Kayode Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti State in Nigeria’s Southwest, has supported the controversial wage bill before the National Assembly.
Labour held protests against the bill on Wednesday and canvassed for its withdrawal.
But, Fayemi, at a reception he held for pro-chancellors of state-owned universities on Thursday, opposed labour’s position.
He said, “You can’t impose a federal salary structure on states, because we do not all have the same economic or financial situations”.
“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”.
It is believed some governors are secretly pushing for the passage of the bill. Fayemi, being the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum, seemed to have confirmed so through his statement.
On the running of Nigerian universities, Fayemi urged vice-chancellors to be courageous.
“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,” said he.
Fayemi also agreed with the pro-chancellors that politics should not be involved in the nation’s school system.
About 48 universities had representation at the meeting. They also pleaded with governors to take over the burden of payment of salaries of state universities.
On his part, Yusuf Ali, who led the other pro-chancellors, said paucity of funds had hampered smooth running of the institutions.