NUT VOWS TO RESIST KWARA'S REMUNERATION BILL

By NBF NEWS
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Opposition to the proposed Kwara State remuneration bill for the state's former governors and their deputies swelled on Tuesday, with the Nigeria Union of Teachers describing it as 'bogus and selfish.'

The union also said it was disturbed by the action of the proponents of the bill, when the state was unable to pay the 27 per cent Teachers Salary Scale and the Teachers' Salary Allowance of 15 per cent.

Speaking through the Secretary of NUT, Kwara State branch, Mr. Mohammed Alhassan, the body advised the state governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to set a standard for his colleagues in the Governors' Forum by living above board and maintaining the integrity of the forum.

According to the teachers' union, 'We see it as a very selfish and close-circuited attempt at mortgaging the future of the state. The substance of the bill is selfish and self-centred and it will mortgage the entire civil service of Kwara State.

'We make an appeal to the governor to put the welfare of teachers in the state in the front burner before even considering this bill. It is bogus and the position of the union is that the bill should be thrown out in its entirety.'

The body advised the lawmakers to be wary of actions that would jeopardise the future of the state, while arguing that posterity would judge them in the negative if they went on to pass the bill.

The NUT assured the governor of its continued partnership, while also expressing reservations on the monthly deductions of 2.5 per cent from its members' salaries for over two years.

Alhassan said, 'We see as fraudulent the monthly deduction of our salary with the assurance that the government would give us mortgage loans and build houses in the state capital for the past two years. Today, we neither have passbooks nor are we aware of where our funds are domiciled.

'Unfortunately, this deduction has received executive approval. The government has not come out with modalities for accessing this loan.

'It is important that the government should know that Kwara is a rural and civil service state. Where will the 95 per cent of us who are in the villages access these houses when they live in the rural areas?

'If this government is sincere with the various bonds it has raised from the Stock Exchange, part of it should be used to address the problems of teachers because they cannot be left to suffer.'

The controversial bill seeks to allow the governor and his deputy an accommodation in Abuja, free transport, 300 percent furniture allowance payable every year, house maintenance allowance, domestic staff, free medical care for their immediate families in any part of the world, 11 security personnel, personal assistants, car maintenance allowance, entertainment and 20 per cent utility allowance.

Others entitlements are annual vacation of 30 days outside Nigeria with 30 days estacode and travel expenses allowances, three cars for the former governor, two cars for his deputy, domestic staff, pensionable drivers among others.