The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has on Saturday stated that his administration would commence payment of N30,000 minimum wage to Ekiti workers this month (October).
He noted that the payment of the minimum wage was to motivate workers, especially teachers, to deliver the best to the state and reclaim the lost glory and pride of being the education nerve centre of the country.
The Governor, who spoke amidst cheers by highly elated teachers and public servants in attendance at the 2019 World Teachers’ Day celebration in Ado- Ekiti on Saturday, however, tasked teachers to strive for the realisation of the bid to return the state to a leading position in education.
He said, “We will commence payment of N30,000 minimum wage to workers in Ekiti with effect from this month. We are determined to reward diligence because the workers, particularly our teachers, have done the state proud.”
Dr Fayemi, who reiterated the determination of his administration to protect and preserve the core values of making Ekiti the nation’s education capital, said he decided to establish more schools in Ado Ekiti to decongest schools in the capital city and make learning environment more conducive.
The Governor said, “The only way we can reclaim our lost glory in education is to encourage our teachers in and outside service. I will promote functional and technical education in this state.”
Fayemi said that the ongoing recruitment of over 2000 teachers into the public primary and secondary schools was part of the mission of the administration to safeguard the future of the state.
The newly recruited 2000 teachers, according to him, are to fill consequential vacancies arising from retirement of teachers adding that the teaching profession still needs brilliant, agile and vibrant men and women for the sustenance of the profession in the state.
The Governor said: “I have also ensured that all students of school age are in schools in line with Education Law which makes basic education compulsory and in line with global best practice.
“In this year’s West African Examination Council Senior School Certificate Examination, Ekiti was ranked 12th. I want to salute our teachers, but that is not where Ekiti belongs, we must continually do more to rise to number one”, he said.
The governor, who further stated that car and housing loans would soon be extended to the primary school teachers, added that names of two Tutor-Generals would soon be announced. This he said, will put teachers on the same pedestal with their civil servant counterparts with potential to rise to the position of permanent secretary.
Fayemi said his administration would continue to pursue the mandate of the National Policy on Education which makes it compulsory for all school age children in Ekiti State.
He said, “I note of course what the chairman of NUT said here about loans being extended to primary schools teachers, and I want to assure you that that will be given very serious consideration.
“I also want to let you know that government has concluded plans to ensure that we commence the payment of minimum wage of N30,000 with effect from this month.
“Let me state specifically that two new Tutor-Generals appointments have been approved and would be announced in the next week and the third one of course would follow with the retirement of the third Tutor-General.
“On the other request relating to promotion, arrears of salaries and leave bonuses, I want to assure you that we would not renege on our promise and we are doing all we can to set outstanding obligations to all. As I have assured you at my recent meeting with all workers.
“I wish to state emphatically that we are running with the time and vision to ensure delivery of the dividends of democracy to all the good people of Ekiti State.
“In other words, we will do everything humanly possible not to leave any stone unturned in making life easier and more comfortable for our people both at home and in diaspora.
“The present administration in Ekiti State under my watch is poised, committed and highly determined to restoring, preserving and guiding our core values for posterity.
“May I reiterate at this auspicious moment that, Ekiti State Government will not renege on its promises to pursue free, compulsory, functional, basic, affordable, enterprising, quality, technical and vocational as well as entrepreneurship education.
This is to ensure that all the school age children in Ekiti State are in school in accordance with the mandate of the National Policy on Education, Universal Basic Education Law and Sustainable Development Goals with Quality Assurance practices and global best practice.”
According to Governor Fayemi, “some of the remarkable landmark achievements and initiatives of this State government in the education sector include but not limited to the following: Enactment of Executive Order 001 prohibiting the collection of levies and fees from the pupils and students of all the public primary and secondary schools across the state; disbursement of running grants for the first, second and third terms of 2018/2019 academic session to all the public primary and secondary schools in the state; ongoing renovation of the dilapidated structures in some schools and distribution of free JAMB forms to 3000 candidates across the 16 Local Government Areas of Ekiti State.”
Other achievements according to him are: establishment of four new public secondary schools in Ado-Ekiti metropolis to decongest some of the over populated secondary schools in the State Capital; payment of Bursary for students in Law School for 2018/2019 academic session; training and retraining of teachers in all the subject areas to build their skills and capacity for efficient and effective teaching and learning activities in the schools; regular payment of teachers’ salaries, allowances and personal emoluments including granting of loans and payment of core subjects and rural allowances to the teachers of core subjects and teachers serving in the rural areas respectively.
While congratulating the teachers and the critical stakeholders in the Sector, Fayemi implore all the well-meaning Ekiti people to join hands with him to move education forward to the next level of glory, urging teachers not to rest on their past glory but strive harder to be the best in their chosen profession.
In their remarks, the NUT Chairman and his ASSUS counterpart in the state Comrades Samuel Odugbesan and Sola Adigun respectively commended the state government for being labour friendly.
The labour leaders praised Fayemi for recruiting teachers into public schools across the state, saying this will help in strengthening the future of education.
They however appealed to government to pay all arrears of salaries, leave bonuses as well as effect promotion of deserving and qualified teachers.