From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Niger state governor and Chairman, Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has described as unfortunate the back log of salaries owed teachers at the primary school level, especially in some states in the north.
He called on the affected states to ensure prompt payments of salaries and allowances of teachers to safe the nation education system from total collapse.
The governor, who made the call in Minna at the weekend when he declared open the 18th edition of the Nigeria Colleges of Education Games, hosted by the Niger state College of Education, said it is morally, physically and socially wrong for government private individuals at any level to withhold the salaries of teachers or workers who have done their jobs.
Although the governor did not give the names of the affected states, according to him, “It is disheartening to hear that teachers have not been paid salaries for months in some states, especially in the north.
Teachers cannot be good teachers if they do not eat and cannot feed their families’, he said.
Aliyu maintained that there should be no excuse what so ever for non- payment of the teachers’ salaries.
“Teachers must be respected, they should be paid their dues after doing their job, I call on all governors and the federal government to ensure the prompt payments of salaries and allowances of teachers”.
The governor argued that the quality of students Nigeria produce depends on the quality of teachers it has in it schools, saying that a poorly motivated teachers will not be able to impart anything on students.
“Their dues must be paid to them at the right time and that is the only way that we can guarantee quality service.
Not only Teachers, anybody that we have engaged to come and work for us be paid his and as at when due”.
He said teaching should come first and should be given priority and therefore, encouraged states in the country to establish more colleges of education and Universities of Education to produce quality teachers in the country
“Teachers must be people that must be respected, they should be paid their dues. I call on all governors and the Federal government to ensure the prompt payments of the salaries and allowances of teachers.
The governor while commending the Provost and the staff of the college for hosting the game, said the games couldn’t have come at a better time than now in view of the current period of insecurity as the nation continues to search for national cohesion and unity.
He said sports is a vehicle for unity and social mobilization.
“Given the abundant energy and enthusiasm of the youths, bringing together thousands of students athletes to compete in various games will go a long way in developing the spirit of accommodation, tolerance, perseverance and camaraderie and in promoting national integration.”
Earlier in his welcoming address, the Provost of the College of education, Prof. Farouk Haruna Abdulrasheed, said the hosting of the game by the college has open another chapter in the history of the college and the state as this is the first time the college is hosting the game.
The 18th Nigeria Colleges of Education Games (NICEGA) has about 42 colleges of Education across the country participating in various sporting events.