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NULGE threatens showdown with Delta governor Okowa over non-payment of salaries

NULGE threatens showdown with Delta governor Okowa over non-payment of salaries

- Delta state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees has threatened to embarked on protest if its demand is not met

- It said the imposition of the burden of payment of primary school teacher's squarely on LG has crippled the system

Delta state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees has expresses its discontent over the non-payment of salaries of Local Government workers in the range of 8-13 months.

In a message sent to NAIJ.com, the NULGE Secretary, Comrade Peter Ene, said that the association has viewed with utter dismay the claims by the state government that it does not owe local government staff but can appropriate local government money to pay teachers first charge and thus put the burden of payment of primary school teachers squarely on the local governments to the detriment of LG staff who are left with backlog arrears of salaries.

The message reads; “In as much as we do not desire to join issues with the state government, the union considers this claim as a slight on the sensibilities of LG staff who have been made to pass through horrendous physical and mental tortures as a result of non-payment of their salaries.

NULGE threatens showdown with Delta governor Okowa over non-payment of salaries

NULGE threatens showdown with Delta governor Okowa over non-payment of salaries

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“It is undoubtedly true that the funding of primary education via-a-vis payment of LG staff salaries has been a debilitating issue over the years, leading to various policies evolved or adopted towards resolving this seemingly imbroglio.

“While most reasonable state government takes up, as it were, their responsibilities of funding primary school education, others resort to using the state joint account committee as a conduit pipe to siphoning LG statutory allocation in the guise of funding primary education. The situation in Delta state is not too far from this trend.

“The imposition of the burden of payment of primary school teacher's squarely on LG has crippled and crippled the system such that LG staffs are now owed backlog arrears of salaries ranging from 8-13 months.

“The union consequently rejects totally the state government policy of piece meal and percentage payment of LG staff while primary school teachers go home with their 100% salaries deducted from LG funds. We condemn, very strongly, the over deduction made from LG allocation from federation account for funding SUBEB at the detriment of the L.G. system.

“For the avoidance of doubt the Supreme court rulings of 2002 declared that "In so far as primary school education is concerned, a Local Government Council only participates with the State Government in its provision and maintenance. The function obviously remains with the state Government"

“This court declaration was further affirmed by the Secretary General of NUT, Mr Ikpe Obong, on Vanguard news of April 17th 2017 when he appealed to the State Government to pay adequate attention to funding primary education in the country, adding that the management of primary schools was purely the duty of the state and not that of the LG administrators.

“According to him "Since the L. G are only playing a participatory role, they are not to be in complete control of the funding of primary schools, since the constitution only gives LG participatory role in payment of primary school teachers"

“From the content and context of both the Nigerian constitution and the Supreme court ruling on funding of primary schools local government t ought not to be left with entirely funding primary schools to a miserable degree that bonafide LG staff are starved just to pay teachers’ salaries.

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“The NULGE however being a responsible and understanding union does not subscribed to owing primary school teacher either but rather would accept a fair and equitable policy that would guarantee that both teachers and LG staff are equally paid their salaries in full as and when due.

“We therefore call on the Governor as a the chief priest and father to all Deltans to look into the cries and yearnings of the local governments staff who have subjected to untold hardships and are dying in their numbers as a result of hunger and frustrations.

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