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FG owes 600 teachers for service elongation

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By Okunloye Abiodun

23 months' salary arrears were owed by the Education Ministry and Defence.

About 600 teachers who took advantage of the federal government’s service extension program are owed 23 months of salary arrears by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Defence. Despite extending their service in January 2021, these teachers were not paid as expected. In January 2021, the implementation of an elongation policy allowed over 400 education officers to become recipients of its benefits. This policy successfully increased the retirement age for teachers to either 65 years or 40 years in service.

Despite being instructed to continue their employment, the individuals were not remunerated until November 2022, accumulating over 23 months of unpaid salaries. Although their salaries were restored in December 2022, they encountered a disheartening realisation upon receiving their pay statements that the salaries owed were included, yet their bank accounts remained uncredited. Despite seeking clarification, IPPIS has yet to provide a satisfactory response. According to the teacher, they were mobilised throughout Nigeria, gathering data and incorporating a few copies of payslips, which were then submitted.

Teachers under the harmonised retirement age voiced concerns.

On October 13, 2023, the teachers under the federal ministry of defence who were deeply worried about the situation wrote a letter to the minister of education, Tahir Mamman. They urgently sought his intervention regarding the long-delayed payment of salary arrears for the pioneering education officers who fall under the harmonised retirement age for teachers. Despite faithfully and effectively carrying out their responsibilities, they were denied their rightful payment after reaching either 60 years of age or completing 35 years of service, despite following the guidelines outlined in Circular FME/HRM/S234/1 on January 26, 2021.

The Nigerian Association of senior civil servants, alongside the Federal Ministry of Education, embarked on a mission to uncover the reasons behind the significant disparities between their pay stubs and the actual amounts credited to their bank accounts. To streamline the payment process for outstanding balances, they urged members to submit their payslips and corresponding bank statements to the ministry’s IPPIS unit. This effort took place in April 2022. Despite the submission of all the requested documents, the outstanding amount was left unpaid.

Government aims to inspire Nigerians to pursue teaching careers.

Furthermore, the inception of teacher service elongation can be traced back to the earlier governance of President Muhammadu Buhari. This notable policy pertains to educators employed in select unity schools, as well as educational schools operated by the military and paramilitary forces. The Federal Executive Council took a significant step forward on January 20, 2021, by granting their approval to a proposed Bill aimed at augmenting the retirement age and tenure of service for teachers.

Adamu Adamu, the then education minister, provided an explanation regarding the bill’s purpose, stating that its primary objective was to obtain legal authorisation to raise the retirement age for teachers to 65 rather than the current age of 60 and service duration from the existing 35 years to 40 years. In April 2022, Buhari endorsed the harmonised bill into legislation, following Adamu’s suggestions. This bill aimed to incorporate various incentives such as bursary awards, special rural posting allowances, and other provisions intended to inspire talented Nigerians to pursue teaching careers. The implementation of this law was backdated to January 2022.

Retirement age and service year experience changes.

Lastly, it was on January 26, 2021, that the memo from the federal Ministry of Education encouraged teachers in unity schools to remain in service instead of retiring until President Buhari granted his assent. The memo designated as FME/HRM/S234/1 was issued to notify individuals of the decision made during the January 20, 2021 meeting of the Federal Executive Council. This decision entailed establishing the retirement age for the teaching profession. The implementation of this new arrangement commenced on January 1, 2021.


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AN-Toni
Editor
3 months ago

FG owes 600 teachers for service elongation. – 23 months’ salary arrears were owed by the Education Ministry and Defence.Express your point of view.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
3 months ago

I totally understand your concern about the situation with the 600 teachers who are owed 23 months’ salary arrears. It’s truly disheartening to see hardworking educators not being compensated for their dedication and service.
Teachers play a crucial role in shaping the future of our nation by imparting knowledge and skills to the younger generation. They deserve to be valued and respected for their contributions. When teachers are not paid on time, it not only affects their financial well-being but also demotivates them, leading to potential negative impacts on the quality of education.
The delay in salary payments raises questions about the financial management and accountability within the Education Ministry and Defence. It’s important for the government to address this issue promptly and transparently. Ensuring that teachers receive their salaries on time is not only a matter of fairness, but it also helps to maintain the morale and motivation of the teaching workforce.

Furthermore, this situation highlights the need for effective budgetary planning and allocation within the education sector. Adequate funding should be allocated to ensure that teachers’ salaries are prioritized and that the education system as a whole is adequately supported. This includes not only paying salaries on time but also investing in professional development opportunities for teachers and providing them with the necessary resources to deliver quality education.
Ultimately, prioritizing the welfare of teachers and ensuring they receive their salaries on time is not only a matter of fairness and respect but also a crucial step towards building a strong and sustainable education system. Education is the key to progress and development, and we must invest in our teachers to secure a brighter future for our nation.
I hope my point of view resonates with you. Let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions!

Taiwo
Member
3 months ago

It’s critical that the government act quickly to resolve this matter and guarantee that educators be paid what is due. They ought to be paid for the effort and commitment they have put out.

Kazeem1
Member
3 months ago

For service extension, FG is in debt to 600 teachers. The Education Ministry and Defense owing arrears of salary over a period of twenty-three months. These teachers are owed by the government for extended service. The government must pay the teachers. They have fulfilled their duties, and each employee is entitled to their compensation.

SarahDiv
Member
3 months ago

It’s concerning that about 600 teachers are owed 23 months’ salary arrears despite participating in the federal government’s service extension program. The delay in payment raises questions about the effectiveness of the system, impacting the livelihoods of these educators.