By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Ongoing industrial action across Kwara State Colleges of Education may end in the coming days, with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq approving immediate payment of N250m to pay at least two months of their outstanding salary.
AbdulRazaq also assured the schools of subsequent prompt payment of their salary along with gradual offset of the arrears inherited from the previous administration under which the schools embarked on the strike.
The affected colleges are Kwara State College of Education, Oro; Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin; Kwara State College of Education (Technical) Lafiagi; Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS), Ilorin; Kwara State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Ilorin and Kwara State College of Nursing, Oke Ode.
“The total amount the Governor released for salary payment is 250,774, 328.34. This covers salary for the months of May and June,” Rafiu Ajakaye, spokesman for the Governor, said in a statement on Friday.
“Concerned about the status of the schools, the Governor also approved additional N25m for the College of Education Technical Lafiagi for immediate re-accreditation and N24.8m for CAILS for re-accreditation.”
Ajakaye said this, along with similar steps over the last month, represents a bold step by the Governor to match words with action on his commitment to education, workers’ welfare and socio-economic growth of the state
“It is the intention of this administration to stabilise Kwara for growth. Greater things are coming but the Governor is working round the clock to first restore normalcy across all sectors,” he said.
The Colleges of Education had long embarked on strike to protest the non-payment of their salary and other administrative issues, leading to the shutting down of the schools.
The statement said the Governor has also approved immediate payment of N49,786,667 as counterpart funds for FADAMA project.
The sum includes an outstanding of N13,914,667.00 third national FADAMA Development Project Additional financing for 2018 and N35,872,000 already due as 2019 counterpart fund for the same project.
An initiative of the World Bank, FADAMA is a project that seeks to empower local farmers with some funds to boost their production of staple foods like rice, cassava and sorghum in irrigable land area.
The project is financed through a counterpart funding arrangement between the World Bank and the participating states, including Kwara which had so far benefitted up to $4,685,500 since it keyed into the programme.