Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue said if he had the capacity, he would pay the state workers above N30,000 as minimum wage.
Mr Ortom stated this on Tuesday in Makurdi while addressing members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the union embarked on a peaceful protest to express their grievances over the delay in the implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000.
The governor, who sympathised with the workers, said the state cannot afford to pay the new wage.
He, however, stated that the present N18,000 minimum wage was no longer enough due to the economic situation.
“If I have the capacity, I will not hesitate to implement the new minimum wage even above N30,000,” he said.
He disclosed that governors had appealed to the federal government to review the revenue sharing formula to enable them pay the proposed national minimum wage.
”I have prioritised payment of workers’ salaries and this is exactly what my administration is doing,” he said.
Also speaking, the NLC state chairman, Godwin Anya, called on the governor to consider the workers’ plight and stand on their side by accepting to pay the proposed minimum wage.
The national president of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who was represented by Success Leke, national auditor of the union, advised Mr Ortom to prevail on his colleagues to implement the new minimum wage.