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Imo teachers demand 10-month pay before resumption

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Hope Uzodimma


Buhari kicks off public works for 27,000 youths

Except their alleged 10-month backlog is cleared, Imo teachers may not resume on January 25 as directed by the state government. The threat was contained in a statement issued yesterday by secretary-general of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Godwin Asogwa, in Owerri.

“The labourer deserves his wage. Imo teachers cannot teach with empty stomach,” he stated. The tutors also demanded that basic teaching tools, including secure school compounds with perimeter fencing, toilets, laboratories and subventions be provided for all of the 300 secondary schools and about 645 primary schools that dot the 27 councils of the state.

The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha had, at the weekend, directed both private and public learning institution to resume next Monday following their closure last month to check the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He had also during a live programme on Monday in the state capital, accused some teachers of having double pay points, which prompted cancellations.

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At the time of filing this report, the commissioner was yet to respond to the text message sent to him on the issue. Besides, Governor Hope Uzodimma had directed publication of workers paid early this month in some tabloids, insisting that all genuine employees had been settled. He accused most workers of double salary points, leading to the deletion of their names from payroll.

The governor added that the very few with proven issues had been advised to represent their case for resolution.

MEANWHILE, President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the 774,000 Special Public Works (SPW) programme for 27,000 youths in the state.

Represented yesterday at the event in Owerri by the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, the President reiterated that each participant was entitled to a N20,000 monthly stipend. He said the 774,000 beneficiaries were selected from the nation’s 774,000 council areas as part of measures to cushion the harsh effects of the novel coonavirus.

Chairman, State Selection Committee, Okenze Obinna, said the process was transparent. In her remarks, Imo Cooordinator of the National Directorate for Employment (NDE), Mrs. Ngozi Iheanacho, promised that her organisation would execute the project creditably.

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