Benue teachers’ strike enters seventh month

The leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has accused the governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan, of insensitivity to the plight of primary school teachers in the state, just as the indefinite strike embarked on by the teachers entered its seventh month.

The teachers’ grievances stemmed from the state government’s inability to implement the N18,000 National Minimum Wage which other primary school teachers in other states have been enjoying.

This is despite an initial pledge and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that has been signed by the State Deputy Governor, Steven Lawani.

Even after the agreement to pay, the action of the deputy governor in pledging and appending his signature to the MoU is believed not to have gone down well with Suswam, who claims the state has no funds to carry the wage bill.

The governor had reportedly proposed cuts in workers’ salary, in which case he suggested a five per cent cut for junior staff, 10 per cent for senior civil servants and 25 per cent for political office holders to enable the government pay the salaries of striking primary school teachers.

General Secretary of NUT, Ikpe Obong, who lamented the situation, told Sunday Independent exclusively that government keeps reneging on implementation of agreements even when all parties to a labour dispute must have been resolved.

“Primary school education in Benue is really pathetic, government really needs to sit up and be proactive, because the one of Benue State its very unfortunate that an agreement that has been entered into between the NUT and the government of Benue State signed by the deputy governor, nobody is doing anything about it.



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