… State workers on minimum wage since 2020
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, on Wednesday confirmed to leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, that he had days back, approved the payment of N30,000 minimum wage to 5, 439 teachers of the Local Education Authority, LEA, who passed competency test.
Zulum spoke when labour officials led by the NLC Chairman in Borno State, Comrade Yusuf Inuwa, paid him a visit, during which the labour official thanked the Governor for his commitment to welfare of workers and also called his attention to other areas that include payments of promotion benefits.
The 5,439 teachers at local government levels were those who passed basic literacy and numeracy tests conducted by a committee which Zulum constituted in 2021.
The committee assessed 17,229 LEA teachers across Borno’s 27 local government areas from which a total of 11, 790 representing 69% of the entire LEA teachers were found unqualified to teach.
Amongst them, 2,389 teachers had no academic qualification whatsoever, not even secondary school certificates while 3,815 of the teachers were found to be untrainable.
Governor Zulum had immediately after receiving the assessment committee’s report in February 2022, directed that payment of N30,000 minimum wage be applied to the teachers who passed the test.
Zulum had on October 26, 2021, raised alarm that some primary school teachers were receiving scandalous salaries that were less than N10,000 but to change the situation, he needed to address the problems of ghost teachers at the LEA levels, the same way was done at the state levels.
Zulum’s assessment led to identifying 11,790 unqualified teachers in Borno’s education system but even then, the governor directed that no civil servant was going to be sacked, rather some were going to be retrained and others reassigned to other sectors outside education.
… Unqualified teachers to go on training
At yesterday’s meeting with NLC leaders, Zulum reaffirmed his compassionate position not to sack unqualified teachers.
The governor told the NLC that since the assessment committee had found that out of 11, 790 unqualified teachers, there are 7,975 teachers representing 46.3% who are trainable, the state will soon support a first batch of 1,000 to further their education through a special in-service facility that would enable the teachers to go back to tertiary schools as full time students while getting their monthly salaries.
Zulum said however, that the 7,975 unqualified teachers would only be enlisted for minimum wage after completing their education and becoming qualified to teach.
… State workers been on minimum wage since 2020
Our correspondent reports that since January 2020, all civil servants at the state level including teachers of secondary schools, began to enjoy a national minimum wage of N30,000.
The NLC leadership at that time, announced in the media that Zulum was amongst the first three Governors to implement the minimum wage.
… Zulum gives directive on promotions
At yesterday’s meeting with NLC’s leadership, Governor Zulum directed the submission of a comprehensive lists of all existing vacancies and eligible civil servants preparatory to a promotional exam to be held.
Zulum promised to look into all other issues raised by the labour leaders and also promised to work with chairmen towards engaging some consultants to manage the payroll systems of local government councils.
… NLC lauds Zulum on workers’ welfare
During Wednesday’s meeting, state chairman of the NLC, comrade Yusuf Inuwa appreciated Governor Zulum for his commitment to welfare of workers in the state.
Inuwa made special note of the governor’s payment of 2020 and 2021 leave grants to entitled workers, as well as constant payment of monthly salaries, pensions and significant progress made on gratuities.
The NLC however appealed to the the state government on outstanding issues that include promotion arrears and arrears for re-verified local government staff and LEA teachers as well as minimum wage for local government and LEA staff.