The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Cross River chapter, Mr Eyo Itam, has advocated direct payment of teachers’ salaries into their bank accounts, considering the recent Federal Government’s directive on Local Government funds.
Itam made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Thursday.
He was reacting to the directive by the National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) stopping State and Local Government joint accounts which took effect from June 1.
He said one way to ensure regular and prompt payment of teachers’ salaries across the country was the removal of teachers’ salaries in every local government area at source.
The chairman added that the deducted salaries should then be credited to thier individual accounts and the remaining sent to the local government accounts.
“We are on the same page with NULGE in this matter; remove the salaies of teachers and pay the remaining to the local governments’ accounts,’’ he said.
Itam expressed worry over the future of teachers in the country, especially at the primary school level, if the current arrangement was maintained.
“I know that government has its policies but, if teachers are not paid I will not be happy. Therefore, we must ensure that the welfare of teachers is taken care off in the present situation,’’ Itam stated.
The NUT chairman regretted that Cross River had not conducted local government elections since the present administration in the state assumed power.
He said that the situation had compounded the problem of teachers in the state.
“As I speak with you, we do not know if the Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) have received their money or not because we do not have elected chairmen,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that the NFIU, which was excised from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), set June 1 as the take-off date for the new order, making it compulsory for all local government allocations to go straight to their respective bank accounts.
The decision was contained in the guidelines released by the NFIU after a lengthy meeting with officials of commercial banks in Abuja.
The NFIU, in its guideline, also pegged the total cash that could be withdrawn from any local government’s account in a day at N500, 000. (NAN)