By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has directed the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to release all outstanding promotion letters to primary and junior secondary school teachers in the state.
Governor Ahmed, who gave the directive during a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Kwara State in his office on Wednesday, said the SUBEB chairman should immediately begin the release of letters to the affected workers at the basic education level in the state, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede.
As part of efforts to resolve salary crises affecting SUBEB workers in the state, Governor Ahmed also announced his preparedness to consider a return to the tradition of making SUBEB a first line charge on local government allocation in order to prioritise teachers’ salaries.
Governor Ahmed stressed that this must however be implemented without hampering the capacity of local government councils to pay workers and pensioners.
While re-emphasising that the delayed salaries of basic education teachers and local government workers is due to the drop in federal allocation to local government councils in the state, Governor Ahmed informed the labour leaders that he is currently reviewing the cost of paying Junior Secondary school (JSS) teachers with a view to incorporating them into the State teaching service commission.
Alhaji Ahmed said whatever proportion of the JSS salary obligation is taken over by the state government will result in a reduction of the burden on local government councils and improving their capacity to pay teachers as well as local government workers and pensioners.
Governor Ahmed emphasised that the only long term solution to the issue of SUBEB teachers and local government workers’ salary arrears is an improvement in Internally Generated Revenue and the Federal Government’s takeover of basic education funding.
While reiterating that government is working on other strategies to address the teachers’ salary arrears, Governor Ahmed urged the teachers to shelve their proposed strike in the interest of their pupils and students.
By Steve Oni, Ilorin