Kwara justifies sack of 2,414 teachers

Abdurrahman Abdurrazaq, Kwara State governor

Kwara State government has laid off 2,414 teachers employed by the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) at the twilight of the tenure of the immediate past administration of former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, citing irregularities in their appointments.

This is just as the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, directed the immediate payment of seven months salaries earlier withheld from 594 SUBEB teachers since June, 2020.

A statement signed by the chief press secretary at the state Ministry of Education, Yakubu Aliagan, said the salaries had been paid on Thursday night on compassionate grounds as the beneficiaries’ employment status remained unofficial.

The statement reads, “Everyone whose salaries were withheld since June have 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.”

The government said extensive investigations in the matter revealed that 2,414 SUBEB teachers were engaged in the twilight of the past administration. They are otherwise called sunset workers, noting that several of the 1,658 purportedly adjudged to be qualified do not in fact have required teaching certificates.

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He said the affected teachers were engaged for subjects not covered in the executive approval, underscoring the unwholesome and impeachable nature of the entire process.

The statement described the figure as a clear contravention of the executive approval 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 AbdulRazaq, faced with conflicting claims on these workers, 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.

“Flowing from the above, 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.”

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