GOVERNOR Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has directed that teachers on Grade Level 15 and above should be paid domestic allowance, a benefit that is limited to only civil servants.
He also endorsed the agitation by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) to have the retirement age of professional teachers increased from 35 to 40 years of service and 60 to 66 years of age.
Governor Bello announced the new benefit at the 57th (6th Quadrennial) National Delegates’ Conference of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) held in Minna, the state capital.
He stated further that the decision to grant the request of payment of the new allowance was in fulfillment of his resolve to improve on the condition and standard of living of teachers with a view to enhancing their performance.
“Teachers deserve to be appreciated for their great role in nation building. We are aware that nation building certainly does not happen by accident; rather, it is a (a product of) deliberate and conscious efforts by men and women with vision and determination to leave enduring legacies for the larger number of the populace; and that is what we stand for,” he said.
Bello noted that teachers have continued to play invaluable role in the development of humanity, stressing that his administration would continue to support moves and policies that would enhance their status and wellbeing.
He said: “I see teachers as immeasurable tool for nation building as well as a veritable instrument for social change. This goes to explain the attention this administration accords teaching and learning in the state.
“Our overall target for education is to ensure the creation of a functional and sustainable system where teachers play fundamental role. Therefore, the deliberate empowerment of teachers is a priority to us in the state.”
The national president of the union, Mr Michael Alogba Olukoya, called for an increase in the retirement point for teachers in order to enjoy the services of well experienced teachers in public schools.
He then commended the Niger state government welfare package for teachers in public schools and eugloised the governor for prompt payment of teachers’ salary in the state.
The labour leader called for an improved welfare package for teachers by state governments, arguing that the welfare and the working condition of teachers would determine the soundness of the nation’s future.
Earlier in his remarks, the NUT state chairman, Ibrahim Umar, commended the state government’ s giant strides in repositioning education and in improving the welfare of teachers through prompt payment of salaries.
The conference, with the theme, ‘Strengthening National Consciousness and Nation Building by the Instrumentality of Public School System in Nigeria’ also had the Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and the national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabah, in attendance.