Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Governors express grouse about Buhari’s package for teachers

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Unless the conditions spelt out by governors are met, only teachers in Federal Government employment will enjoy the new salary package and improved condition of service granted them by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It was learnt that the governors were shocked that the Federal Government did not consult them before unilaterally unfolding the package during the 2020 World Teachers Day on October 5.

The governors insisted that since education is on the concurrent list, the Federal Government ought to have sought their input.

It was also learnt that the major challenge facing the governors is how to get funds to implement the new welfare package.

There are indications that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) might meet with Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu, on how to address the challenges associated with the new package.

Some governors are pushing for an amendment to the Universal Basic Education Act to free more cash for states to enable them pay the new salary.

On October 5, the Federal Government announced a special salary scale for teachers.

Other perks unveiled include increase of their years of service from 35 to 40 years; adjustment of retirement age of teachers from 60 to 65; special pension scheme; rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance.

Other incentives listed are building of low-cost houses for teachers in rural areas; sponsorship of teachers to at least one refresher training per annum; expansion of annual Presidential Teachers and Schools awards to cover more categories with outstanding winners to be considered for National Awards and National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) awards.

Most governors were caught unawares by the decision.

Some of them alleged that the Federal Government did not take into consideration that some states had already placed their teachers on Special Salary Scale.

They claimed that in some states, teachers have risen to the level of permanent secretary.

It was gathered that the governors have been weighing options on how they can implement the policy with the drastic fall in revenue and debts.