At least 7,000 teachers in public primary and junior secondary schools in Kogi are owed salary arrears spanning 39 months as some of them have now raised an alarm weeks to the governorship election in the state.
The teachers, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), are now appealing to the governor of the state, Yahaya Bello, to look into the issue.
It was learnt that the teachers made the appeal in a communique issued at the end an emergency meeting of the Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria (BASAN) held in Lokoja on Monday, September 23.
The teachers said their plights started with the staff screening exercise the government embarked upon since 2016.
They also lamented that those affected had turned beggars in order to feed themselves and family members.
The report noted that the affected teachers are among over 23,000 members of BASAN in the state.
Jointly signed by Onotu Yahaya and Mohammed Sule, acting chairman and secretary of the Kogi state chapter of BESAN, the communique also bemoaned the refusal of the state government to fully implement the N18,000 minimum wage to teachers in the basic education sector.
The association said the teachers in the senior secondary school cadre and other state government staff had been enjoying the N18,000 minimum wage since December 2011.
The leaders of the association wondered why teaching and non-teaching staff at the basic education sector were not being fully paid just as they urged the government to stop the payment of 35 to 50% salary to its members.
They insisted that they deserve full payment of salary like other workers in the state.
“Several of the basic education staff retirees are yet to access their monthly pensions besides non-payment of their gratuity,” the statement said.
They further raised concern over the poor state of basic education infrastructure in schools across the state and warned that this is an impediment in meeting the desired productive curriculum delivery.
“We are passionately appealing to Governor Bello for intervention on the above inflammatory issues for the change mantra of the next level and change of narration of this critical sector of education,” they said.