The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has named and shamed some states in the country for being chronic defaulters when it comes to payments of teachers salaries. The states according to NUT are Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Bayelsa, Delta, Ekiti, Kogi, Ondo, Kwara and Taraba. These states are owning both primary and secondary school teachers salaries running into twelve months as the case may be.
This is important for two reasons. First, these states have been in the news recently as we’ve had Kaduna and Zamfara where the former is having a long drawn battle with its teachers based on the 2017 teacher competency exercise while the latter just had the worst result in the 2017 NECO exams. These states whose Governors have been vocal on national issues have managed to keep this high level ineffectiveness away from the news before NUT decided to make it a matter of public knowledge which has shown the poor level of commitment these Governors have given to educational development in the state.
The second reasonis the presence of states like Bayelsa and Delta on this list of defaulters. According to NUT Bayelsa state is owning primary school teachers seven and half months salaries and four and half months to secondary school teachers while Delta is owing Primary school teachers four months salaries and secondary school teachers are being owed one month salary. The situation in these two states are precarious to say the least.
Delta and Bayelsa are some of the richest states in Nigeria. They are both oil producing states, apart from the monthly federal allocations, they collect part of the 13% oil derivation fund as oil producing states, these two states have taken two tranches of bailout funds from the Federal government and two tranches of Paris refund from the Federal government.
Inability to pay salaries for Delta is a deliberate act of wickedness while it is more wicked for a state like Bayelsa with eight local governments. These states have betrayed their teachers and they should do the right thing and resolve their issues with the NUT in their states. Education is too important a facet of nation building to ignore.