Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti, says federal salary structure should not be imposed on states.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliated unions, on Wednesday, embarked on a nationwide protest against the bill seeking to move the national minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.
The bill, which was sponsored by Garba Datti, lawmaker representing Sabon Gari federal constituency, seeks to decentralise the payment of minimum wage to workers in the country, to allow states to pay according to their financial capacities.
The bill has passed first and second reading in the house of representatives.
Speaking when he hosted pro-chancellors of state-owned universities on Thursday in Abuja, Fayemi, who doubles as chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the same salary structure should not be imposed on states, because the federal and state governments do not have similar economic situations.
Fayemi made the statement as part of deliberations on solutions to problems faced by state-owned tertiary institutions.
“You can’t impose a federal salary structure on states, because we do not all have the same economic or financial situations,” Fayemi said.
“I, for example, do not have the resources of Lagos state, so you won’t expect me to earn the same salary as the governor of Lagos.
“The people you appoint as vice-chancellors need to speak truth to power. They need to be able to bite the bullet, and not just be a ‘yes’ person.
“We need to work together to confront these issues. We are running glorified secondary schools as universities by this system, and you have to help us in insisting that the institutions, too, do the right thing.”
Fayemi also agreed with the pro-chancellors that politics should not be involved in the nation’s school system.
Meanwhile, the pro-chancellors, led by Yusuf Ali of Osun State University, said the seamless educational progression that the country should be experiencing is being hampered by a paucity of funds.
The visiting team, which had representatives from all the 48 universities owned by states, pleaded with governors to take over the burden of payment of salaries of state universities.