Captain Idris Wada, Former Governor of Kogi State

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kogi has demanded the immediate payment of N32 billion salary arrears owed teachers in public primary schools in the state.

The state NUT chairman, Mr Suleiman Abdullahi, made the demand in Lokoja on Tuesday.

Abdullahi said that N23 billion was the outstanding arrears of the new minimum wage, while N8.7 billion was unpaid leave grants for four years.

The NUT chairman decried the development, and said that it was already taking a heavy toll on the education sector.

He said that government’s on-going efforts at arresting the dwindling fortunes of education might run into hitch if the state government failed to take the welfare and wellbeing of teachers seriously.

“There cannot be commitment from a teacher who is sick and hungry. There cannot be commitment from a teacher who is not sure of what he will be paid and when he will be paid,” he said.

Abdullahi also faulted a claim by the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) that it had paid the December 2014 salaries of primary school teachers.

He described the claim as untrue and ridiculous, and challenged the board to throw open its records to prove the claim.

He said that teachers would only vote for an education-friendly candidate in the coming governorship election in the state, and urged teachers to go and collect their permanent voter cards.

Abdullahi, therefore, directed those that missed the last registration to take advantage of the on-going continuous voter registration in 54 centres across the state.