by Lekan Olanrewaju
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola has stated that the state government will not be forced into adopting the new minimum wage policy put forward by the Federal Government.
Speaking on Tuesday during Worker’s Day celebrations at the Onikan Stadium, he stated that the Federal Government can only make legislation for a minimum wage, but the state should be left to decide what it can afford beyond that for its workers.
“Today I will like to assert that our government will not be stampeded into paying any wage we are not part of negotiating and which the fund to pay is not provided for and given to us.” he said.
“I recognise that item 34 of the Exclusive Legislative List gives the Federal Government the power to make legislation for a minimum wage. That is where the power ends.”
“We have complied with the minimum wage since January 2011; long before it was signed into law.” he continued. “We should be left to decide what more we can afford to pay over the minimum wage to any cadre of workers.
He also spoke on the issue of power supply, stating that he felt the ongoing power reforms should be handled more aggressively.
“As far as power supply is concerned, it remains for me the quickest way to galvanize our economy.” he said. “While I identify with the underlying philosophy of the power reform plan, I think we must pursue its implementation more aggressively.”
He went on to say that the Federal Government should take more action as regards allowing states distribute their own power, otherwise the initial excitement over the prospect would be for nothing.
“It was supposed to have been completed last year when the privatisation of the generation and distribution companies would have been finalised, but we are now five months into a new year without a definitive date for conclusion.” he said.
“I must also emphasize that the recent euphoria generated in the public discourse about the Federal Government’s statement that states can now distribute power, will soon evaporate unless immediate and positive action is taken to give expression to that intent.”