The President of the Nigeria Union Teachers (NUT), Mr Audu Titus Mba, has condemned the irregular payment of teachers’ salaries by some state governments across the country.
Mba lamented the irregular payment while speaking on the plight of teachers in Nigeria in Abuja.
The president insisted that the welfare of teachers must be paramount and taken seriously across the tiers of government.
Mba, maintained that “the irregularity is unacceptable.”
He noted that one of the measures to address the challenges of irregular payment of teachers’ salaries is to ensure that the funding of primary and secondary education in Nigeria is prioritised in the revenue allocation of the country.
He argued that this would ensure that the money allocated to the sector is promptly released and implemented for the smooth running of the system.
He recalled that the NUT had presented series of memoranda to the National Assembly Committee on Constitutional Amendment on the funding of primary and secondary education, where “we have specifically requested that the funding of education should be placed as a first line charge in the revenue allocation of the country.
“It is our hope that this will lay to rest the problem of irregular payment of teachers’ salaries across the states,” Mba said.
He also said that it was the expectation of teachers across the country that the professional salary structure of teachers would be effected this year, going by the promise of the Federal Government during the 2021 World Teachers Day.
He called for the upward review of the minimum wage from N30,000, disclosing that the union would continue to engage the state governments on the issues of minimum wage and the consequential adjustments.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 18, 2019 signed the new minimum wage of N30,000 into law, and the federal and state governments were expected to comply with the new constitutional provision.
The minimum wage was N18,000 before the new law. While some states have complied, some others are yet to implement the new order, subjecting their workers to hardship.
The NUT president, while commending the sacrifice and resilience of teachers in the face of many challenges, announced that by July this year, the union would be 92 years old, with him serving as the 16th elected president of the union since its establishment in 1931.
Mba noted that the numerous national challenges confronting the people and government of the country had led to the death of some NUT members, students, and pupils as well as the destruction of schools, colleges and other educational centres.
“Our great union regrets cessation of teaching and learning for about eight months in the nation’s universities which halted the academic calendar.
“However, we applaud the Federal Government for the eventual restoration of academic activities in our universities,” he said.
The NUT president observed that the number of school children, students and teachers who are still in captivity is growing by the day.
He called on the federal, state and local governments as well as stakeholders in the education sector “to join hands to protect our schools and the education workers in the country.”