Despite efforts of the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Party, APC in Kwara State to avert the threat of industrial action by the Nigeria Union of Teachers over unpaid salaries of its members, academic activities at both primary and junior secondary schools have been finally crippled the state.
This came just as the party through its spokesperson, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari, declared the state non-solvent to pay workers’ salaries owing to short in Federal allocation stressing that, “the state is broke”.
The teachers had at the weekend issued a warning notice to the government on the need to work a way out to pay their outstanding arrears of salaries and allowances of over four months or face an industrial action.
Nigerian Pilot correspondent who moved round the Ilorin metropolis gathered that all the primary and junior secondary schools across the 16 local government councils as at yesterday (Tuesday) deserted their places of work indefinitely. ‎
Even in the state capital, Ilorin, many pupils and students who went to schools in some areas like Anfeyin, Kulende, Offa Road, Saw Mill, Sabo Oke, Okelele, Ita-Amon, Adewole, Babaoko, Zanngo among others were turned back.
‎The APC had in the statement issued on Monday said: “As a party, we wish to state that we feel the concerns and share in the pains of primary school teachers in Kwara State. Quite unfortunate, this issue is chiefly caused by the dwindling allocation from the federation account.
“Therefore, In actual sense, it is not about non-payment of teachers’ salaries but non-availability of funds to pay salaries. It requires collective efforts to address rather than strike action, If the resources are available today, the Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed-led Kwara State Government will pay all teachers like it has always done in the past 5 years.”
The statement further stressed that, “Given the cordial relationship between Kwara State Government and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) with mention to the fact that the union, not too long ago, acknowledged the outstanding performance of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed in the sector with its national merit award. We wish to say the record of the state government is clear and the will to pay teachers’ salaries by the Kwara State Government is undoubtful.
“Since it is about non-availability o‎f resources, the planned industrial action would be counterproductive and it lacks the capacity to solve the contending issues.”
Labour leaders urge stakeholders to intervene in Kogi
Leadership of the organised labour in Kogi State have appealed to the stakeholders to intervene in the on-going industrial dispute between the workers and the state government over nonpayment of salary to the workers in the ministries, councils and agencies.
While addressing journalists in Lokoja on Monday over the issue, the state Chairman of Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC Comrade Onuh Edoka, flanked by A.D Ganiyu, chairman of Trade Union Congress, TUC, and Aaron Y. Akeji, said they had met Governor Idris Wada with no hope of getting their salary paid before his government expires on January 27.
Shedding more light, he said Governor Wada claimed in their meeting of December 31st that the December 2015 allocation which came to the state was hijacked by banks to settle all outstanding facilities earlier granted to the state;
According to him, Governor Wada also positioned that no bank is ready to offer the state government any facilities to augment what is said to be available presently to offset the salary of the workers.
The labour leaders noted that the workers are tired of governor Wada lack-luster attitude to state workers, including Local Government workers, primary school teachers and pensioners’ welfare; saying that “for the first time since 1999 when democracy returned to our country, Kogi workers celebrated Christmas in hunger even as the state government collected three consecutive federal allocations from October 2015 without paying any salary.”
The labour leaders therefore called on the rest arms of government(state House of Assembly and judiciary), including traditional rulers, political leaders and other well meaning kogites to intervene now before things go out of hands.
The labour leader directed workers to remain resolute and prayerful in this “trying period”, saying that the workers can no longer continue to borrow money to work for Wada led administration.
“The state workers and tertiary institutions staff have done this for three months while local government workers and primary school teachers have done it for several months in the past. We appeal to workers to remain calm, peaceful and be prayerful as strike continues indefinitely”, he said.


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