*Affected workers receive 7 months pending salaries
By Ibraheem Solahudeen.
The salaries of 594 SUBEB teachers in Kwara State withheld since June, 2020 have now been paid.
This was according to a statement by the Press Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Yakub Ali-Agan.
The release, which states that Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq approved the payment of the withheld salaries of the affected workers on “compassionate” ground, says the process leading to their employment and subsequent insertion of their names into the payroll of the state government was fraught with irregularities.
“Everyone whose salaries were withheld since June has now had same paid strictly on compassionate grounds. The government’s decision to withhold their salaries was not unilateral or punitive. It was as a result of the unlawful insertion of their names to the payroll without executive approval.”
Revealing the outcome of the investigation conducted to verify the genuineness of the employment of the subset workers, the statement clarifies that a total number of 2,414 SUBEB teachers were allegedly engaged in the twilight of the past administration, a figure which contravenes the number approved by former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who had authorised the employment of 1,100 qualified teachers to take English Language, Mathematics, and Science subjects only.
“On assumption of office in 2019, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, faced with conflicting claims on these workers, magnanimously authorised the screening of all of them, after which 1,658 were cleared as qualified. Surprisingly, additional 594 got inserted into the payroll. There are claims that 162 more were part of the mix. This was discovered during Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s investigation of the untidy process that kept throwing up conflicting figures of employees and mind-boggling details of how non-qualified persons were engaged.
“For instance, it was discovered that several of the 1,658 purportedly adjudged to be qualified do not in fact have required teaching certificates. It was discovered that teachers were engaged for subjects not covered in the executive approval, underscoring the unwholesome and impeachable nature of the entire process,” the statement explains.
Meanwhile, the government has now nullifies the employment of all the sunset workers and called for new application from the affected workers and all other qualified individuals.
“The government has decided to start the employment process all over again in January 2021. The government will open a new application portal for all the 2,414 and any other eligible persons to apply for SUBEB teaching jobs in relevant subjects to be advertised. This effectively nullifies the controversial employment process of 2018/2019.
“This new process will be largely technology-driven, and needs-based, while every applicant will go through rigorous screenings,” the statement said.