Imo state teachers have said that they will not open or return to class amidst coronavirus pandemic. This was said by the chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers in the state, Philip Nwanshi while spoking with journalists in Owerri on Wednesday. Noting that the state has done nothing to pay the salary arrears of the teachers in the state as the state is owning backlogs.
The NUT chairman said despite meeting with the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, the state government had refused to offset the arrears of salaries. He said Uzodimma had in a meeting with NUT some months ago promised to clear arrears of salaries owed to teachers.
Nwanshi further complained that up till the first week of September salaries of about 2000 teachers in the state had not been paid for about seven months.
“In Ngor Okpala LGA, no primary school teacher has received a salary since March this year. In Owerri West and other LGAs also, many teachers are yet to receive their salaries”, he said.
On the other hand, a report has it that bank details and BVN had stopped the state from paying the salaries. Some quarters also said the details submitted by some teachers have not been correct and that is making it difficult for the state to pay.
The NUT Chairman responding to the report flying said that can never be a statement of fact as it is not possible that the details of all the teachers were not true.
“There is no way you can tell me that what is holding their salaries is BVN and the banks. We cannot believe that. You cannot tell me that the papers of all the teachers in Ngor Okpala are wrong. What we’re saying is that if every teacher does not get salaries up to date and if the union does not get its check-off dues, there is no possibility of schools reopening in Imo State”, Nwanshi.
“The union has not been running since March and the government is deducting the check-off dues and not remitting the same to the union. And if we don’t react, our members will never have full confidence in us anymore. They’ll think we’ve compromised”, he concluded.