Concern teachers of SUBEB in Kwara state on Tuesday protested at the state capital, Ilorin over their unpaid salary arrears and insisted that they will not resume for a new academic session as expected next week until all the arears are paid.
Spokesperson of the teachers, Mr Abubakar Abdulwha’ab said Kwara SUBEB teachers have endured for long and cannot endure anymore.
“Our staff are dying. Kwara SUBEB teachers have turned to beggars. They beg all over the streets. We implore the Kwara State Governor, and the Senate President to come to our aid. We are tired of being patient. If they did not pay us, we will not resume academic activities. Kwara SUBEB teachers are not resuming.
“We do not have promotion since 2010. They gave us two letters without money. They can not bring their wards to our school. It is as if they do not have blood in their vein. It was scheduled that we will resume by September 17, if they did not pay us, we are staying at home and no Jupiter can force us to resume. No money, no resumption.
“We are concerned teachers of SUBEB that cuts across 16 LGAs in Kwara State. We have been patient enough. How do you expect a hungry teacher to go to the class and discharge his duties effectively?
“We learnt and heard that President Muhammadu Buhari gave out Paris Club bail out to the states all over the country. The president later said to the governors, ‘I wonder why you governors can sleep with all eyes closed while your workers are dying in hunger. It is sympathetic,” Abdulwahab said.
One of the protesting teachers, Abdulhameed S. Alaaya, who spoke to our correspondent accused the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) of being a sleeping dog.
“The NUT in Kwara State is a sleeping dog. We have agitated all these issues with them times without number. They should speak on our behalf, they should sit with the government and discuss on how we can overcome all these problems. A hungry man is an angry man. You can’t expect us to be in class, stand in front of pupils and students on empty stomach.
“We are making this peaceful rally not to destabilise the system of government but the government must see to our problem with immediate effect. This is the first phase of the rally/protest, we are expecting something better to be done over our problems.
“There are a lot of issues such as embargo on promotion and steps since 2013. The salary is inconsistent, you cannot say, a specific amount as monthly salary. There is salary disparity between SUBEB and TESCOM. We want the government to look into it,” Alaaya said.
The state government in its reaction said it is unaware of the body organizing the protest.
It added that nevertheless, “we must state that the arrears were caused by drop in allocation to the LG councils in the state, out of whose allocation SUBEB salaries are paid.”
Senior Special Assistant to the state governor, Dr Muideen Akorede said, the state Governor has consistently assisted the LGs and SUBEB to pay staff arrears, including guaranteeing a recent N4billion bank loan taken by the LG chairpersons. This follows liquidation of a previous N4bn loan facility obtained by the LGs in 2015 in anticipation of a FG bailout which is yet to come.