NUT Warns Against Unpaid Teachers’ Salaries

NUT, Teachers' SalariesThe national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has warned against the non-payment of salaries and other entitlements of teachers in most Nigerian states.

The NUT President, Micheal Olukoya, gave the warning on Tuesday during an emergency National Executive Council meeting of the union in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

He stated that such situation, if not properly addressed, could lead to an industrial dispute.

Mr Olukoya described the situation where teachers in some states were not being paid their salaries as totally unacceptable.

He appealed to the government at level to take the welfare of teachers in the country more seriously and ensure that their welfare was given proper attention in the interest of education development in Nigeria.

The NUT President equally expressed displeasure with the autonomy granted to the local governments in the management of primary school teachers’ salaries, rather than allowing the Universal Basic Education Board in each state to perform such function as enshrined in the law.

He urged the Federal Government to recruit only qualified teachers it promised to employ in 2016, noting that anything short of the right requirement for those employed might jeopardise the future of young Nigerians.

Olukoya further voiced his support for the ongoing strike by teachers in Bayelsa State as he pleaded with the state government to settle the six months unpaid teachers’ salaries.

The NUT members, on their part, emphasised that that the role of teachers to national development was one that could not be toyed with by any government.

They asked the Federal and state governments to urgently address all outstanding issues that could lead to any industrial action.

Benue State Govt. Denies Diverting Schools Rehabilitation Fund

Samuel-OrtomThe Benue State government has denied an allegation of fraudulent diversion of seven billion Naira out of the 7.6 billion Naira public primary schools rehabilitation fund at the State Universal Basic Education Board.

This denial followed accusation levied against the state government and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) by some contractors who bid for the 740 projects, alleging that 70% payment were made upfront to government cronies while 30% kick-backs were taken as bribe without executing the projects.

The police have opened investigation into the income and expenditure of SUBEB between 2011-2015.

Three accounting staff were arrested before the close of work on Friday, a development the SUBEB chairman said was not connected to his tenure in office.

On August 25, the Benue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, performed the symbolic flag off ceremony of the rehabilitation of 740 public primary schools, most of which were destroyed by herdsmen during attacks on Benue communities.

But the execution of the projects has since run into trouble waters, with controversies and alleged fraudulent diversion of the funds.

Channels Television’s correspondent in Benue State, visited the office of the Benue State Universal Basic Education Board to investigate the allegation.

But the SUBEB chairman, Philip Tachin, insisted that due process was followed in the award of the contracts.

Asked if the board had the 7.6 billion Naira to see through the 740 school projects, Mr Tachin said even the Universal Basic Education Commission in Abuja had access to the expenditure profile of the board.

Defending the state government, the Benue State Governor, through his spokesman, Terver Akase, asked those behind the allegation to come forward with proof of fraud and favouritism if indeed there were discrepancies in the entire process.

While the government believes the burden of proof rested on those fuelling the allegation of fraud, the Commissioner of Police in Benue State, Bashir Makama, said officials were looking into all the issues, believing that the truth would be revealed.

Benue Budgets N7bn For Basic Education Intervention

Benue Govt. Budgets N7bn To Revive Basic Education The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in Benue State is setting aside a total sum of 7.6 billion naira as intervention fund for the reconstruction of dilapidated primary school structures.

The Board Chairman, Mr Philip Tachin, gave the hint in an interview with Channels Television in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, sequel to Governor Samuel Ortom’s approval of over 3 billion naira counterpart funding of UBEC projects in the state.

Mr Tachin, who vowed to rid the basic education sub-sector of systemic corruption, said that the board would apply the funds to the rebuilding of schools destroyed by Fulani herdsmen in the wake of clashes in 2014.

The Zonal Officer, SUBEB, Mr John Agbo, also noted that the board had convened a meeting with education managers and education secretaries from the 23 Local Government Areas to gather facts on the state of disrepair.

For eight months, primary school teachers in Benue State downed their tools to protest the near collapse of the basic education sector in the state.

Although, former Governor Suswam attempted some renovation works, there were indication that a lot needs to be done by the Ortom administration to upgrade the condition of the primary schools and improve the standard of learning of school children in Benue State.

Buhari Sacks Chairmen Of FCT Internal Revenue Service, SEB & UBEB

Muhammadu-Buhari-NigeriaPresidentPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate sack of the Chairmen of FCT Internal Revenue Service, Secondary Education Board (SEB) and Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB).

The approval was contained in a letter sent to the FCT Permanent Secretary, Engineer John Obinna Chukwu, by the Secretary to the Federal Government.

According to the letter, “the Federal Government’s directive that the dissolution of the governing boards of the Federal Government parastatals, agencies, institutions and government owned companies applies to all the boards of the Federal Capital Territory parastatals, agencies, institutions and government owned companies”.

In view of that, the FCT Permanent Secretary, directed the Chairman of FCT Internal Revenue Service to hand over all duties and responsibilities of his office as well as government belongings in his possession to the Director of Treasury, FCT, while the Chairmen of the SEB and UBEB should hand over all duties and responsibilities of their offices as well as government belongings to the Directors/Secretaries of SEB and UBEB each.