By Hassana Yakubu
Kaduna – Amidst threat of protest over five months unpaid salaries of newly recruited teachers, the Kaduna State Goverment said on Friday that it has concluded arrangements to pay the affected teachers within a week.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the affected teachers have been mobilising to stage a protest, a development which prompted the state branch of Nigeria Union of Teachers to intervene.
The state Commissioner, Local Government Affairs, Alhaji Jafaru Sani said in Kaduna that the ministry had been directed by Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai to pay the outstanding salaries within a week.
According to him, the entitlements of all teachers laid off by government would also be paid soon.
Sani made the disclosure when appeared before the House of Assembly Committee on Local Government Affairs to defend the 2020 budget of the ministry.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai has directed my ministry to settle the outstanding salaries of the teacher with immediate effect and the ministry is doing everything possible to ensure that all local governments start the payment by next week.”
He explained that the ministry with the support of the state government has overcome the issue of salary payments to local government workers.
“As it stands today all the 23 local government have been paid their September and October salaries using the new approved 30,000 minimum wage,
“The news is that the newly recruited teachers especially under the category of batch B who are about 9,000 have five months arrears of salary which the governor had directed that they should be paid in a week time.
“So we are promising these newly recruited teachers that by next week, all the outstanding salaries will be cleared.
“The laid off teachers salaries have been computed as they are on different grade levels of entitlement and it will come soon”, he said.
The commissioner said the ministry would spend over N339 million on recurrent and N2.5 billion as capital expenditure in 2020.
He said the allocation for capital projects would be largely spent on electrification of rural communities, including provision of Mini-Grid solar power to three communities.
Sani stressed that the 2020 budget of the ministry would also focused on the completion of all the ongoing projects in the 23 local government councils.
According to him, 60 percent of the N450 million approved in the 2019 supplementary budget by the House for the ministry, was for settlement of outstanding debts to contractors, to enable them return to site.
“We met with all the contractors and assured them to go back to site so that communities will benefit from projects that are being implemented,” he added.
Alhaji Muktar Hazo, Chairman House Committee on Local Government Affairs, advised the ministry to carry out its supervisory duties of local councils effectively to ensure that projects being executed were beneficial to rural communities.
The committee chairman also advised the ministry to look into cases of transformers vandalism in the various communities and proffer solutions.