Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, at the celebration of the 2016 World Teachers’ Day, announced a cash donation of N50million to all the teachers in the state, saying they should share it equally among them without discrimination.
At the elaborate celebration marked at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday, with thousands of teachers in the state in attendance, Governor Fayose also gave out car gifts to best teachers in secondary school and primary school as well as cash gifts to nominees who made the short list of the Teacher of the Year selection.
At the day which had the theme: “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status,” (celebrating the teachers and sustaining the glory), the governor also promised to donate N100 million to the teachers next year if the state was able to maintain its first position in the National Examinations Council (NECO) exams next year.
Fayose, who also said the state would soon convey a ‘parents’ summit’ to sensitise parents on their roles as critical stakeholders in the sector, thanked the teachers for their efforts and support and urged them to do more.
He said: “I am the happiest person today. I really appreciate the teachers for your efforts. The most valuable investment is in education. You don’t need to be a professor to know that you must take good care of teachers. They are the ones moulding the character of our children. Our young ones spend more time with them too.
“If I did not win in 2014 they would have sacked most of you, but thank God I won and we are here today celebrating your day. We will continue to enhance your performance by training and re-training you the modern day way. All your demands, I will look at them critically. Anyone that I can attend to immediately, I will do so without delay. If I am good to you, I am only being good to myself. The parents summit is to complement the efforts of teachers and it will be chaired by the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Oba Ademola Ajakaiye, who chaired last year’s Education Summit,” he said
On the economic woes bedeviling the country, Fayose took a swipe at the Federal Government, saying “what we voted for in 2015 was plenty and bountiful blessing and not economic recession. Today, Nigerian teachers can no longer afford three meals a day.
“Nigerians are not begging for too much, what they wanted is to change their fortunes for the better. President Buhari must stop complaining. He must address this recession that is killing Nigerians.”
The Deputy National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Peters Adeyemi and Deputy National President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr. Kelvin Nwankwo, pleaded with states owing teachers’ salaries to pay up to cushion the effect of the economy on the people.
They commended Fayose for honouring the teachers and called for an upward review of teachers’ retirement age from 60 to 65 to arrest “premature retirement from the service.”
The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) and the former governor of the old Ondo State, Bamidele Olumilua, praised Ekiti teachers for their patriotic and unwavering zeal for the development of education in spite of the economic challenges.
Olumilua said: “Though Nigeria is tough, but Ekiti is lucky to have a governor that has been doing what is necessary. The recession we are passing through is not something unusual, but what we need is a man that is connected to God and who can do what is necessary and we have it in Governor Fayose.
“If you can see, Ekiti is making progress because we have a man that is committed to the well-being of the populace and he is ready to listen to you to make your future great,” Olumilua stated.