The Kwara State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Musa Abubakar, has said that 27 states in Nigeria have been unable to pay teachers’ salaries.
He added that workers and teachers, in particular, were the worst hit of Nigeria’s current economic recession.
He spoke on Wednesday during the World Teachers’ Day in Ilorin.
He also condemned what he described as government’s inability to match its words with action.
“A case in point is the Federal Government’s decision to recruit 500,000 graduates into the public schools, whereas there are enough educationally inclined graduates without job,” he noted.
Abubakar said, “Primary school teachers in Kwara State have enjoyed uninterrupted payment of salaries before May 2015. However, since then, primary school teachers are being owed months of unpaid salaries. As I speak, teachers are being owed five-month salary.”
He urged the Federal Government to assume the responsibility of funding primary education, “since the finance of the LGs are over-stressed and cannot cope with such responsibilities.”
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said government’s reliance on oil revenue as the major income earner and the reliance on federal allocations by states and local governments had contributed to the challenge of payment of salaries of teachers and others workers.
He lamented that revenues from states and local governments had been reducing, noting that the challenges being faced by teachers are not individual but national.
He said though it is desirable to address all the demands of teachers, the current national recession has made it difficult to do so.
He urged all the stakeholders to focus on how to successfully tackle the recession and the attendant problems.
He said the state government has so far been alive to its financial responsibilities towards teachers, adding that teachers’ salaries and other entitlements at the state level are being paid regularly.