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Enugu assembly wants salaries of teachers, LG staff deducted from JAC

The Enugu State House of Assembly has urged the State Government to deduct salaries of primary school teachers and other Local Government staff from the State’s Joint Allocation Committee (JAC).

This follows the adoption of a motion on the need to unify the salaries of primary school teachers and other local government workers.

The motion was sponsored by the member representing Nkanu West Constituency, Mr. Iloabuchi Aniagu during plenary on Tuesday in Enugu.

Presenting the motion, Aniagu recalled that the Speaker of the assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi, had in 2015, led a committee on a verification exercise to all the 17 Local Government Areas.

Anomalies associated with the late payment of primary school teachers and other local government workers were discovered during the exercise.

He noted that unifying the payment system would go a long way in addressing the issue of late or half salary payments of these categories of workers.

According to him, embarking on infrastructural development, irrespective of the importance attached to it, without paying the salaries of her workers is a breach of government policy for any local government.

The lawmaker urge the state government to deduct salaries of primary school teachers and local government staff from local government allocations, before appropriating the remaining funds to respective Councils.

”Enugu is among the few states in Nigeria that does not owe salaries of her workers, even in the face of dwindling federal allocation and internally generated revenue.

”The reverse is the case with the local governments, where some of them pay half salaries to her workers, while some others pay in arrears.

”This is caused by the deduction made on individual local government area’s accounts based on the number of teachers in the council.

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”It will interest you to know that most of the teachers posted into interior areas work their transfer back to the urban and semi-urban local governments, thereby increasing the wage bill of those local government areas” Aniagu said.

Also contributing, Mr. Chukwuka Eneh representing Udi South Constituency said deducting the salaries of primary school teachers and other local government staff from the JAC, would enable the State Government pay them together with state workers.

This, according to him, will boost the morale of the affected workers and eliminate the flimsy excuses given by local government chairmen, for not paying workers.

Another member representing Oji-river Constituency, Mr. Jeff Mba commended the sponsor of the motion, which would address the rural-urban migration among primary school teachers and local government workers.

Mba urged the state government to establish a formula for distribution of primary school teachers and local government workers among the 17 LGAs, which would be based on equity and need.

Ubosi appreciated his colleague for their robust contribution to the motion.

He said that the motion would save the state from experiencing financial crisis in the payment of its workforce, especially now that the whole world was facing the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

The House adjourned to Thursday, May 21, for further legislative activities.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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