Public primary school teachers in Benue State have lamented the non-payment of 13 months salaries by the state government.
Levi Akuma, the state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, stated that the backlog include 10 months in 2017, December 2021, and February and March 2022.
According to Akuma, teachers had suffered hardship due to their unpaid salaries, adding that the union was negotiating with the state government to avert any strike action.
Daily Trust reported that the union recently asked teachers to stay at home for a short period but that they had since returned to work.
Speaking on the stay-at-home, Akuma said, “What happened recently wasn’t a strike, but our teachers stayed at home because they didn’t have money to transport themselves to work.
“We, primary school teachers, were waiting for our August salaries; we were waiting at a time when every one of our counterparts under the same government was paid but we were not paid.
“So, teachers were saying that they don’t have money to go to work. We were in October at that time. Then, we asked the government to give us that money. The government paid up to 20 LGAs but we were waiting for three.
“In the end, the government paid the three LGAs so we came back to work.
“The backlog is 10 months in 2017, that’s between March and December of that year. And then December 2021; February and March 2022; and currently, September has been paid but not everybody has been paid.
“I don’t know precisely the amount being owed. But all together in 2017, the money was over N1.7 billion – that’s the 10 months. This time around, I didn’t do the summation, but it’s a huge amount of money.”