About eleven primary school teachers in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State have been demoted to security guards by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
This was as a result of the teachers’ failure to present the requisite qualification to work as class teachers before SUBEB during the ongoing teachers’ verification and promotion exercise in the state.
Announcing the development, the board’s chairman, Dr. Steven Odey, addressed the affected teachers saying they have no business being in the teaching profession without the requisite qualification, as they cannot give what they don’t have.
“If you want to become a teacher, do the right thing by going to school to read and qualify for the job.Your services will henceforth be needed in the area of tackling insecurity challenges being faced by the school,” he said.
On the issue of irregular salary payment to primary school teachers in the state, Odey said “SUBEB has not taken over payment of salaries yet, the Ministry of Local Government is still responsible for that. When we eventually take over payment of your salaries, you will not have any cause to complain.”
Meanwhile, a fraud crisis continues to rock the Cross River University of Technology, (CRUTECH), over an alleged misappropriation of about N500 million Federal Government grant.
There are allegations that the management of the university spent the funds without due process, and that apart from awarding contracts indiscriminately without the knowledge and approval of the governing council, general funds accruable to the ivory towers could also not be accounted for.
This has made the university’s management led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Anthony Owan Enoh, pitched against the Governing Council chaired by Mr. Emil Inyang.
In order to put the records straight, the Chairman of the Governing Council said they have invited an external auditor to look at the income and expenditures for the past three semesters.
According to Inyang, “the issue is that people are used to operating as sole administrators without a functional governing council. The people who put in place the governing council were not stupid. They knew very well that one man cannot run a university singlehandedly, else they would have named the VC as principal.”
However, Inyang denied reports that the state government had frozen the institution’s account. On the other hand, the Vice Chancellor claims he has been advised by government not to talk to the press as there is no embezzlement.
On the other hand in Benue state, the workforce in 23 LGs has been reduced from 29,000 to 22,501 through a staff verification exercise.
Mr Titus Zam, Special Adviser to Gov. Samuel Ortom on Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, who made the disclosure at an accountability press briefing on Tuesday in Makurdi, said that the development had equally lowered the wage bill. He said;
“Before the exercise, primary school teachers’ wage bill was N1.9 billion, now it is below N1.8 billion.
“The wage bill for the local government workers used to be N1.7 billion, but it has gone down to N1.6 billion.
“It means that the state has saved more than N200 million.”
Zam said that the exercise had helped the state a great deal, but hinted that government was looking into measures to prune down the wage bill so as to free some funds for capital projects.