Saturday, May 01, 2021

SOS: Painful Appeal to President Buhari to Intervene, Save Dying Souls of Primary School Teachers in Kogi

The primary school teachers in Kogi state hereby cry and appeal to Your Excellency to wade in and save the souls of the primary school teachers who have been endangered by woeful percentage salary payment. 

We wish to, once again, bring it to the public domain that the difficulties which the primary school teachers and basic education pensioners are passing through in the state since the inception of the current administration led by His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello is becoming more ridiculous.

There was a time that salaries of workers in the basic education sector rose to ninety percent within the year 2011 to 2015, when the total work force of primary school teachers was over twenty three thousand and the highest allocation from federation account was N2.6 billon as at then. Today, the total work force is on the decline. A large number of primary school teachers were screened out and retrenched while others forced to retire; the few ones left behind were paid 25% of their salaries as at February 2021 (paid on 2nd April, 2021), while the payment of March 2021 salary is still outstanding with fat allocations from federation account and robust internally generated revenue, IGR.

Retired teachers were hardly placed on pension, talk-less of payment of gratuity with monthly pension based on 25% also. Is it a crime to be a teacher at the primary school level in Kogi state? When will covid 19 negative financial effects end in our state despite the fact that there was no covid, as claimed by His Excellency, and when will Kogi state recession come to an end?

Now that our great country, Nigeria has come out of recession; these are questions begging for answers, we the primary school teachers in Kogi state hereby appeal to His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello to do the following: 

1. That the basic education teachers salaries should be deducted as first line charge from the federation allocation allotted to Kogi state Local Government to the State Universal Basic Education Board as it is entrenched in 1999 constitution (as amended), that 45% be deducted from the Local Government federal allocation plus 10% monthly state total IGR. We are unhappy with the unpatriotic attitude of government that was brought into power by rules of law,

2. That bail out accessed earlier was meant to pay the primary school teacher and Local Government workers the arrears of salary percentage balance owed by Governor Idris Wada that never see the light of the day, now that the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) is about commencing repayment of the loan, Sir what is going to be our fate?

3. That the rate of poverty and injustice in our state is unconstitutional, unbearable, and unacceptable forcing teachers, basic education pensioners on 25% respectively, thereby denying us payment of school fees for our children, payment of house rent and could not afford a meal per day. We are not against your ambition as a political animal but source for fund elsewhere, as we are day in day out dying of hunger, not even payment of W.A.E.C fees for the vulnerable school children was in place as being enjoy from the previous administration, many public officers couldn’t pay their beloved ones’ W.A.E.C fees in Senior Secondary School because of low percentage salaries. Where is our leader’s pledge of royalties?

4. That the accumulated unpaid salary arrears owned our cleared staff since January 2018 to date, which has make life miserable for those affected teachers, which range from 8 months to 39 months respectively, be paid as a matter of urgency

5. The organized labours were not being proactive for the welfare of their members with the state government plunging us into the current excruciating pain. Why?

6. The standard of primary school education has fallen completely as a result of mass disengagement of the teachers from service unceremoniously which arose from endless screening exercise.

7. As if the blow dealt on education is not enough, the state government has moved the payment of 25% salary and management of the teachers left behind to the government house to compound the problem. What this means is that Local Government which used to be the third tiers of government, going by the 1999 constitution of Nigeria (as amended) has been tactically reduced to a mere appendage of the state by His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

On this particular note, the Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria Kogi State wishes to show its disappointment over the activities of the organized labour and the state government in the handling of our welfare with levity should have a rethink.

We categorically denounce media propaganda government of Kogi state that all was well for the civil and public servants, particularly primary school teachers, basic education pensioners, local government staff, as launched and and sponsored by Kogi state government was a blatant lies and should be considered as fake news.

Besides the gloomy picture of the precarious situation, primary school teachers can no longer send their children to school as a matter of right in a state that His Excellency has commenced establishment of Confluence University of Science and Technology. Where is the justification for the establishment in a state where basic education school teachers, basic education pensioners and Local Government staff are dying of hunger as a result of low percentage salaries of between 25% to 35%?

Whose children form foundation students of the university, is it children of hungry teachers and pensioners?

When are we going to be liberated from this perpetual bondage, only God can tell as all entreaties for better deal have failed since the administration of this government came on board?

Education is a living component that requires training and curriculum planners’ implementers. Teacher deserves positive attention to bring about the real change desirous of our society. Kogi state, Nigeria can never get better where basic education teachers are considered as next to nobody.

We passionately call on Mr President Whammed Buhari to come to our rescue by constituting an administrative enquiry to probe into the inhuman treatment meted out to primary school teachers, local government staff and basic education pensioners if the federal government policy of reduction/total elimination poverty in Nigeria as being implemented is not to be rubbished by Kogi State Government’s percentage salary payment of N18,000 minimum wage of 2011 still being paid in Kogi State till date despite the present hash inflation and beware that hunger constitutes social insecurity in any society,

A stitch in time saves nine, Mr President Sir.

God bless Kogi State.

God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Yours Faithfully,

Onotu Yahaya – Chairman

Akinlabi Tope – Secretary. 

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