No fewer than 500 science teachers in Cross River on Tuesday staged a protest to the state governor’s office to demand reinstatement into service and payment of their September and October salaries.
The teachers, who carried various placards such as; reinstate our names into payroll; we deserve better treatment as nation builders and Ayade, don’t take away our food, prevented movements in and out of the governor’s office.
Spokesperson of the group, Mr Henry Abu, a teacher in Government Girls Secondary School, Biq-qua Town, Calabar, told NAN that 500 of them were allegedly delisted from the state government payroll in September.
Abu said that the removal of their names from the payroll had caused untold hardship to families of the affected teachers in the state.
“We are out on this protest today because from our investigations, we found out that our names were removed from the payroll without due process.
“It’s been two months now and we have not been paid. We have families to feed and we have to pay our children’s and ward school fees.
“The governor promised us food on the table but as it stands now, we can’t even feed from the scrums. The governor has betrayed our confidence in him.
“We are here to ask him to reinstate us and pay us our two months salaries arrears. 500 Science Teachers in the state are affected by this sack,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Itam Obono, a teacher with Secondary Education Board, said that the recruitment that brought them to service was done by an Indian firm, “educom” in 2015.
Obono said that the former Governor of Cross River, Sen. Liyel Imoke, spent a lot of money in the recruitment process to ensure transparency and quality of teachers into the service.
“How can an interview that was done transparently by an Indian firm be faulted four years after. The governor has refused to tell us exactly why he has refused to pay us.
“What we are facing is an issue of fraud and conspiracy. The Special Assistant on Payroll to the Governor, Mr John Odey is not competent and we demand for his immediate sack.
“The Special Adviser claimed that they were fishing out ghost workers from payroll. If you are fishing for ghost workers, does it amount to stopping salaries of 500 teachers?
“We demand the immediate payment of our salaries before the end of today. This money is not Ayade’s money; it is money meant for salaries of civil servants and so we deserve to be paid,” he said.
In his reaction, Mr Christian Ita, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ben Ayade, told NAN in a telephone interview that the governor was doing a cleansing of the state payroll in other to delete ghost workers.
“Nobody has sacked them. Government has realised that because approval was given for employment in some areas, the people in charge resorted to over employment.
“In some cases were 200 persons were approved for employment, the people saddled with the responsibility recruited 700 staff. So, nobody has been sacked.
“Those whose employments were genuine have been given letters for re-validation of their employment. This means that those that were genuinely employed are to be restored back to the payroll,” he said.
Edited by Maureen Atuonwu
Jigawa pensioners demand N20,000 minimum pension
The Jigawa State Council of Pensioners has demanded for a minimum pension of N20,000 for its members as the state government approved the payment of N30,000 new minimum wage for its workers.
The demand is contained in a statement issued by Mr Abdullahi Tsoho, the council’s chairman, in Dutse on Friday.
“The council wishes to commend Gov. Badaru for approving the N30,000 minimum wage and consequential increase to workers’ salary.
“The union, therefore, requests for immediate corresponding increase for pensioners as contained in section 173(3) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement said.
It pointed out that some of the pensioners were currently receiving less than N3,000 hence the need for the increment.
“Considering the fact that some pensioners are currently receiving less than N3,000, we demand for a minimum pension of N20,000.
“Afterall, we go to the same market and what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” the statement said.
It called on the pensioners to be calm and prayerful, while assuring that their interests would be protected at all times.
Edited & Vetted By: Razak Owolabi/Donald Ugwu
Commissioner tasks NAWOJ on reportage of violence against women
Mrs Halima Jabiru, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Nasarawa State, has urged women journalists to play leading roles in reporting issues of violence against women.
The commissioner said that NAWOJ had crucial roles to play in support of the crusade against domestic violence.
“As women journalists, you should give more attention to the issues of violence against women and children in your reportage,” she said.
She said the ministry would partner other stakeholders towards protecting the domestic rights of women and children.
In a related development, the commissioner has urged female teachers in the state to exhibit motherly principles in discharging their duties.
Jabiru made the call when the women wing of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Nasarawa State chapter, visited her on Friday.
The leader of the group, Salamatu Abdullahi, said the visit was to congratulate the commissioner on her appointment.
She described the efforts of the commissioner in the campaign on violence against women and children as commendable. NAN)
Edited & Vetted By: Azubuike Okeh/Yemi Idris-Aduloju
Kogi Govt. issues operating licences to new private schools
The Kogi Government, on Friday, issued operating licences to 53 new private schools that met the minimum standard for the establishment of schools across the state.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in the state, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, made this diclosure at the licence presentation ceremony in Lokoja.
According to her, 308 private schools classified under three categories, will receive licences out of no fewer than 5,000 private schools in Kogi.
“Fifty three new schools under category ‘A’ have met the minimum standard while 21 schools under category ‘B’ that are yet to meet the standard will receive tentative licence approval based on conditions.
“The licences of 150 schools under category ‘C’ will be renewed while 84 other schools are still going through licence processing; making 308 schools both primary and secondary,’’ Adeleye said.
She said that the Ministry of Education had in 2018 and 2019, conducted an annual census to ascertain the number of schools and their status across the state.
Osikoya noted that the two reports revealed that some private schools were operating illegally and did not meet the minimum standard for school establishment.
She said that the ministry revoked the school licences based on the governors’ directive that there should not be proliferation of illegal schools.
Osikoya lauded the governor for his achievements in the education sector, as the ministry had been able to bridge the policy governance gaps and strengthened alliance with relevant stakeholders.
The commissioner, on behalf of the governor, congratulated the proprietors of the beneficiary schools for making the list, and urged them to continue to improve on quality education.
Dr Yaqeen Habeeb, the state Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), who spoke on behalf of the proprietors, thanked the government for the gesture.
Habeeb called on the government to continue to support the association and carry them along in the scheme of things while he urged the beneficiaries to continually build on the present standard.
Edited & Vetted By: Chinyere Bassey/Yemi Idris-Aduloju
Foundation supports 250 primary school pupils with educational materials in Adamawa
Dr. Usman Dadah, Chairman Board of Trustees of the foundation, presented the items on Friday,0 at Makolhi Camp of Internally Displaced Persons School, in Yola South Local Government Area (LGA).
Dadah said the educational intervention was meant to support orphans, girl-child and the less privileged children in the state.
He said the educational materials distributed included exercise books, pencils, sharpeners and cleaners.
“The donation will ease the burden on parents and guardians as well as to complementing government efforts in educating citizens,” Dadah said.
He said among the core objectives of the foundation was the provision of educational support to children of the Internally Displaced Persons, who were affected by insurgency and other communal crises.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Malkohi IDPs Camp Manager, Mr Abdullahi Yakubu, expressed gratitude for the gesture and solicited for more in other areas.
Edited & Vetted By: Bayo Sekoni/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
Centre suggests application of PR best practices to tackle civil unrest, strikes
Centre suggests application of PR best practices to tackle civil unrest, strikes
Abuja, Dec.6, 2019 The Centre for Public Service Productivity and Development, says effective application of best practices in public relations can reduce civil unrest, industrial strikes and enhance national productivity.
In a statement on Friday in Abuja, Mr Chris Egbu, a faculty member of the centre, said the position was reached by participants at the end of the International Public Relations and Protocol Conference, taking place between Dec. 2 and Dec. 6, in Accra, Ghana.
Egbu said participants at the conference also emphasised the need to harmonise the international protocol code by countries.
“It was observed that recent conflicts between Presidents of foreign super powers are due to non-adherence to best practices in international public relations and protocol.
“Tensions at bilateral talks among countries can be reduced if leaders of delegation observe a protocol that states “never say no while reacting to proposals expressed by their counterparts,’’ he said.
Egbu suggested that answers such as; “we will give thought to the matter; we may get back on the matter in due course’’, would be more civil and produce better results.
He said some open confrontations caused by remarks at bilateral talks could be avoided by more diplomatic responses.
Also according to the statement, Rita Rockson, Team Lead, Le Papillion Core of Ghana, called on public relations professionals to cut through the online clutter with arguments that are persuasive, believable and actionable.
Rockson said the power, value and influence of public relations had never been in greater need than now.
According to her, current unrest and crisis in most countries leading to sustained demonstration and civil unrest underscore the need for public relations in a democratic society where people have freedom to debate and make decisions.
It said participants urged organisations to train and retrain their public relations professionals to ensure peace and harmony in the community, the marketplace, the home, the workplace and the voting booth.
Edited & Vetted By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
IOM to establish pineapple factory for returnees in Edo
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says it will establish a pineapple processing plant in Edo State for the reintegration of returnees from Libya and other countries.
The organisation’s Project Consultant, Mr Babatunde Abdulkareem, made the disclosure on Friday, while inspecting the plant’s equipment with the Ovia South West Local Government Council’s Chairman, Mr Destiny Enabulele.
Abdulkareem, who said that the initiative was a Community Based Re-integration Process (CBRP), added that it was meant to reintegrate the returnees as well as provide them with means of livelihood.
“It is our believe that this plant would serve as a means of reintegrating these returnees.
“The plant will also create job opportunities and discourage people from embarking on such journeys in search of `greener pastures’,” he said.
According to him, the pineapple processing factory and the Community Based Re-integration Process (CBRP), would be first of its kind in Africa.
The IOM’s consultant said that the organisation was working hard at curbing illegal migration and human trafficking, adding that it would continue to prioritise returnees’ rehabilitation and reintegration.
He said that the pineapple processing plant was a means of ensuring the sustainability of the resettlement programme for the victims of illegal migration.
Abdulkareem said that the decision to establish the plant in Ovia South West Local Government Council was due to the council’s bumper production of pineapple in the state.
The Council’s Chairman, Mr Destiny Enabulele, assured the organisation of the council’s readiness to provide adequate security for the factory and its personnel.
Edo State has been rated as having the highest number of illegal migrants and human trafficking activities in the last two years, with no fewer than 4,500 returnees from Libya.
Edited /Ifeyinwa Omowole
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