NUT demands payment of Kogi teachers’ N32b salary arrears
The state NUT Chairman, Mr. Suleiman Abdullahi, who made the demand in Lokoja, said that N23 billion was the outstanding arrears of the new minimum wage, while N8.7 billion was unpaid leave grants for four years.
Abdullahi decried the development, and said that it was already taking a heavy toll on the education sector.
He said that government’s ongoing efforts at arresting the dwindling fortunes of education might run into a hitch if the state government failed to take the welfare and wellbeing of teachers seriously.
“There cannot be commitment from a teacher who is sick and hungry. There cannot be commitment from a teacher who is not sure of what he will be paid and when he will be paid,” he said.
The NUT boss also asked Governor Idris Wada to review service year of retirement upwards to 65 years to enable them give their best in the teaching profession.
Abdullahi said there is need for government to raise the retirement age of teachers just as it did in the case of university lecturers and those in the judiciary.
“In the University system it was discovered long ago by Federal Government and it has been raised to 70years. Look at what is happening in the Judiciary very elderly and old men who now said they can pass judgment in our course.
The chairman said teachers at that age are agile, well educated, well trained and apart from that many of the teachers were on in-service training adding that government trained them.
He said it is like wasting the certificates in their homes, urging government to re-engage them or by way of extension device a means within the state to keep them.
Abdullahi also faulted a claim by the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) that it had paid the December 2014 salaries of primary school teachers.
NUT described the claim as untrue and ridiculous, and challenged the board to throw open its records to prove the claim.
He said that teachers would only vote for an education-friendly candidate in the coming governorship election in the state, and urged teachers to go and collect their Permanent Voters Cards.
Abdullahi expressed worries that unlike in the past where core professional teachers were employed to teach in schools, employments of teachers nowadays are done based on patronage thereby encouraging quackery.
He charged the state government to give adequate attention to the remuneration and welfare of teachers especially payment of minimum wage to teachers if it wants genuine restoration of the lost glory to public schools.
“We can achieve a lot if the retirement age is pushed to 65 years because at the moment we are loosing the best hands in this profession.
Those who joined the teaching job between 1979/80 to 1985 are those who are properly trained. The current problem is that employment into the teaching profession these days is by patronage.”
He said jobs are offered to those who assisted them to win elections irrespective of whether they can express themselves or whether they can perform on the job or