With elections coming up in November, 7,000 teachers in public primary and junior secondary schools in Kogi state have raised a cry to State Governor, Yahaya Bello, to pay teachers salaries owed different categories ranging between eight to 39 months.
In a communiqué after an emergency meeting of the Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria (BASAN) in Lokoja, the association said their travails has its genesis in the staff screening exercise started in 2016.
Thousands of other public service employees make similar claims in Kogi.
Others have embarked on fervent prayers, while it is common to hear curses rained on public office holders in the State. The State Government officials insist the number of months workers are owed is grossly exaggerated, insisting those owed are for two to three months.
Meanwhile, the teachers in their communiqué signed by Mr Onotu Yahaya and Mr Mohammed Sule, Acting Chairman and Secretary of the Kogi State chapter of BASAN, lamented the alleged refusal of the state government to fully implement the N18,000 minimum wage to teachers in the basic education sector.
According to the communiqué, their counterparts in the Senior Secondary School cadre and other state government staff had started enjoying the N18,000 minimum wage since Dec. 2011.
They wondered why teaching and non-teaching staff at the basic education sector were not being fully paid.
The communiqué urged the government to put a stop to the payment of 35 -50 percent salary to its members, insisting that they deserve full payment of salary like other workers in the state.
“Several of the basic education staff retirees are yet to access their monthly pensions besides non-payment of their gratuity,” the statement said.
They expressed worry over what they described as “incessant movement” of payment of their salary among the State Universal Basic Education Board, local government councils and sometimes consultants.
This, they claim, makes it difficult to know actual staff strength in the sector adding that the poor state of basic education infrastructure in schools across the state is appalling and was an impediment to meeting curriculum delivery