Abia State Teachers Commence Strike Over 5 Months Unpaid Salaries

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Teachers in public primary and secondary schools in Abia state have embarked on strike to protest alleged government’s failure to clear their unpaid salaries.

According to News Agency of  Nigeria, NAN, report, schools in the state were supposed to reopen on January 9 after the Christmas and New Year holidays but resumption was postponed to January 16 but still teachers have refused to resume, insisting on the payment of their outstanding five months salary arrears.

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At Ibeku High School, Umuahia and School Road Primary School, Umuahia, students and pupils, who turned up for school, were seen leaving the premises in droves.

The Principal of Ibeku High School, Ojike Kalu-Ojike, told the news agency that the teachers were attending a meeting over the situation.

An executive member of the state branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, however, told NAN on condition of anonymity that the teachers had proceeded on strike over their unpaid salaries.

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“The teachers have gone on strike to demand the payment of their unpaid salaries,” he said.

The source said that secondary school teachers were issued their salary cheques for July 2016 in December, while their primary school counterparts were just receiving theirs.

Some of the teachers, who also spoke, on condition of anonymity wondered why the state government could not deploy the N10.6 billion Abia state share from the Paris Club’s refund to clear the backlog of workers’ salaries and pensions.

When contacted, the Àbia state Commissioner for Education, Ikechi Mgbeoji, in a telephone interview said he had scheduled a meeting with NUT executives on the development.

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Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has recently been blasted donating the sum of N3 million to save the life of veteran Nollywood actor Prince James Uche, and also approved N10 million as Abia State’s contribution to the course when he is owing teachers in the state five months salary arrears.