Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

CDWR Supports Teachers Strike


CDWR Supports Teachers Strike

We Demand Immediate Payment of 27.5% TSA to Teachers

The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns the continued refusal of some state governors to pay the Teachers Salary Allowance (TSA), 27.5% of the salaries, which has been agreed upon between the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and federal government in 2008 and was scheduled to have commenced in 2009. The failure to implement this agreement, even after a two-week ultimatum issued by NUT, has forced teachers to embark on strike action in 12 states across the country.

The states are Lagos, Delta, Cross River, Enugu, Abia, Katsina, Benue, Niger, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kogi and Nasarawa. The irresponsibility of these governments has meant that primary and secondary school students in public schools in the affected states did not resume with their counterparts in other states on Monday September 24, 2012 after about two months of holiday.

We hold strongly that the affected state governments, cutting across all the major political parties, have not implemented this agreement not for lack of funds but as a result of their anti-poor disposition and neo-liberal capitalist attack on public education. This explains why rich states like Delta and Lagos with huge revenues have disdainfully refused the payment of this allowance to teachers. Delta state has a staggering special monthly allocation from the federation account as an oil producing state while Lagos amasses monthly the biggest internally generated revenue in the country as the commercial nerve centre in addition to its monthly allocation from the central government. It is the same anti-poor character of the ACN government in Lagos state that explains why outrageous school fees, as high as N375, 000, are imposed on Lagos State University, which has effectively shut the gate of the state university against the children of the poor working people families in the state.

While they continue to abandon public education and attack other social rights, the top government officials pay themselves outrageous jumbo salaries and allowances apart from characteristic corrupt practices and sheer wastages of public resources in the name of governance. Therefore, having amassed so much filthy wealth at the expense of poor working masses such that they can afford hundreds of thousand if not millions of Naira or dollars to educate their children, it is safe and convenient for them to neglect public education. This explains while funding of public education in Nigeria, irrespective of political parties in government, has been abysmally poor the little that is budgeted for education is largely stolen.

The CDWR supports the strike action declared by NUT and urges the national leadership and those of affected state not to reduce the action to sit-at-home, but to back it up with various mass actions including mass rallies and protests to force these governors to meet its demand. We call on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to declare various solidarity actions in support of the teachers. We also call on NUT, workers and activists to link the current struggle with demand for adequate funding of education and provision of adequate facilities such that will guarantee free and quality education to all, as well as better pays and conditions for education workers.

Chinedu Bosah
Publicity Secretary