Delta teachers to dialogue with government over salary, others
• Okowa canvasses restructuring of civil service
• Fish farmers allege N3.5m loss to hoodlums
The Delta State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), at the weekend, indicated willingness to dialogue with government to resolve knotty issues.
Its state chairman, Jonathan Jemirieyigbe, told reporters in Asaba that although the union appreciated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s efforts in the education sector, there were still aspects of teachers’ welfare requiring urgent attention in the interest of industrial harmony.
He listed the contentious issues to include non-payment of primary school teachers’ salaries, lack of understanding between the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and the NUT, non-promotion of university graduate teachers beyond salary grade level (SGL) 14 as well as immediate reinstatement of teachers “illegally” removed from the payroll, among others.
However, the Executive Chairman, Delta State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Sunny Ogwu has attributed the recent demotion of some primary school teachers in the state to ‘abnormal’ promotions enjoyed in the past.
Ogwu, who made the clarification in an interview with The Guardian following the uproar the exercise generated, maintained that their elevation disregarded laid down rules and regulations.
He added that ‘illegal conversion’ was another reason that informed the decision.
In a related development, Governor Okowa has advocated the re-engineering of the civil service to meet the present needs of the nation.
Speaking at a thanksgiving service to honour the state’s Head of Service, Reginald Bayoko on his 50th birthday in Asaba, the governor noted that the service, as the engine room of governance, needed to be restructured for better dedication, effectiveness and efficiency with service delivery as its watchword.
Meanwhile, fish farmers in Ekpan community of Uvwie Local Council of the state, under the auspices of United Ufuoma Farmers’ Association, yesterday said they lost over N3.5 million to hoodlums in the last three weeks.
They, therefore, appealed to federal and state governments to halt the menace.
The association’s president, John Ihesinaulo, in a statement, claimed in each of the occasions the assailants struck, they made away with fish and cash just as they beat up some of his members who resisted them.
“The hoodlums sometimes rob our farmers at gunpoint. The issue is now so critical that some of our farmers who borrowed money now find it difficult to pay back their loans,” he alleged.