As some aggrieved members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Niger state threatened to form a parallel Union, the Niger state government has declared that it is only the NUT that is a recognized umbrella body for teachers in primary and post primary institutions in the state.
The government said rather than forming any parallel union, all aggrieved member of the union should embrace dialogue to arrive at a common front for the good of the union.
The state Commissioner for Education Hajia Hannatu Jibrin Salihu made the declaration at a meeting with officials of the state branch of the NUT over the 21 day ultimatum issued to government to address an 11 point demand that will improve the quality of education in the state.
Hajia Salihu who was reacting to a letter of protest purportedly signed by some 2,800 secondary School teachers, notifying the government of their intention to withdrawal from the NUT and for the ministry of education to stop any deduction from their salaries as Union dues, said emphatically that:”As far as the government is concerned it is only the NUT that is recognized, our position is backed by the relevant labour laws” .
She then advised those concerned to study the laws governing the operation of their unions, adding that the government “cannot be used to legalise any illagality”
Speaking on the 21 point demand by the NUT, The Commissioner disclosed that government has commenced looking into the demands made by the NUT, stressing that as a first step the State Universal Basic Education Board NSBEB has been directed to recall all the teachers withdrawn from the service of the government.
In addition she explained that Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has also directed that the vacant teaching positions in the state should be identified and immediate action taken to recruit qualified teachers to fill the vacancies.
On the outstanding salaries of some primary School teachers Hajia Salihu said a tripartite committee of Ministry, NSUBEB and Ministry for local government has been set up to look into the issue and profer solution.
She pleaded with the Union to revisit it’s ultimatum” since government has started addressing the demands”
However both the State Chairman of the NUT Alhaji Ibrahim Umar and the Principal Assistant Secretary General Comrade Labaran Garba expressed gratitude to government for the steps taken so far but asked for “Quick action in the interest of everyone”
Commenting on the demand of some secondary school teachers to pull out of the NUT, the union leaders aliened themselves with the position of the government adding that “the union was not consulted before the demand was made”
He insisted that nobody has communicated NUT as a body and correspondence whatsoever of their intention to pull out of the union even such move is illegal going by the law that established NUT as union.