Thirteen states have not paid their teachers some for as long as 28 months, Nigeria Union Teachers (NUT) revealed in Abuja yesterday.
Osun tops the list with 28 months followed by Nasarawa, 26, Kogi 25, Benue 12 and Ekiti nine months.
Others are Bayelsa, seven and half months; Taraba six months; Abia and Kaduna five months; Ondo four months; Kwara and Delta two months; and Oyo, one month.
NUT President, Comrade Alogba Olukoya, revealed this at the union’s 2018 annual gathering.
He said the union is compiling reports from across the states before embarking on the strike.
He added that both primary and secondary school teachers are affected.
“When we get report on salary, if it is not encouraging we will embark on strike. The next is the state of decays in our schools’ laboratories and libraries,” he said.
Olukoya appealed to the states to pay or begin to see the wrath of the Nigerian teachers. He, however, said Benue state will be excused from the strike because of the security challenges affecting the state at the moment.
He said the union has received assurance from the state government that the outstanding salaries will be paid soon.
The union however, berated the action of Kaduna state government for sacking teachers and directive to stop deduction of check off dues for trade unions.
Other demands were opposition of transfer of the funding and management of primary education to local government councils, need for upward review of teachers retirement age, activities of ASUSS and non remittance of check off dues to NUT and non-payment of pensions and gratuity to retired teachers.
The teachers also condemned the incessant killing in the country, saying the government has tried but there should be arrest and prosecution of the culprits.
The union prayed for the nation’s economic recovery, political stability, religious tolerance, improvement in the security of lives and property across the nation as well as for peace , progress and stability of the Union.
The number of teachers affected in the 13 states were said to be about 300,000.
The NUT could not give the amount owed teachers saying it has no record of that at the moment.
In Benue State, teachers are gnashing their teeth over non payment of their salaries for 12 months now.
A teacher, Joseph Ogenyi, said it had been God helping his family of five to survive.
“We teachers depend on salary and I have not been paid for 12 months now. Two of my children have been withdrawn from the private schools they were attending because I could no longer pay the fees.
The State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Yiaseh Michael, could not be reached for comment on numbers of teachers currently on pay roll in the state after series of verification exercise undertaken by the state government.
The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Dannis Ityavyar, was similarly unavailable at the time of this report likewise his counterpart in the Ministry of Information, Lawrence Onoja, Jnr.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to Kogi State Governor, Mrs Petra Onyegbule said the government was not owing teachers 25 months’ salaries as claimed by NUT.
She said that all categories of cleared workers in the state including teachers have been paid their salaries up to December 2017.
“It is not true. It is a blatant lie and it is only the NUT national that know why they are doing that. Nobody is being owed 25 months salaries in Kogi. Whoever that says he is being owed 25 months means the person is not on our payroll”, she said.
Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Aderemi Thomas Ayodele told Daily Trust on phone that he was still on his way from Abuja where he attended an NUT national meeting where the issues of indebtedness to teachers in 13 states were raised.
He however did not confirm to Daily Trust the exact number of months teachers in the state were being owed.
The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers in Osun State and the state government yesterday confirmed that the teachers in the state were owed the outstanding of the modulated salaries paid to all workers in the state for certain period owing economic hardship.
NUT chairman, Mr Amudah Wakeel said the government owed teachers in the state in outstanding of the “modulated salaries” for 28 months which will amounts to 14 months of full salary.
According to him, there are 15,000 teachers in the elementary and middle schools in the state and their salary is under the local government. He said the salary of the 6,000 teachers in the state is under the state government.
He added that all the teachers on level 8 and above received modulated salaries for the period. He urged the state government to pay the outstanding of the modulated salaries.
In the modulated salary arrangement, workers in the state including the teachers between level 8 and 10 were receiving 75 percent of their salaries while those on level 10 and above were receiving 50 percent of their salaries.
The Media Adviser to Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, Mr Sola Fasure said the state government is not owing any of its workers, including the teachers, according to the modulated arrangement. His words, “The State Government of Osun is not owing teachers or any category of workers for that matter outside of the state’s modulated salary structure.”
The Kwara state government said the government is not owing its workers including teacher under the service of the state government.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed, Dr Muideen Akorede said though, the teachers under SUBEB are being owed and those categories of teachers are under the local government.
He added that they are unable to pay because of drop in federal allocation to the local government but the state government is planning to take over the junior secondary school teachers’ salary payment depending on availability of funds.
The Kaduna State Government insists it is not owing any arrears of salary.
A statement forwarded to our correspondent by the media office of the Kaduna Government House quoted Suleiman Abdu Kwari, Commissioner of Finance, as insisting all arrears of salary have been cleared.
He said, “ Thankfully, the Kaduna State Government has no salary arrears – only unpaid gratuities and death benefits inherited from previous administrations.
“Civil servants in Kaduna State usually get credit alerts of their salaries around the 25th day of every month. KDSG will continue to honour its commitments to workers that work, and will ensure that the best qualified teachers and civil servants remain in service and will be paid.
“This government will not pay ghost workers just so that Labour unions will praise us. We will not keep unqualified teachers just so that we will be popular with a few, while destroying the future of our children,” he stated.
The Executive Chairman of Nasarawa State Universal Basic Primary Education Board, (NSUBEB) Danazumi Muhammed, said the state government does not owe salary of any primary school teacher in the state.
In a telephone interview, Muhammed said, “I am not been served with any letter from NUT over debts of teachers in Nasarawa state. Did any teacher tell you that he is owing the state any salary?”