make the tenure of LGA officials uniform across the country for smooth administration, promising that the association would work with other stakeholders to ensure the full implementation of the area councils’ autonomy as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

“The tenure of office of LGAs officials should be made four years to enable them to deliver on their campaign promises to the electorates.

The tenure is three years in some states and two years in some other states which is not good for the administration at the local councils,” Muazu-Maifata stated.