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Saturday, 5 August 2017

In Akwa Ibom: Assembly to interface with executive on teachers’ welfare

Onofiok Luke

The speaker said that the legislature was ready to interface with the executive to address the way forward on how to improve the well being of primary school teachers.

The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly has assured the state council of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) of its readiness to interface with the executive to address the welfare of teachers.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Onofiok Luke, gave the assurance when NUT members paid him aid a courtesy visit in his office in Uyo on Friday.

The speaker said that the legislature was ready to interface with the executive to address the way forward on how to improve the well being of serving and retired primary school teachers.

He thanked the teachers for not embarking on industrial action but chose to dialogue with the government over issues bordering on members’ entitlements and welfare.

Luke said that the House would resume from recess in September, adding that it would meet with the NUT members to get the true situation of the issues at stake.

“I promise you that as soon as we are back from recess, we will look into the issues to be able to advise the governor appropriately.

“We are the bridge between government and the people. As a House, we will also interface with NUT and other unions to be able to get the true situation of things.

‘’We will look into these issues,” Luke said.

Earlier, the state Chairman of NUT, Etim Ukpong, said he and his colleagues were at the speaker’s office to intimate him of some lingering issues affecting primary school teachers in the state.

Ukpong, who is also the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), pleaded with the speaker and members of the House of Assembly to look into the welfare of NUT in the area.

“As we speak sir, government still owes primary school teachers arrears of leave grant of 2013, 2015 and 2016, promotion arrears since 2011 is still hanging.

“We understand the current economic situation in our state and country. It is our plea that this House, through your leadership, lends its weight and support this plea, ” Ukpong said.

He, however, said the union met and agreed that the funding and management of primary school education should be taken from the local government administration.

Ukpong said the union also resolved that to enhance qualitative education and wellbeing of teachers, funding of primary schools and payment of teachers’ salaries and other entitlements should be transferred to the state.

He said in the alternative, it could on a first line charge.



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