The efforts to make teachers computer literate in Kogi State is generating cold war between the beneficiaries and the government.
The grouse, according to the Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria (BESAN) Kogi State chapter was the deduction from their salaries by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
However, the chairman of SUBEB, Alhaji Usman Jibrin Muhammed, dismissed the claims, saying the board has no hand in the procurement of laptops for the teachers. He added that it was an arrangement between the teachers on one hand, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and the consultant.
The state chairman of BESAN, Suleiman Adomu, speaking during a press conference, called on Governor Idris Wada to immediately direct SUBEB to put a halt to the illegal deductions.
According to him, the Information Communication Technology empowerment scheme launched by the state government was only a means to defraud the staff of the primary school of their meagre salaries.
He wondered how a laptop, whose market value was N60,000, could be sold to staff at a neck-breaking price of N101, 700, describing it as dubious.
The chairman noted that instead of the deductions to be made from the salaries of those who collected the laptops, he regretted that the board was carrying out blanket deductions from the salaries of over 25,000 primary school teachers.
According to him “They are deducting N5,650 from the salaries of over 25,000 teachers monthly. It is criminal to deduct the money of those who did not apply nor collected the said laptops. They must put a stop to this.”
They said most worrisome was the use of the entire salaries of the teachers as collateral with Zenith Bank, saying that this was responsible for the non-payment of teachers’ salaries for the month of June and July, 2013.
He equally faulted the state government for its refusal to implement the minimum wage and 27.5 per cent enhanced salary allowance for primary school teachers and the plan by the state government to sack qualified teachers.
The chairman of SUBEB said that the only involvement of the board in the whole matter was the need for the board to guarantee that the salaries of the affected teachers would continue to be paid to the affected bank.