An appeal has gone to President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on the handlers of the Federal Teachers Scheme (FTS), to pay their outstanding allowances running into 11 months now.
Making the appeal are the FTS teachers, Ogun State chapter, who through a “Save Our Souls” message to President Goodluck Jonathan, lamented that government is owing participants in the scheme over 11 months stipend.
The message, which was sent to the President as well as members of the general public, was borne out of their desire to let the public know about the poor working conditions the handlers of the programme had subjected them to since the middle of last year.
In a statement issued and signed by the Coordinator and Secretary of the programme in the state, Tolani Lawal and Ubong Samuel respectively, the federal teachers lamented that government is owing participants in the scheme over 11 months stipends.
FTS, an initiative of the federal government under the umbrella of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC/SUBEB), was designed to address the shortfall in teaching manpower in public primary and secondary schools in all the states of the federation.
The programme was designed to enable each of the benefiting states of the federation absorb the participants, and incorporate them into their Education Boards, at the end of their two years’ service to the nation.
In the statement however, participating teachers said it was disheartening that the federal government, who recruited them into the scheme, has refused to pay the N18, 000 monthly allowance “despite the meritorious services we are rendering”.
“It is in this light that we, participants of the Federal Teachers’ Scheme 2013/2015 Set, appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the umbrella of UBEC/SUBEB, and on behalf of the concerned states, to pay the 11 months stipends”.
“Our last payment was in the mid-2014 and no payment has been made up till date. We have been suffering for the past 10 months, trekking to school, teaching with empty stomach and even turned ourselves to ‘corporate beggars” the statement added.
The teachers, appealed to President Jonathan to direct relevant federal government agency to pay their allowances “in order that we may not die of hunger”.
While congratulating the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun on his re-election for another term in office, the teachers appealed to the governor to ensure that they are absorbed into the state SUBEB as permanent teachers when their services eventually expires in November.