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NUT Opposes Abolition of State-Local Government Joint Account

| January 24, 2013 More

Aminu Tambuwal

Onwuka Nzeshi  
in  Abuja

The ongoing debate on the granting  of autonomy to local government councils in the country took a new dimension yesterday as the  Nigeria  Union of Teachers (NUT) expressed  opposition to the idea.

The union said  granting financial autonomy to  the councils which entails  abolishing the State/Local Council Joint Account  would be counter-productive to primary education system in the country.

National President of NUT,  Comrade Michael  Olukoya, gave this view when he led a delegation of  the National Executive Council of the union  on a courtesy visit to  the  House of Representatives.

The delegation met with the Speaker of the House, Hon. Amini Tambuwal, where Olukoya made a  presentation on the union’s position.
Olukoya  said the NUT  decided to make  its voice heard on the issue  of local council autonomy because of its relevance to the  funding of primary education in Nigeria.

He said the abolition of State-Local Government Joint  Accounts would be a disaster to the teachers especially those in primary schools going by their experiences in the past.

Olukoya recalled that  between 1990 and 1994 when primary education was under the control of local governments, teachers were owed salaries of between six  to twelve  months while  those that retired during the period were not paid their pension and gratuities.

“It is therefore our prayers that the House of Representatives would do all it can to persuade its members and the entire National Assembly to retain the State-Local Government Joint Accounts or provide for the salaries of primary school teachers from first line charge from the federation account.

“The only  alternative  would be to transfer the responsibility for the payment of salaries to the state governments to guarantee uninterrupted and unfettered primary school education in the country,” he said.

The NUT boss  also urged  the House to intervene in the ongoing crisis in  Plateau State where teachers have not received their  salaries for about eight  months. Olukoya also solicited the support of the House in another industrial crisis in  Bauchi State where 10,000 teachers have been laid off.

In response, Tambuwal  said the position of the union has enriched the debate and will certainly assist the National Assembly in taking a final decision on the matter.

He noted that before now, the general  impression of people had been  that most of the state governors were  misapplying the funds accruing to the State/Local Government Joint Account  and that the councils will fare better if they had financial  autonomy.

Tambuwal  assured the NUT that the House would assist the union  in resolving some of its challenges, particularly the  issue of the 27.5 per cent  increase in the salaries of the teachers.

Category: Bauchi State News

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