The Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Rufai, has pledged to seek lasting solution to the irregularities plaguing the members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers(NUT), among which is the indecisive issue of the membership of Unity Schools’ teachers whether to belong to the union or the civil service.
The minister stated this yesterday when the union national members paid a visit to her office in Abuja.
The President of NUT, Micheal Olukoya, who led the delegation, enumerated the reasons why Unity Schools teachers should become members of NUT.
According to him,, the extension of retirement age of teachers to 65 years, the lack of payment of honorarium after the MDGs workshops organised by NTI, and the need to implement the27.5 teacher’s peculiar allowance in 18 states are some of the reasons while the union leader also called for the regularization of the appointment of casual workers in Unity Schools.
Prof Rufai in her response, said the issue of union is a voluntary affair in any organisation and that if the teachers in Unity Schools decide that they want to be recognised as members of NUT and not civil servants, then no one can stop them.
On the issue of the implementation of the 27.5 per cent allowance, she said her ministry would do a proper follow up in these 18 states to ensure that it is implemented.”
The minister also described the inability on the part of the National Teachers Institute (NTI) to pay teacher’ s honorarium as a mistake, advising that NTI should endeavour to make sure that the funds are on ground before embarking on any workshop and for them to organise workshop based on what they have on ground.