By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT) in Niger state has dusted it’s clamour for a better living wage for it’s members in the state.
The union said government must be reasonable and responsive to the dynamics of the realities of our times.
While reopening the case for the payment of N18,000 as minimum wage to all workers on the state government’s employment, the NUT argued that the take home pay of teachers nay other public servants in the state were not in tanderm with the economic realities of today. It therefore called for a prompt review.
Niger state NUT Chairman, Comrade Ibrahim Umar said at the opening of the 6th Delegates’ Conference of the union taking place at the Federal College of Education, (FCT), Kontagora, that the vexed issue of workers’ emoluments should not be killed. He said the matter needs to be reopened because of the prevailing economic situation in the country.Comrade Umar said because of the prevailing harsh economic downturn in the country, the union was making a strong case on the federal and state governments to quickly put the necessary machinery in motion for the payment of the net arrears of promotions for teachers who have been long overdue for promotion over time.He said teachers, more than anyone else make lots of sacrifices imparting and moulding the character of students and tomorrow’s hopefuls but are suffered and denigrated by governments.
He argued that “the payment of the N18,000 as minimum wage and implementation of the backlog of unpaid promotion arrears would not only put life and smiles back on the dissolution of members of the union but motivate them to deliver more of their hard work services.
The NUT Chairman also tasked the Niger state government to quickly pay the accumulated pension and gratuities entitlements to teachers who retired two years ago some of whom he said have passed on without receiving their entitlements.
Comrade Umar commended the ongoing renovation of public schools by the present administration in the state and noted that the project would go a long way to improve on the quality of learning and teaching environments but however added quickly that the intervention be spread to all the public schools across the state and be sustained periodically.Comrade Umar also enjoined the state government to go beyond the repairs and renovation of schools by providing existing institutions with basic facilities including teaching materials to create conducive teaching and learning atmosphere for both teachers and students.He disclosed that the state chapter of the NUT under his stewardship in conjunction with the Teachers’ End Well Scheme, have expended the sum of N188,102,400 million on acquisition of plots of lands and erecting landed properties which are assets for the benefits of the the members of the union.In his message to the conference, the National President of the NUT, Comrade Michael Alogba Olukoya, commended the Niger chapter of the NUT for its achievements and sustainable peace amongst it’s members over the years.
He said the national body of the union was proud of the state’s chapter as “one of the best organised states’ chapters in the country.
He advised teachers in the state to register with the Teachers Registration Council, (TRC). The national registration exercise will commence in May this year. It is expected to enable all professional teachers have their professional license that would enable them practice anywhere in the world.The President tasked members on the need to upgrade their skills and qualifications periodically. “In whatever we do, if we don’t have professional license there is no way we can be able to achieve our core standards as far as education is concerned” he said.