Zamfara Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, has said lack of funds has hindered state governors from carrying out their responsibilities in other sectors such as health, electricity, education, roads, among others.
This, he said, was because state governors have been limited to the payment of salaries alone in their respective states. He added that they cannot perform any magic as funds are needed “for these things”.
Yari said this to journalists after the governors’ meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
Yari, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, also called for the examination of the national income in the last 14 years to enable them to agree on the contentious issue of minimum wage implementation.
The committee working on the minimum wage is concluding negotiations on the matter. The federal government had set September for rolling out a new minimum wage for workers.
The governors are insisting on the overwhelming impact of the implementation of the new wage if approved while the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is proposing a minimum wage of N65, 000 for workers.
“We have a committee of six which represented us in discussions in the committee headed by labour minister,” he said.
“The committee is yet to give us the final report. When they give us the final report, for which they have our mandate to present our position, and the position most likely is to look at the record of up to 14 years.
“For instance, in global practice, in your income, how much are you spending as salary? So that we can start from there. They have given us interim report that at the federal government level, over 82 percent is being spent on overhead which cannot move the country forward in terms of infrastructure development and development that we need now.
“So, on our own part, we are saying we are going to look at how our income are trained from our final account from 14 years ago so that we can come up and stay in the middle.
“I don’t think you people voted us for only to pay salaries. You are looking for good roads, electricity, education and others. So, we can’t do magic. It’s only when we have the funds (to) do all those things.”