The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has asked the state government to use part of its Paris Club refunds to speedily settle gratuities of primary school teachers amounting to over N2 billion.
The union chairman made the demand on Thursday in Uyo at the World Teachers Day with the theme “Teachers in freedom, empowering teachers.”
He also requested that the refund of seven and half per cent of his members’ contribution pension scheme, promotion and leave arrears be settled through the Paris Club refund.
Ukppong declared that the era when teachers depended on government for survival was over.
He called on the state government and individuals to support the union in its drive towards economic emancipation of members.
Specifically, Ukpong requested the state government and security agencies to assist the union to identify what he called “faceless” individuals who had used the name of the union to defraud the union through cooperative society.
He said, “NUT humbly requests government and security agencies’ assistance in indentifying the faceless beings behind “Teachers Cooperative and SSEB Cooperative Society.”
“These are private individual’s imposters who over the years have used the name of the union to distract teachers and frustrate efforts by the union to galvanize them into gainful group investors,” he added.
Addressing the Akwa Ibom teachers on their day, Governor Udom Emmanuel said his administration had worked relentlessly to reposition the public education system and ensure motivation of teachers in the state.
“The importance of the teacher and education in the development of any nation or state is therefore a common knowledge to all of us.
“The realization of the very important role of education and teaching and the need for it to be made available for all, therefore raises the issue of funding, a very critical issue for the parents, trainers, learners and the government.
“To sanitize the education sector and ensure quality of teaching and learning, the first batch of the 5000 teachers who succeeded during the screening exercise, 1,569 of them in the core science area including Mathematics and English language have already been deployed to secondary schools,” he said
The governor who was represented by the Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Ekerebong Akpan, said to meet the international standard in staffing and teacher to student ratio, he had recently approved the recruitment of 3,000 teachers for the primary schools.
He charged the local education authorities to ensure that teachers’ postings were respected and adhered to, to ensure that quality teachers were also sent to the rural areas.