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N30,000 minimum wage for school teachers

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By Mercy Kelani

21 Nigerian states have refused to implement the minimum wage for teachers.

According to the data from the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), of all the 36 states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, only 15 states – the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Akwa-Ibom, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, and Rivers States – have succeeded in the implementation of the wage for basic school teachers. Meanwhile, the remaining 21 states are yet to begin implementation of the Minimum Wage for teachers.

The defaulting states include Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Gombe, Niger, Borno, Sokoto, Anambra, Imo, Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Kogi, Cross River and Kaduna states. As revealed by the union of teachers, Kaduna and Yobe states returned respectively to the N18,000 minimum of 2011 in April to November 2021. Having noticed this anomaly, the NUT made efforts so as to get the state governments to implement the accurate minimum wage for teachers, but without results.

Senior cadre teachers in Nasarawa await capturing for minimum wage.

However, in Cross River State and Kogi State, the implementation of the wage is being partially done. The Kogi government has enabled the implementation of only 40 percent to teachers in charge of primary 1-6 and JSS 1-3. Abia State, on the one hand, pays N10,000 to Secondary School teachers. Amidst the delivery of this data, it was mentioned that the senior cadre teachers in secondary schools, Nasarawa State, are awaiting their capturing exercise so as to be partakers of the N30,000 minimum wage.

Currently, in Taraba State, considering the rift between the union and the state government, there is no way of communication with the state government concerning the wage implementation. In Niger, following the end of the Strike Action, the state government concurred to implementing the minimum wage, but has refused to fulfill the promise till date. The Sokoto government plans to conduct a verification exercise to acknowledge qualified teachers as NCE holders. The union is currently negotiating with the state governments of Adamawa and Anambra states for the minimum wage implementation.

The minimum wage is insufficient to cover basic needs of individuals.

The teachers’ union, NUT, revealed that different steps, including mounting pressure, have been taken to ensure that defaulting states make amends, but all to no avail; asides lack of amendment, these states have been unable to give a tangible reason for default in implementing the minimum wage. However, other defaulting states such as Cross River, Anambra, Gombe, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, and Zamfara are complaining of lack of sufficient funds to implement the minimum wage of teachers.

In April 2019, the national minimum wage bill was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari; the bill was signed into law after the approval of N30,000 by the national assembly, as the new national minimum wage. Despite the fact that some states are unable to pay the minimum wage of N30,000, Economy experts reveal that even the new minimum wage cannot cover the Basic Needs of individuals anymore, in the present economy that is only characterized by rising Inflation.

Poor remuneration leads to poor delivery of quality education.

Moreover, Education experts have constantly complained of the poor quality of education that is being rendered in basic schools, being the foundation of learning. They cited the poor remuneration of teachers as the main cause of the poor delivery of quality education. Another cause of the poor quality of education, delivered in basic school is because many teachers teach because there is no other option left for them, and not because they are really passionate about teaching.


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