The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) yesterday issued a 30-day ultimatum to states owing teachers several months of salary to pay or face aggressively-driven indefinite strike.
The National President of the union, Comrade Michael Alogba Olukoya, who gave the ultimatum during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Teachers House, Oluyole, Ibadan, gave the names of the states owing teachers salary as: Benue (10 months), Ekiti (6 months), Cross River (6 months owed 1,000 teachers), Kogi (15 months with half salary being paid since 2013), Ondo (5 months), Taraba (4 months), Niger (3 months), Delta (3 months), and Oyo ( three months owed primary and secondary school teachers)
Other States include Abia (five months), Osun (paying teachers half salary for 23 months), Nasarawa (paying half salary for 18 months to primary school
teachers), Plateau (half salary since 2010), Adamawa (4 months), Bayelsa (8 and a half months), Imo (paying 70% monthly salary to primary and secondary school teachers), Kwara (paying by percentage and owing 4 months), Borno (minimum wage yet to be implemented) , and Zamfara (yet to implement national minimum wage).
Olukoya who lamented that many state governors had failed to be transparent in their agreements with workers’ unions, said, “We hereby give a 30-day ultimatum to all the above-mentioned states to pay all the outstanding salaries being owed the teachers. “They will soon collect another Paris Club money and so we hope they will pay all the backlog of salary arrears.
“If any State fails to pay up within this stipulated time, we shall converge again and give a notice of action. There is going to be total disconnect between us and such governments”, Olukoya threatened.
He equally kicked against the call for autonomy of local government councils, saying that the ghost of the effects of primary schools left in the hands of the local governments in the past had continued to haunt the teachers, leading to its near-collapse in terms of personnel, funding and infrastructural development.
Olukoya stressed that the 1999 constitution saddles the state governments with the responsibility of funding and managing primary schools, noting that, “local government councils only have the role of participation.
“It is therefore important to emphasise the need for States to be financially empowered to shoulder this responsibility effectively, and we propose that allocation from the Federation Account be reviewed upwards in favour of the states to enable them discharge this constitutional responsibility effectively”.
He also called for extension of years of service for teachers in the secondary and primary schools from 60 to 65 years” just as it has been raised for teachers of Polytechnics and the Universities.
According to him, this is to remove the ensuing segregation as all belong to the same teaching industry of Nigeria.
While supporting the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN)’s stance to ensure all teachers are formally registered to weed out quacks, the NUT boss said that “After this Friday, 16th of June, when registration closes, we are going to constitute a task force to picket all private and public schools including those of the Police, Army Command, Unity Schools, in order to save primary schools from imminent collapse.”