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Abia govt owes College of Education lecturers 31 months salaries ― COEASU

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The newly-elected National President of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Dr Smart Odunayo Olugbemi, on Thursday, revealed that the Abia State Government is owing lecturers of the state-owned college of education 31 months unpaid salaries of July 2021.

While describing the development as unacceptable, Olugbeko, vowed that his administration would explore all measures to ensure that states owing members of the union, pay them in order to mitigate the suffering of the lecturers.

He spoke while delivering his inaugural speech at the National Delegates’ Congress of the Union in Abuja, where he also lamented the delay in the conclusion of renegotiation of the FGN-COEASU 2010 Agreement.

Olugbeko said: “The flagrant impunity and open display of executive insensitivity against our members by some states governments is a sheer lack of respect for human dignity. The unsavoury reports revealing some State Government’s refusal to pay salaries of staff for months/years is regrettable and appalling.

“Some states governments have abdicated their primary responsibility of funding their colleges to Tertiary Education Trust Fund. For instance: as of the end of July, staff of Abia State College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu have not received their salary for 31 months while the staff of the defunct Edo State College of Education, Ekiadolor are being similarly owed many months of unpaid salaries and over 500 staff of the institution are yet to be properly deployed to the three campuses of the state-owned COEs.

“We shall hit the ground running with appeals for expeditious attention by the Governors of these colleges towards mitigating the sufferings of our members by addressing these lingering challenges with dispatch,” he said.

He noted that many other states Colleges of Education were suffering from a lack of attention and interest by their proprietors, stressing that this was the right time to insist on the inalienable rights of the members.

He bemoaned what he described as the government’s wilful neglect of the College of Education system leading to debilitating effects on the working conditions and situations in the colleges of Education, as evident in the highly skewed student-lecturer ratio, infrastructural decay, poor remuneration for the diligent services by the lecturers.

He listed other problems besetting colleges of education in Nigeria to the inherent challenges with Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS) implementation, employment of academic staff without regard for due process, and non-payment of minimum wage arrears among others.

The outgoing President, Comrade Nuhu Ogirima, in his valedictory speech, frowned at the deteriorating security situation in the country, saying members of his Union have suffered directly from this negative trend.

He called on the Federal Government and school authorities to put radical measures in place to check the attacks on schools and abductions of teachers and students for ransom.

Nigerian Tribune

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