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Kogi teachers protest non-payment of salaries

Primary and Junior Secondary School teachers in Kogi have protested over the non-payment of their two months salaries and other entitlements.

The protest disrupted activities at the headquarters of the Kogi State Universal Basic Education Board for hours on Tuesday.

The teachers, numbering over 200, were protesting the non-payment of their February and March salaries and the alleged refusal of the government to fully implement the new minimum wage.

A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who monitored the situation, reports that the teachers blocked the main gate to board’s office, thereby making human and vehicular movement impossible for hours.

The protesters, led by Mr. Adomu Suleiman, the state chairman of the Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria, chanted anti-government slogans, accusing the state government of being insensitive to their plight and turning them to beggars.

Some of their demands were the immediate payment of their two-month salaries, areas for promoted teachers since 2009, payment of annual increment since 2010 and payment of their 2011, 2012 and 2013 leave bonus, among others.

“We will not resume work at the beginning of the new term on April 26 unless all our demands are met by the government,’’ Suleiman said.

Addressing the protesting teachers on behalf of the board chairman, a member of the board, Mr. James Momoh, said that the board was not surprised by their action as they were aware of the non-payment of the February and March salaries and other grievances.

Momoh blamed the delay in the payment on the government’s efforts to pay the new minimum wage to the teachers from March in line with an agreement reached with them in August 2013.

He appealed to them to give the government up till next week to pay their salaries.

He urged them to be mindful of the current security situation in the country so that hoodlums do not hijack the protest to unleash terror on the state.

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