The Oyo State Wing chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Samson Tojuade Adedoyin has stated that being in the helms of affairs of the labour union is not a tea party.
Comrade Adedoyin made this remark while speaking with The Insight at a function recently, in his response to a question, “How has it been being the chairman of NUT in the past three years?”
He had responded, “Well, we have been trying our best, definitely being the chairman of NUT is not a tea party but to the glory of God we have been doing what we think we can do.”
Comrade Adedoyin added that the union’s main objective is promoting the welfare of its members asserting this is being achieved in folds.
“Thank God, the essence of unionism is to seek for the betterment of our members in terms of welfare, it is the primary assignment we are there for. The NUT is for both secondary and primary schools. To the glory of God we can say that we have been trying in that aspect in seeking for the betterment of our members generally in terms of their welfare packages and they have been getting the best,” he boasted.
The union boss hailed the Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, over his commitment to pay salaries latest on the 25th of every month, noting this is a great relief to workers though giving reasons why the salaries of primary school teachers are usually delayed for one or two days.
“We thank God for the type of governor we have, who has made it mandatory that all the workers should collect their salaries latest by the 25th. But we want to say that of the primary axis is not as easy as that. Because the directive of the federal government is that no state government should dip its hands into the purse of the local government.
“So, the allocation from the federal government first goes to the account of the local government but with the collaborated effort of the union and the government of the day in making sure that immediately the money got to the purse of the local government, the money for the payment of teachers’ salaries returns to SUBEB, so primary school teachers collect theirs latest on the 26th, 27th because of the peculiar situation of their own fund.”
Adedoyin similarly commended the governor over the ongoing promotion interviews going on for workers across the state submitting that Engr. Makinde is workers’ friendly.
“It is a welcome development, and that is why we have been praising His Excellency because he made that pronouncement when we were having the inter-faith service to herald the New Year. And since then, the process has commenced.
“I want to say that of the primary school has commenced yesterday and the team will be moving round the various zones. As I am talking, they are at Iseyin and Saki zones. They will come to Ogbomoso zone on the 27th of April. Initially, SUBEB insisted teachers should come down to the headquarters in Ibadan, but due to the efforts of the union both morally and financially they agreed to move round the zones for the exercise. We are committed financially to the movement of SUBEB round the state, instead of our teachers coming down to the headquarters.
“That of the secondary school, the timetable will be released soon. Also, the team to conduct the interview will be moving round the state and that is also part of the efforts of the union because initially they insisted that all teachers who qualified for promotion should come down to Ibadan but we assured them of our support both morally and financially, that is why they agreed members would be moving round the various zones.”
On the reducing rate of refunds of the Endwell Scheme programme of teachers in which certain amount is deducted from subscribers’ salaries quarterly into the scheme and is refunded with interest after retirement, the number one teacher in Oyo state shed light on why the amount returned to teachers has been dwindling, from the former 300 percent to 200 percent at the present.
Hear his explanation: “We are giving 200%. You know the economic situation of the whole world not Nigeria alone now. Because what you paid in is being invested and you know the rate of return that we get on investments now even that 200% it has not been easy because we all know that if we put our money in fixed deposits in banks for two, three years, we know what we get in return, just about three percent.
“So, getting back what we have there is a serious task, which we are battling with but we believe that things will get improved, the economy of the country will get improved. Presently now, we cannot get that investment that will give us what we gave in the past. We are enjoining our members to bear with us, it is the situation of things.”
He was asked to respond to the insinuation that labour is being compromised hence its indifference to the unabated increment in the prices of petroleum products in recent times by the federal government. He debunked the allegation claiming that when labour leaders are confronted with facts and figures from the federal government they show understanding.
“You know we have structures in the union, we have those at local government the branch, we have those of us at the state and those at the national level. Something that affects Nigerians generally is taken up at the national level and I want to believe our leaders are not being compromised.
“When they see facts and figures, which ordinarily people may not be able to access, definitely, there is nothing they can do. Unionism is no more a situation of ‘we no go gree,’ nowadays, you go to round table conference, you see facts and figures on ground, and you also you are convinced that this situation of thing may not be the way people outside are thinking.
“As leaders they have that opportunity to get more facts about the whole scenario in the country but you know people immediately they say this is what we want and they don’t get it leaders have been compromised. I don’t think anybody has been compromised, that is the situation of things.”