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NAN Survey State govts. attribute non-payment of Teachers' salaries to dwindling allocation

Akorede said there was a significant drop in federal allocation to Kwara in May, adding that the state suffered a shortfall amounting to N2.8 billion.

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(Today)

Some state governments which had yet to pay salaries of primary school teachers running into months had attributed the situation to dwindling allocation from the Federal Government.

A survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) found that teachers in Kwara, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and some other states suffered untold hardships due to non-payment of their salaries, which their state governments attributed to reduced allocation from the federation account.

In Kwara, where primary school teachers were owed four months’ salary arrears, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, Dr Muyideen Akorede, said "falling allocation had made it impossible for the administration to meet its obligations to the people.’’

He said the state government could not pay teachers because of dwindling allocation from the federation account.

Akorede said there was a significant drop in federal allocation to Kwara in May, adding that the state suffered a shortfall amounting to N2.8 billion.

He added that the state government used to augment teachers’ salaries with N200 million monthly in the last one year "but with the drastic reduction in allocation, the state government found it difficult to do that now.’’

NAN learnt that there were a total of 1,713 public primary schools in the state under the supervision of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

.A parent, Chief Rex Olawoye, who urged the Federal Government to pay teachers’ salaries directly to SUBEB in each state, also called on the government to remove the board from the direct supervision of state governments.

In Osun, the Permanent Secretary of SUBEB, Alhaji Fatai Kolawole, also said the non-payment of teachers’ salaries was due to reduced allocation from the federation account.

Kolawole told NAN that the payment of salaries of Elementary and Middle School teachers had been regular before the sudden drop in federal allocation in the middle of 2014.

He said that in spite of the sharp reduction in allocation, the state government tried to ensure payment of salaries to teachers due to their sensitive services.

The SUBEB boss said teachers in the Elementary and Middle Schools had been paid up to April 2015, "while the three months outstanding will be paid soon.’’

He reiterated the board’s commitment to make teachers comfortable to offer quality teaching to pupils, adding that "it is disheartening that we found ourselves in this condition; it is obvious that this is not the best of moment for us as a board because we hold our teachers in high esteem."

"We have been battling with this unfortunate issue of erratic payment of salaries for teachers since the allocation to the state came down drastically in the middle of 2014. However, teachers in Elementary Schools were paid up to April, including some other ones in the middle schools; it is our hope that the arrears will be paid immediately we get our share of the bailout from Federal Government. I can assure you that the board will make it up to the teachers when we are sufficiently solvent.’’

Mr Wakeel Amuda, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Osun, said public school teachers in the state were being owed five months salary arrears.

Amuda said the union called off its eight weeks strike after the state government paid 50 per cent of January and February salaries to the teachers.

He said the state government promised to settle the backlog of salaries once the bailout fund from the Federal Government was released.

The NUT boss, who said the union had no accurate figure of the number of teachers in the state, said the proposed staff auditing by the state government would ascertain the number of teachers and the entire workforce in the state.

 

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