NUT expresses apprehension over imminent collapse of basic education
By Confluence Update
The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kogi State has raised alarm that the basic education system in the State may soon collapse if teachers continue to go through the needless hazzles to get their salary.
The chairman of the Union Alhaji Suleiman Abdullahi who spoke to Confluence Update said the decision of Government to open account for teachers in Access Bank is the main reason for the hardship.
Abdullah explained that the union viewed with regret and sadness the unfortunate situation and the hardship in which Government has put teachers and the entire workers through.
The chairman noted that the basic education system has collapsed because teachers whose names were cleared that received their alerts for their salary could not access their salaries.
He said it was unfortunate that Access Bank do not have the capacity and capability to accommodate the number of teachers in this State.
“As at today if you go to the premises of the Bank our people are going through a hell of punishment because those who have alerts from the bank cannot even access their salary.”
He explained further that, for those who want to formalize and regularize their accounts with the bank, there were no forms available.
According to him, the bank is not having the spread within all the nooks and crannies of the State.
He said following the screening exercise two lists had been sent to the Local Governments; the cleared list and exception list.
According to him, those on the exception list are who must ensure they clear what ever issues against their names while those on the cleared list are those going to the banks from the various nooks and crannies of the State to ensure that they get their salary.
He said, “There was the pathetic case of one of the teachers who was in the Access Bank that got the alert of the three months salary but he could not access it from the Bank.
“He tried to transfer the money to the First Bank it did not move there. The whole thing look like a fluke Again the alert they received are not real.”
He explained further that those on the exception list have issues with either their BVN, their certificate or their bank statement and once they can prove it they would now be returned to cleared list.
The chairman indicated that there is a contradiction because as teachers are crisscrossing the State to access their salary the Government has directed administrators at the local Government councils to go round the schools and take census of teachers who are at work.
In his words, “You are paying them, they cannot access their salary and they are suffering in the banks and those yet to be cleared are suffering to ensure they are cleared, which teacher would stay back in the school to teach?
“Why we are emphasizing this is that it is not affecting only teachers but the entire State. If you don’t have a friend that is a teacher you will have a brother or son, or mother/ father who is a teacher or you have children in these schools.
“Teachers who are faced with these predicaments cannot remain in the school hence the system of the school is being collapsed. We are already facing the complete death and burial of basic education in this State.”
Abdullah indicated that it is why the NUT is not happy with the trend of what is happening, as it aligns itself with whatever the organized labour is going to take action on.
In his words, “Both Zenith and access bank do not have the capability to undertake the payment of the salary of teachers, Local Government and the entire workers in this State.
“It is just that some people are not making the Government to get it right. Whoever is concerned, this is the Holy month of fasting for Muslims and of course the Holy books said that the worked deserves his wages at the end of the day.”
The chairman said the members have suffered for this wages several months and now they are passing through this suffering again and yet they did not get our wages and the whole thing comes to nothing.
He appealed to whoever was concerned to retrace their steps for sanity to come back.
“This is a government that has entered into a gentleman agreement with NLC and organized labour in the State to say those who don’t have accounts in Zenith bank or Access Bank should pay through their Bank.
“For crying out allowed we are saying Access Bank have domicile the account of Government but there is e-payment today which makes everything less cumbersome.
He explained further that the State Government opened the unsolicited accounts with Access and Zenith Bank for the workers where they started receiving the accounts.
The chairman said the union rejects it adding that they have made it clear from the outset.
Following such queries and concerns raised that new salary accounts have been opened for Kogi State civil servants in Access and Zenith Banks Governor Yahaya Bello offered some insights.
At a forum recently where the issue came up, the governor explained that the bailout fund received by state governments was actually the end product of the federal government standing surety for state governments, that enable them to approach deposit money banks for facilities.
In other words, as against the generally held impression that the federal government has always doled out these funds from its coffers, he indicated that the federal government essentially provided a guarantee for the loan facility to would-be lenders, in favour of the state government.
According to him, “Due to the prevailing economic situation, cash reserves of commercial banks domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria were currently competing for so many pressing needs simultaneously, making it increasingly difficult for the commercial banks to finance loan facilities, especially long-term ones.
“Access and Zenith Banks were however able to step up to the plate when Kogi State approached them. They made the first tranche of the state’s bailout funds available, but on one small condition. That the funds remain domiciled in their banks.”
He said fir him without giving it too much thought, it does make perfect business sense.
He explained that the banks offer essentially homogeneous services, especially in this case of salary accounts.
Bello said it would have been odd were Access and Zenith to be so liberal as to allow other banks benefit from an exclusive market they have basically created.
“So, rather than make these funds available to the state government to pay workers through other banks, why not internalise the entire process and start reaping accruable benefits from the get go?
“This explanation is very necessary as I have come across many wild allegations and insinuations that accounts being opened are for unethical purposes.
“Given the foregoing, any insinuations and speculations about shady, underhand dealings with regards to the disbursement of these bailout funds are completely unfounded.”
He admitted that the situation where erroneous notions are already making the rounds was not surprising.
However, he it was not too late to correct the wrong impression some person have held on the issue.
“Another persistent misconception that also needs correcting concerns the actual nature of the bailout funds itself, as not a few of us still wrongly assume it is a largesse.
“Permit me to quickly reiterate that these bailout funds are loan facilities. They are debts structured to be paid back over an extended period, and which will certainly be inherited by the generation coming after us.”
ICDA disagrees with IPOB, says Igalas can never be part of Biafra
The Chairman of the incorporated trustees of Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA) working committee, Comrade Enemona Emmanuel Omattah has distanced the Igala race from the secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He demanded that the group should immediately re-draft their map.
Speaking with newsmen in Lokoja on Monday, Omattah said it was an error to include Igala nation in the Biafran map
The former State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) stated that the age-long trade relations and intermarriage between Igbos and Igalas is not enough reason to deny his people their true ethnic identity.
“We are not part of their agitation. IPOB and Biafra cannot annex Igala nation.
“We are calling on Igbo people to stop including Igala land in their map.
“During the Nigerian Civil War, Emeka Ojukwu-led team bombed Igala land. Our land was actually attacked. The people that attacked us years ago cannot come around now and claim we are part of them.
“We are not part of Biafra. We will never be part of Biafra. Though we do business with them and even intermarry, that does not mean we are part of them.
“We believe in the Nigeria Project. We believe in the leadership of Nigeria nation. We have our issues with the Nigeria nation but we are not antagonistic.
“We will address our issues at the appropriate time, not by carrying guns and fighting. We believe in the corporate existence of Nigeria.This is the position of Igala nation,” he said.
Speaking on the alleged leadership crisis in ICDA, Omattah said the sociocultural group is being repositioned to fulfil its mandate.
“The incorporated trustees of ICDA constituted a working committee and made me the leader of the group. The working committee was mandated to reposition ICDA, interface, consult and dialogue with other stakeholders of Igala nation, review the constitution and work modalities for election.
“We are working to get the 21 old Igala native districts involved in Igala business. ICDA is an umbrella covering all 21 Igala native districts he said the nine local government areas as well the Development associations of the district should be involved in ICDA activities.
“Former president, Sadiq Amodu Abubakar and his exco abandoned the aims and objectives of ICDA. Sadiq and his team failed to unite Igala people because of inexperience, greed and failure to accord recognition to the 21 native districts of Igala land. He abandoned his mandate.”
Over 20 persons living with disabilities register for JAMB in Nasarawa
From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia
No less than 20 persons living with disabilities as well as vulnerable persons have been registered for the forthcoming Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in Obi local government area of Nasarawa state.
This was disclosed by a Group under the ages of the Organizer Foundation in Nasarawa State during the unveiling of billboard in Lafia, the state capital on Sunday.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the NationalUpdate shortly after the unveiling of the billnoard, the chairman of the group, Mallam Mohammed Ja’afar-Adi, said the gesture was as the result of COVID-19 effect and also to assist the needy for what he described as adding value to the less privilege in the society who have been neglected.
He said: “20 Physically challenged as well as vulnerable persons have been registered for the forthcoming Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and some applicants were also given money to register WAEC who could not afford to pay their fees.”
The group, however, called on Dr. Musa Adamu, who holds a traditional tittle as Sarkin Matasan Obi to run for the seat of the House of Representatives Lafia/Obi federal constituency come 2023.
According to the leader of the group the community has been lacking potable water to drink, saying that it was Dr. Adamu who sank eight boreholes across Obi and Lafia local government areas of the state.
He explained further that Dr. Aadmu distributed bags of rice, cartons of supergeheti, sugar and some cash as a palliative to cushion the effect COVID-19 pandemic, saying that school fees were also given to some students who could not afford it.
The foundation which cut across all the 23 wards of Lafia /Obi federal constituency promised to support him for the 2023 elections by coming out en masse to ensure his success at the polls for effective representation and accountability.
He, however, disclosed that scholarships have already been disbursed to undergraduate students.
He assured the House of Representatives aspirant that the organization will do everything within their power to ensure that victory is assured.
Earlier, Barr. Mohammed UmarZanwa who is the chairman of the central working committee on behalf of Dr. Musa Adamu, thanked the organizer foundation for the love and support adding that he has accepted to contest for the house of representative to represent the good people of Lafia/Obi federal constituency.
He thanked the Organizer foundation for the honour bestowed on him as he assured them of quality representation, just as he promised to carry everyone along if given the mandate come 2023.
Disability commission boss decries high rate of out of school children living with disabilities
The Executive Secretary National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) Mr James David Lalu has expressed concern over the high level of out if school Children living with Disabilities.
The Head Media and Publicity of the commission Mbanefo John Michaels in a statement issued in Abuja quoted the Executive Secretary to have indicated that the commission is leveraging on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) support for the Commission to take the children back to school.
Lalu spoke recently in his office during a meeting with representatives of the UNESCO Abuja Regional Office.
He said that the Commission is quite interested in collaborating with as many pertinent organisations as possible to ensure the achievements of its statutory mandate.
The Executive secretary explained further that the Commission’s zonal Rehabilitation Centres will be established in each State to enhance easy access and connection to various localities.
He however, indicated that some States like Kaduna, Gombe, Kwara and Kogi have been visited by the Commission adding that they were prevailed upon to kick-start the process at that level.
Lalu reiterated the commission’s commitment to carrying out its mandate of collation and proper follow up of bills to ensure creation of State offices is achieved
While commending the ES for his efforts towards putting the Commission on the cause of progress, the Officer-In-Charge of Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja, Mrs Nneka Okafor pointed out that UNESCO is in support of the creation of State offices which will improve the lives of Persons with Disabilities.
She prayed that the commission will attain greater heights to positively advance the wellbeing of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria.
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