Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi has ordered the sack of teachers who absent themselves five times in a term.
Umahi, who gave the directive when he inaugurated the newly constructed headquarters of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Abakaliki on Friday, said those who absented themselves from work once in a month would forfeit half of their salaries for the month.”
He said that all local government caretaker committee chairmen, development centre coordinators and other relevant officials had been empowered to carry out the directive.
The governor urged the teachers to the embrace the government’s initiated school agriculture programme, noting it would make them productive and supplement their income.
“I heard that the materials provided for the programme is being stolen in some schools and I mandate the Commissioner for Education to transfer any headmaster or principal in such schools to a remote area.
“The programme must be sustained and we are ready to give you soft loans even if everyone is not accommodated at the same time,” Umahi said.
He commended the NUT chairman for erecting the edifice and paid glowing tributes to its past leaders who initiated and tried completing the project.
“We are going to look into ways of reviewing your Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) and praying for improved resources to enhance it.
“The government would also donate the sum of two million naira to the state branch of the NUT to adequately furnish the building for optimum productivity,” he said.
Mr Joseph Nweke, NUT Chairman in the state, said that the building was initiated by Mrs Franca Egwu during the military administration of retired Capt. Walter Ferghabo.
“Successive leadership of the union tried to complete it and it became my leadership’s main priority on assumption of office in 2010.
He commended the governor for showing sufficient concern in the welfare of teachers through prompt payment of salaries, other entitlements, among others.
“Your presence to inaugurate this building is a source of inspiration, joy and deepening of the spirit of comradeship between teachers and the state government,” he said.
Mr Kelvin Nwankwo, a former NUT Chairman, and current NUT Deputy National President, commended the governor for his magnanimity toward teachers and workers in general.
“You are promptly paying workers salaries when other states are grappling with the payment and even slashing the salaries.
“You have also demonstrated unbridled commitment towards educational enhancement by providing basic facilities to ensure conducive learning in schools across the state,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highlights of the occasion include the inauguration and inspection of the building by the governor, goodwill messages from relevant stakeholders, among others.