By Adesina Wahab
The Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, has appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to increase the retirement age of teachers in public schools in the state from 60 to 65 years in accordance with the Retirement Age Act enacted by the National Assembly last year and which was assented to by the then President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The National President of the NUT, Comrade Titus Amber, made the plea in Ikorodu, Lagos on Tuesday during the Education Leadership Workshop organised for State Working Executive Committee members of the Lagos State Wing of the NUT.
The NUT boss, represented by the National Treasurer, Comrade Segun Raheem, said it would be a morale booster for teachers in the discharge of their duties
Raheem, a former State Chairman of the NUT, said the meetings of the Committees on Establishment that provided the modalities for the Act held in Lagos and it would be unfair if Lagos would lag behind in the implementation.
“Some states of the federation have started the implementation of the Act. The retirement age is just one of the issues encompassed in the welfare packages announced for teachers about three years ago. We appreciate the good works Governor Sanwo-Olu is doing regarding the improvement of facilities in public schools, but the welfare of teachers is sacrosanct too,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Lagos State Chairman of the NUT, Comrade Hassan Akintoye, said the union had met the state government and all the necessary things are done.
“Since it is a matter of law it is not that anybody would see it as a privilege for teachers, but because education is on the Concurrent List in the Constitution, teachers have to engage the state government on it. We believe that very soon, as the Governor settles down to his second term in office, he would make the necessary pronouncement and we will all laugh,” he stated.
Akintoye, while addressing the 103 participants drawn from across the state, noted that union leaders need knowledge, experience and exposure to function well in the discharge of their duties.
He added that the workshop would help build the capacity of participants and enable them to know the enormity of the positions they are occupying.
The State Secretary of the NUT, Comrade Gbenga Ayetoba, said participants included newly-elected officials of the union at the branch level across the state, and state executive members and that the three-day event would expose them to the rudiments of unionism.
The National Coordinator, NUT Study Circle Project, Comrade S.D. Igbelowowa said the programme would also help pass down the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of the union to those in leadership positions now.
The Chairman, of Elders Council, NUT Lagos State, Prince Solomon Abimbolu, noted that the participants could move to greater heights from just occupying leadership positions at local or state level and therefore charged them to be diligent in the discharge of their duties.