JUST IN: ₦30,000 Minimum Wage Takes Effect in Zamfara, Says Gov. Lawal

Zamfara, Nigeria – Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara state has confirmed the implementation of the ₦30,000 minimum wage to workers during a conversation with Channels TV. This announcement marks the end of a prolonged period of wage stagnation and labor dissatisfaction in the state.

Governor Lawal’s statement came as a relief to many, as he noted, “As of last month, people were still receiving ₦7,000 as salaries; we just now implemented the ₦30,000. When we took over, we had to clear an over 4-month backlog of salaries; pensions have been pending for about ₦13.6 billion since 2012.”

The journey towards fair wages for workers in Zamfara has been long and fraught with challenges. The Nigerian government had taken significant steps in the past to improve workers’ welfare across the country. President Goodluck Jonathan signed the ₦18,000 minimum wage bill into law in 2011, and President Muhammadu Buhari followed with the ₦30,000 minimum wage bill on April 18, 2019. However, despite these federal mandates, Zamfara State workers did not benefit from these increments for nearly 14 years.

The plight of Zamfara workers can be attributed to the failures and deceptions of previous state governors. Despite federal laws mandating higher minimum wages, successive governors in Zamfara neglected to implement these changes. Workers continued to receive as little as ₦7,000, far below the legally stipulated minimum. This gross underpayment was a clear violation of federal labor laws and represented a severe breach of trust by the state government.

The reasons behind this neglect are manifold. Some reports suggest that funds allocated for salaries and pensions were misappropriated, with little to no transparency in the state’s financial dealings. Workers were left to bear the brunt of this mismanagement, facing significant financial hardship as a result.

Upon taking office, Governor Lawal faced the daunting task of addressing these long-standing issues. On May 22, 2024, he pledged to start the payment of the ₦30,000 minimum wage to all categories of workers, a promise that was met with cautious optimism.

Today, Governor Lawal has gone a step further by not only fulfilling his initial promise but also implementing the ₦30,000 minimum wage that is ready to be paid any moment. His administration’s efforts included clearing a backlog of over four months of unpaid salaries and addressing pension arrears totaling approximately ₦13.6 billion, which had accumulated since 2012.

The implementation of the ₦30,000 minimum wage is expected to have a profound impact on the lives of Zamfara workers. Increased salaries will help alleviate the financial struggles faced by many and contribute to improved living standards. Additionally, the clearance of salary backlogs and pension arrears signals a commitment to restoring trust between the state government and its employees.

Governor Lawal’s actions demonstrate a shift towards greater accountability and transparency in the management of state finances. By prioritizing the welfare of workers, his administration is setting a precedent for responsible governance and fiscal discipline.

The assurance from Governor Dauda Lawal regarding the implementation of the ₦30,000 minimum wage is a welcome development for Zamfara State workers. After years of neglect and deception by previous administrations, there is finally a sense of hope and progress. As the state moves forward, the commitment to fair wages and financial accountability will be crucial in rebuilding the trust of its workforce and ensuring sustainable development.