Federal government announces plan to pay 36-month arrears of teachers

The Federal Government has pledged to pay the 36-month salary arrears owed some teachers of Unity Colleges.

Minister of Education Prof. Tahir Mamman made the pledge on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, on the sidelines of a three-day EdTech Conference organised by Mastercard Foundation in Abuja.

It was gathered that no fewer than 1,800 teachers of unity colleges are owed salary and other allowances for three years.

The category of teachers were recruited by the Federal Ministry of Education in 2018, 2019, and 2020 as education officers and posted to schools across the country.

They were, however, not paid due to logistic challenges encountered at the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS)’ desk of the ministry.

Other reasons given for the non-payment was the failure of the ministry to transmit their files to the Budget Office for vetting and onward transfer to the Accountant-General’s office for approval.

However, speaking on Tuesday, Prof. Mamman said files of the affected teachers are already with the Ministry of Finance.

“The issue of teachers’ salary is already with the Budget Office and Ministry of Finance. So hopefully, they will be paid.

“I can’t tell exactly when their money will be paid. We don’t pay in the Ministry of Education. But we have done the paperwork. It is already in finance. Hopefully, very soon, they will get their money,” he said.

In another development, the Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMBP), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has warned universities against illegal admission that will necessitate ‘regularisation’ after admission has been offered.

He said seeking regularisation was illegal as he also warned against the admission of underaged students.

JAMB regularisation is a process overseen by JAMB in Nigeria to validate and formalise the admission of students who were admitted into tertiary institutions without proper documentation or through informal means.

He lamented that the issue of regularisation had denied most candidates the opportunity to participate in the National Youth Service Corps.

I want to discuss what I call illegal admission. Many Vice-Chancellors don’t like the word, the truth is that no need to regularise what is regular.

“Calling for regularisation after admission is illegal. Some candidates can’t go for NYSC because they were not properly admitted,” he said.

He also complained that admission of underaged and diploma candidates was also illegal admissions.

He said, “About two months ago, I received a letter from a European country to confirm if a student graduated from a particular university because she is 15 years old and applied for a postgraduate programme. The question they asked me was ‘Is this possible in Nigeria?’

“Also illegal admission of diploma students needs to stop because last year, we admitted 9,000 diploma students; I was alarmed that about 3,000 students came from a particular university.

“Every one of us should be accountable because all these acts can damage our education system.”

He said that for the sake of accountability, data protection and integrity of the nation, this act needed to stop, saying anything irregular was illegal.

“I want to discuss what I call illegal admission. Many Vice-Chancellors don’t like the word, the truth is that no need to regularise what is regular.

“Calling for regularisation after admission is illegal. Some candidates can’t go for NYSC because they were not properly admitted,” he said.

He also complained that admission of underaged and diploma candidates was also illegal admissions.

He said, “About two months ago, I received a letter from a European country to confirm if a student graduated from a particular university because she is 15 years old and applied for a postgraduate programme. The question they asked me was ‘Is this possible in Nigeria?’

“Also illegal admission of diploma students needs to stop because last year, we admitted 9,000 diploma students; I was alarmed that about 3,000 students came from a particular university.

“Every one of us should be accountable because all these acts can damage our education system.”