Plateau LGs Can't Pay N18,000 Minimum Wage

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The Plateau chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), says its members cannot pay the N18,000 minimum wage with the current revenue allocation formula.

Mr. Nicholas Nshe, the state ALGON chairman, who announced this in Shendam, Plateau, said the implementation of the minimum wage was unrealistic at the moment.

He said that more than 90 percent of the local governments’ monthly allocations was used to service the wage bill and other statutory deductions.

Nshe said that once this was done, the councils were left with almost nothing for the execution of projects.

“The highest allocation Plateau gets in a month is N1.5 billion, out of which N670 million is spent on teachers’ salaries alone, while some statutory deductions are also made from the balance.

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“At the end, you have just between N500 million and N700 million to be shared among the 17 local governments and the wage bill alone is about 95 percent of what we get,” Nshe said.

He said that the monthly allocation to the Shendam Local Government Council was N56 million out of which N47 million was spent on salaries.

Nshe said the situation was worrisome as the current revenue sharing formula was not favourable to the councils, and called for a review of the formula.

“The N18,000 minimum wage translates to a paltry N600 per day, which is insignificant; we are even desirous of paying N40,000 as minimum wage or more, if we have the money.

“The current revenue allocation to the third-tier of government is 20.6 percent; we are advocating 30 percent. It is the people’s money and we will use it for their benefit.”