Many states of the federation have been enmeshed in debts and are unable to pay workers’ salaries. But in this survey by the News Agency of Nigeria, not all the state governments are owing workers’ salaries.
In spite of concerns in many states where teachers were owed many months of salaries, some state governments were up-to-speed in payment of the salaries. The state governments had ensured prompt payment of salaries, thereby not owing both primary and secondary school teachers any salary arrears. A survey found that Jigawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe and some others paid teachers’ salaries when due.
In Jigawa, Alhaji Abdullahi Hudu, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Education, told NAN in Dutse that the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries had been given priority. Hudu explained that teachers in both primary and secondary schools received their wages on monthly basis, adding that no teacher was owed any salary arrears. He said “as I speak with you now, no teacher in Jigawa State is owed any salary; July salary is also paid.
“It has been a tradition in the state to take the welfare of teachers seriously because of the special services they render’’, he said. The chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in the state, Alhaji Usman Ya’u, who also confirmed the payment of teachers in the state when due, commended the state government for that.
He said all allowances due to both primary and secondary school teachers in Jigawa had also been paid. According to him, secondary school teachers are being paid 100 per cent Professional Teachers Allowance, PTA, while those of primary schools receive 20 per cent of the PTA and 27 per cent of Teachers Salaries Structure, TSS, respectively.
Similarly in Yobe, teachers enjoyed regular payment of salaries, as confirmed by some teachers who were interviewed by NAN. The teachers said they always received their pay along with other employees of the state government in ministries, parastatals and agencies.
Malam Ali Sani, a primary school teacher in Damaturu, said “we have no problems with payment of salaries; our only problem is non-implementation of promotions.’’ Another teacher, Malam Musa Abubakar, commended the state government for regular payment of salary. He added that “we are lucky here in Yobe because our salaries are up-to-date, unlike teachers in other states; as I speak to you now, we have received our July salary.”
An official of NUT in the state who pleaded for anonymity said discussions had reached advanced level between NUT and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) on promotion of teachers.
In Adamawa, the State University Basic Education Board (ADSUBEB) said the state was also up-to-date in payment of teachers’ salaries. Alhaji Sa’idu Komsiri, the Director, Quality Assurance of the Board, told NAN that local government councils were responsible for the payment of teachers’ Salaries. He said the money meant for teachers’ salaries was being deducted from the joint state and local governments account and forwarded to the Board for payment.
Komsiri said the state had 1,953 primary schools, with 25,000 teachers. The NUT Chairman in the state, Mr Dauda Maina, said except for some little delays being experienced, teachers had no backlog of unpaid salaries in the state. Elsewhere in Gombe, Malam Adamu Falana, the Secretary of SUBEB, said the payment of teachers’ salaries had been centralised after capturing their biometric data to ensure payment when due.
He said that as soon as the state government received its subvention, salaries of the 17,919 primary school teachers across the state were paid promptly “because it has been placed on First Line Charge.’’ Mrs Hadiza Abdullahi, a teacher in one of the primary schools in Gombe, told NAN that “teachers in Gombe will forever remain grateful to Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo for giving special attention to our welfare.’’
Alhaji Usman Mohammed, the Chairman of Parent/Teachers Association in the state, also commended Dankwambo for prompt payment of teachers’ salaries in Gombe. He said “education is the bedrock of any meaningful development; thank God the governor made it a priority.’’
In Bauchi, the Chairman of NUT, Mr Danjuma Salah, said local government councils were responsible for the payment of salaries to primary school teachers in the state. He explained that the state’s Ministry for Local Governments normally deduct the salary at source from coffers of each local government council at the end of every month and remit same to SUBEB for payment to teachers.
The Ekiti Commissioner for Information, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi, also told NAN that the payment of teachers’ salaries and other workers’ pay was a priority in the state. He said that the only salary owed workers in the state was that of September 2014 during the Kayode Fayemi administration, adding that the current state government would pay when its finances improved.
Confirming the government’s position, the Chairman of NUT in the state, Mr Samuel Akosile, expressed gratitude to the current governor for paying salaries regularly, noting that there were a total of 618 public primary schools and no fewer than 8,180 teachers in Ekiti. The story is same in Kaduna State as the SUBEB Mobilisation Officer, Malam Ibrahim Aminu, said primary school teachers were not owed any salary.
Aminu said “teachers in Kaduna State are not owed any salary as they are always paid when due. Education remains one of Kaduna State’s priority sectors, as such, there is no reason whatsoever to delay teachers’ salaries. For as long as I can remember, the government never defaulted in salary payment. This is because you cannot guarantee sound education if teachers are not well motivated.’’
Aminu said SUBEB was responsible for the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries in Kaduna State with funds from the local governments. He explained that fund was normally deducted and remitted to the state’s Ministry of Education for the salary payment from the joint state and local governments account. He said “the ministry in turn remits same to SUBEB, which effect payment to the teachers.
“But with the current local government financial autonomy introduced by Gov. Nasir
El-Rufa’i, the respective local governments will hand over the fund to SUBEB directly for payment to teachers.’’ On the number of primary schools and teachers in the state, the SUBEB officer said there was no precise figure at the moment due to ongoing verification of workers in the state.
Mr Obadia Dam, a primary school teacher in the state confirmed to NAN that teachers in Kaduna State were not owed any salary. He said “as far as I can remember, since I joined the government as teacher, my salaries have been flowing without delay. I commend the Kaduna State Government for ensuring prompt payment of our salaries.’’
In Kebbi, the NUT said there was no problem with payment of salaries of the 24,000 primary school teachers in the state. The NUT Secretary in the state, Mr Zaki Sarki, told NAN in Birnin Kebbi that the payment of salaries to members of the union was always prompt, while regular trainings were being organised by SUBEB, especially on modern teaching methods.
Malam Umar Suleiman, an official of the Parent/Teachers Association (PTA) in the state, also said there was no delay in the payment of teachers’ salaries and pensions of retired teachers.
In Anambra, some teachers told NAN that the state government had been prompt in payment of their salaries. Madam Jessie Okani, a teacher, who said the state government had been regular in payment of teachers’ salaries, however, added that they were yet to receive July salary. She appealed to the state government to maintain the payment of salaries on or before the 25th of every month. A parent, Mr Patrick Anumdu, said he was comfortable sending his children to public schools because of commitment on the part of the teachers, noting that the determination was because the teachers were paid when due.
In Edo, stakeholders also commended the state government for prompt payment of primary school teachers’ salaries and called for same for retired teachers. Malam Alli Sule, Executive Member of SUBEB said “Edo is not among states owing primary school teachers.
“This is because SUBEB collaborates with the state government to take care of the salaries of teachers; money for teachers’ salaries come from the Federal Government and it is channelled through SUBEB and paid by local government authorities. SUBEB serves as supervisory agency for primary education and the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries.’’
The Edo Chairman of NUT, Mr Mike Uhunmawngho, said there were 1,000 public primary schools and11, 000 public primary school teachers in the state. Uhunmawngho said that despite the fact that primary school teachers in the state were not owed salaries, retired primary school teachers were owed three months pension. He said NUT could not intervene in the non-payment of the retired teachers pensions as they were no longer members of the union.
The Rivers Government was also up-to-date in payment of teachers’ salaries as teachers in the state were not owed. Mr Dike Amadi, a primary school teacher, commended the state government for taking over the payment of teachers’ salaries. He said “this innovation was introduced by former Gov. Chibuike Amaechi and inherited by his successor, Mr Nyesom Wike.
“Prior to this time, it was war between local governments and primary school teachers as council chairmen paid teachers when they deemed fit and this led to strikes. However, primary school teachers in Rivers are happy now that this ugly situation has stopped and we get our salaries promptly.’’
A member of the state chapter of NUT who did not want to be named also commended the state government for paying teachers regularly. He said the administration of Gov. Nyesom Wike had paid four months arrears owed primary and secondary school teachers in the state, noting that “our teachers are not owed any salaries; as I speak with you, their July salary was paid since.’’(NAN)