By Amos Aar
THE Chairman, Benue State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Levy Terna Akuma, has called on President Bola Tinubu to reverse his decision removing subsidy on petrol.
Comrade Akuma made the position of the union known on Monday in a phone interview with National Record on the 2023 Democracy Day celebration.
He opined that the subsidy removal should have been done as a gradual process because some civil servants have not been paid for six months.
He said “as a union, we are saying let the government reverse this decision. At least it would have been good afterward. Having suffered for eight years, we are saying that the government should start it low-keyed.
“We, civil servants, in Benue State, some of us have not taken salary for over six months now and we still have to go to our places of work”, he lamented.
Asked whether the 2023 Democracy Day was worth celebrating, the NUT chairman said: “I would have challenged [the government] but the incoming administration is less than a month in power. So, I reserve all comments”.
Comrade Akuma urged teachers to remain calm, support and key into the new administration and wait for their package.
According to him, some people have already concluded that the new administration has failed. “We believe that by the special grace of God, we voted this administration into power and we are thinking it will be good. So, let’s not be faster than our legs.
“Let us key in, support the administration and wait for our package. I believe that when this administration takes off fully, it will not leave the aspect of salary because they came in as a result of non-payment of salaries.
“Our state is a civil service state. So, if the administration understands and starts paying early, the better for the administration.”
The NUT chairman, who disclosed that primary school teachers in Benue State have not been paid for six months and in 2017, noted however that the teachers have been working “harder and harder” and called on the government to live up to expectation on its part.
He said “my teachers are doing their best without six months being paid and 2017 not paid up to ten months but they are working harder and harder.
“So, I really appreciate my teachers and not to charge them on anything because they are doing their work, let the government do its own so that we will be on one page and give our support to the state”, Akuma solicited.