Members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Ondo State Wing have staged a peaceful protest to kick against the transfer of payment of teacher’s salaries to Local Government Councils in the proposed local government autonomy.
The protesting teachers took off in their large number from Teacher’s House in Oda Road to the governor’s office.
The need to avoid a repeat of 1990 and 1994 when the primary school system witnessed poor funding and total neglect which led to industrial crisis occasioned by the local government council’s failure to accord primary education the pride of place it deserves.
In his address, the Secretary, Ondo State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Solomon Igbelowowa, explained that despite an increase in the allocation to the local government councils from the federation account by five per cent to enable the councils play their mandatory role in assisting the state government to pay the salaries of primary school teachers, the teachers were denied salaries for several months, and in some cases for over twelve months.
He added that local government councils also failed to contribute their mandatory fifteen per cent of the teachers’ emolument to the pension fund meant for the payment of the teachers’ pension and gratuities.
Comrade Igbelowowa reaffirmed that the payment of primary school teachers be taken over by state government in order to prevent the education sub-sector from imminent collapse.
Responding to the agitation of the union members, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu commended them for their maturity and assured them that their request will be tabled before relevant authorities including the national Assembly to appropriate action.
Similar protests have been held by the NUT in other states of the federation.