22nd September, 2012
A civil rights group, Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), has expressed unhappiness over the alleged reluctance of 12 state governors to honour the 27.5 per cent Teachers Salary Scale (TSS) increase which has resulted in primary and secondary school teachers threatening industrial action.
The defaulting states according to CDWR include Delta, Lagos, Cross River, Enugu, Abia, Katsina, Benue, Niger, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kogi and Nasarawa.
Already, teachers in Delta state are on strike while their counterparts in Lagos say they would join the in action on Monday next week.
“It will be recalled that the 27.5 per cent TSS enhanced pay was agreed upon between the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and the government in 2008 after series of nationwide agitation by the teachers with the implementation to have started in 2009 across the federation,” the group said in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chinedu Bosah.
The CDWR further said such hatred for the implementation of agreements reached by those bestowed with the leadership of the country “smacks of irresponsibility, considering the importance of education to national development.
“Most worrisome is the fact that these top government officials engage in activities that waste public resources, carry out corrupt practices and pay themselves unwarranted jumbo salaries and allowances.”
The group further alleged that the obvious reason why the ruling elite at all levels of government do not take public education seriously is because they have amassed so much wealth at the expense of the poor masses such that they can afford hundreds of millions of naira or dollars to educate their children abroad.
The group said: “this explains why funding of public education in Nigeria has been abysmally poor while a portion of the little that is budgeted for education is usually stolen.
“CDWR calls on Governors Babatunde Fashola, Emmanuel Uduaghan, Liyel Imoke, Kayode Fayemi, Ibrahim Shema, Theodore Orji, Gabriel Suswan, Abdulaziz Yari, Babangida Aliyu, Sullivan Chime, Usman Nasamu Dakingari, Idris Wada and Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to immediately implement the 27.5% enhancement pay in order not to disrupt academic calendar.”
CDWR said it supports the strike action declared by NUT and urged that the strike should be backed up with mass actions including public mass rallies and protest to force the governors to meet the demand.
The teachers had in July this year issued a two-week ultimatum to state governors to pay or face strike action.