By Ola Ajayi
TEACHERS in Oyo State have again called on Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala to please save them from continued impoverishment by toeing the steps of other states in the South West which had since effected the payment of 27.5 percent increase in teachersâ€™ salary.
The fresh call was made Tuesday by the State Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Olu Abiala while speaking with Vanguard in an interview.
He confirmed that out of all the states in the zone, including Delta, Edo and Kwara states, it was only Oyo State that had not made good its promise to actualize the payment of the 27.5 per cent.
Many teachers who preferred anonymity confided in Vanguard that they regretted working in the state as their counterparts in neighbouring states now smile home at the end of the month with better salaries while they still earn meager salary.
According to them, â€œwe are not happy working in this state. Our counterparts in Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and other states in the country have been collecting the salary increase while we are still waiting endlessly.
â€œTo worsen the case, the larger part of the so-called salary we collect goes back to them in the name of tax. What then can we say we are enjoying? It had never been so bad under previous governments in the state. We cannot pay school fees of our children and we say we are working.
â€œWe are not the only ones complaining. Most workers are also suffering because there seems to be no difference in our salaries. We know that God would deliver us one day.â€
But, while reacting to the story, Prince Dotun Oyelade, Special Adviser on Public Communication assured the teachers that the government would not renege on its promise calling for patience.
He said, â€œGovernment is committed to paying the increase as details are being worked out. We have proved our commitment to teachersâ€™ welfare in the past when in 2007 we were the first to increase teachersâ€™ salaries in the South West.â€