Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello has directed that teachers on grade level 15 and above be paid domestic staff allowance, a benefit limited to only civil servants.
He also endorsed the agitation by the Nigeria Union of Teachers to have the retirement age of professional teachers increased from 35 to 40 years of service and 60 to 66 years of age.
Gov. Sani-Bello announce the new benefit, the first of its kind since the state was created 42 years ago at the 57th (6th Quardrennial) National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) holding in Minna, the Niger State capital.
The governor stated that the decision to grant the payment of the new allowance was in fulfilment of his resolve to improve on the condition and standard of living of teachers on the employment of the state government with a view to enhancing their performance.
According to him, “Teachers deserve to be appreciated for their great role in nation building. We are aware that nation building certainly does not happen by accident rather it is a deliberate and consciously effort by men and women with vision and determination to leave enduring legacies for the larger number of the populace and that is what we stand for”.
Gov. Sani Bello noted that teachers have continued to play invaluable role in the development of humanity, stressing that his administration will continue to support moves and policies that would enhance their status and wellbeing.
According to the governor, “I see teachers as immeasurable tool for nation building as well as a veritable instrument for social change. This goes to explain the attention this administration accords the process of teaching and learning in the state.
“Our overall target for education is to ensure the creation of a functional and sustainable system where teachers play fundamental role. Therefore, the deliberate empowerment of teachers is a priority to us in the State. We believe that we cannot raise the quality of our students without first standardizing the quality of those who are to impart the character and learning that we wish for our students at all levels of our educational system”.
The National President of the union, Comrade Michael Alogba Olukoya called for an increase in the retirement point for teachers in order to enjoy the services of well experienced teachers in public schools.
He then commended the Niger state government welfare package for teachers in public schools and eugloised the Gov. Sani -Bello for prompt payment of teachers salary in the state.
The labour leader called for an improved welfare package for teachers by states government, arguing that the welfare and the working condition of teachers will determine the soundness of the nation’s future.
He lamented the suffering of teachers in some states due to irregularities in salary being paid. He insisted that “leaders and those in position of authority should do the needful by funding education effectively”.
The NUT state chairman, Comrade Ibrahim Umar also commended the state government giant strides in repositioning education and in improving the welfare of teachers through prompt payment of their salary.
Conference which has “Strengthening National Consciousness and Nation Building by the Instrumentality of public school system in Nigeria also had the Kebbi State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and national President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabah in attendance.
New leaders are expected to be elected by delegates to run the affairs of the union during the conference.