After series agitations, threats, arguments, and industrial actions, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, April 19, 2019, signed the N30,000 National Minimum Wage Bill into law.
Though the president had announced that the payment of the N30,000 to workers would begin immediately, it was in October that the federal government would eventually finally reach an agreement with the organised labour on the full implementation of the new minimum wage.
The delay in implementation was caused by the disagreement over the consequential adjustments in salaries to be effected across the board following approval of the new minimum wage law.
After the agreement at the federal level, the focus shifted to the states where state chapters of the labour union were expected to meet with their governors and reach agreements on the individual implementations.
Though the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State’s Governor, had promised that all the agreements on the new wage would be concluded before December 31, 2019, many states have still not, at the moment of finalizing this piece, concluded discussions with their workers’ unions.
While Fayemi also promised that no state will pay below the N30,000, the body language of some state governors, including the protracted delay in reaching agreements with their workers, indicates an unwillingness to abide by the minimum wage law.
This piece highlights the states that have finally reached agreements on the payment of the N30,000 minimum wage.
1. Lagos state
The Lagos state government, under the administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has started paying the minimum wage. The southwestern state impressively pegged its minimum wage at N35,000 and started paying since November 2019.
2. Ondo state
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state has also finalized agreements with the state’s NLC to pay N30,000 as minimum wage. The payments will start from this month, that is, January 2020.
3. Ekiti state
Governor Fayemi has, since October 2019, started paying the new minimum wage.
Ogun, Oyo, and Osun state governors are still meeting with the labour leaders in their respective states and are yet to start paying the new wage. This implies that workers in the state still operate with the previous 18,000 minimum wage.
1. Ebonyi state
Governor David Umahi, starting from January, has approved the payment of the new minimum wage.
2. Abia state
Abia state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has also finalized discussions on the minimum wage and approved its implementation starting from January.
Though Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has repeatedly assured the workers in the state that he will start payment of new minimum wage to workers in January 2020, negotiations have not been concluded as at the time of filing this report.
Enugu and Imo states have not finalized negotiations as well.
1. Akwa Ibom
Governor Udom Emmanuel has agreed to start paying the N30, 000 minimum wage to from January. He also approved the payment of one-month arrears of the minimum wage to the workers.
2. Edo state
Following the promise made by Governor Godwin Obaseki, workers in Edo state received the January salary with the new minimum wage adjustments fully implemented.
Governor Seriake Dickson has also approved the payment of N30,000 new national minimum with effect from the end of January.
Governor Nyesom Wike has also approved N30,000 as the new minimum wage in the state.
5. Delta state
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has reached an agreement with the labour union in the state to start paying the new minimum wage from January.
Cross River state is yet to finalize negotiations with the labour union in the state even though Governor Ben Ayade had promised in 2019 that he would be the first governor to pay the new minimum wage when President Buhari signed it into law.
1. Jigawa state
Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar has already implemented the new minimum as workers in the state have reportedly received the January salary reflecting the new incremental adjustment.
2. Kaduna state
Governor Nasir El-Rufai approved the payment of the new minimum wage as early as August 2019 and started the payment in September.
He had since concluded negotiations with the state’s labour union.
3. Kano state
Not only has Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje approved the payment, but he also added extra just like the Lagos state government. The minimum wage for workers in Kano is N30,600
4. Katsina state
The home state of President Buhari is not left behind as the state governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has approved the new minimum wage and concluded negotiations with the labour union.
5. Kebbi state
Governor Atiku Bagudu, just like his counterpart in Kaduna approved the payment of minimum wage of N30,000 with effect from September 2019.
6. Sokoto state
Few days after his victory at the Supreme Court, Governor Aminu Tambuwal approved the new national minimum wage. Payment takes effect from January.
Though Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state announced in August 2019 that he would pay N30,000 minimum wage to local government workers in the state, it is not immediately clear if the payment has started. In December 2019, Matawalle set up a committee to negotiate with the state workers. Agreements are yet to be reached.
1. Adamawa state
Governed by Umaru Fintiri, Adamawa state is one of the few states enjoying more than the N30,000 minimum wage. Effective December 2019, the state has been paying N32, 000 as its minimum wage for workers.
Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi, has also approved the new minimum wage to workers in his state. Similarly, implementation starts in January.
3. Borno state
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno state has also approved the minimum wage. The NLC in the state confirmed that the increment reflected in the January salary which has been paid by the state government.
4. Yobe state
Governor Mai Mala Buni also said he has approved the payment of N30,000 minimum wage, also adding that implementation starts from January.
Gombe and Taraba states are still at the negotiation level.
Governor Samuel Ortom has agreed with the NLC in Benue to pay N30,009.99 to workers from levels one to six in the state.
The remaining five states in the North-Central are still at the level of negotiations.
While Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state has also said his administration will start paying the new minimum wage by the end of this January, he admitted that negotiations are still ongoing.
Negotiations are still ongoing in Plateau state despite Governor Simon Lalong’s promise in January 2019 to be the first governor to pay whatever was agreed upon as the new minimum wage.
The situations are similar in Kogi, Kwara, and Nasarawa states.
A total of 21 states have announced the commencement of the new minimum wage. Some have started the payment since 2019, while others started with the January salary. Fifteen (15) states are yet to begin the payment.
Three states are yet to begin payment in the South-West. Also in the South-East, three states are yet to conclude negotiations.
Cross River state is the only state in South-South yet to begin the payment while Zamfara is also yet to conclude negotiations in the North-West.
Two states are still at the negotiation level in the North-East.
In the North-Central, 5 states are still defaulting.
Disclaimer: While the labour union may have a contrary position regarding the compliance and negotiation status in the states, the states listed in this piece are those that their governors have officially announced the approval of the N30,000 minimum wage and when the payment would take effect.