By Peter Duru
MAKURDI â€” Following months of negotiations between the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, and the Benue State government, the Governor Gabriel Suswam-led administration has finally consented to implement the 27.5 per cent salary increment for teachers.
To this end, modalities for the implementation of the new package have been put in place by government with the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Audu Achiligili, and the state Head of Service, Mr. Mike Iordye, directed to meet with the officials of the NUT with a view to formalising the payment details.
This hint was dropped by the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Dr Diana Ochoga, at the end of the state executive council meeting in Makurdi.
Ochoga said governmentâ€™s decision to implement the payment was informed by its desire to put to an end the lingering dispute and to fulfill its promises of enhanced salary package for teachers of the state.
She noted that as a critical sector to the growth of the state, government placed much premium on the educational sector hence could not afford to watch it crumble.
…to construct mega layout
According to the Commissioner, the State Executive Council also approved the construction of a mega layout in Makurdi town in line with the urban renewal effort of the administration, adding that over N199 million was set aside for that purpose.
She said the new layout would be provided with social amenities, stressing that it would be erected in such a way that it would serve as revenue generating source for the state government.
N236m tools for science schools
The council also approved the sum of N236 million for the purchase of workshop equipment and tools for the newly established Science and Technical schools in the state.
She explained that the acquisition of the tools would to a large extent ensure smooth operations at the schools, adding that the new equipment would also ensure the realisation of the objectives for which the institutions were established.
The commissioner also announced the award of N338 million contract for additional works and drainage construction at the Eke Olengbecho-Otukpa road project being undertaken by the administration.