By Vivian George-uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government says it has commenced the payment of backlog of gratuities of retired primary school teachers and their next of kins.
Governor Udom Emmanuel said this at the seventh quadrennial conference of delegates of the Nigeria union of teachers, Akwa Ibom State wing held at Abak, Headquarters of Onna Local Government Area.
The conference had as its theme: ‘’Education and the Teaching profession in the Era of Covid 19 ’’ ‘Implications for inclusive and Equitable Quality Education for all’’.
Governor Emmanuel who was represented by the Head of Civil service, Elder Effiong Essien described Nigeria Union of Teachers as critical Stakeholders in the completion agenda of his administration, saying teachers have been in the forefront of ensuring the success of the free and compulsory education in the State.
The Governor said the support of teachers to his government stimulated him to respond speedily to their yearnings and listed the approval for employment of more teachers, prompt and regular payment of salaries, and provision of other essential materials to ensure a conducive Learning environment as a demonstration of his interest in the union and its members.
The governor assured that with the availability of funds, government would continue to support and encourage teachers for the benefits of the education system and Akwa Ibom Children.
He commended Teachers for their Patriotism, Professionalism and commitment to duties even as he enjoined them to always observe Covid 19 protocol in the discharge of their duties.
Meanwhile, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Edet Okon Emenyi said the theme of the conference ‘‘Education and the Teaching profession in the era of Covid 19’’; Implications for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education for all’’, was timely as the success of the Education policy of the State depends greatly on the value attached to the wellbeing and working conditions of teachers.
Mr. Emenyi who has been re-elected for a second term applauded the State Government for its investments in the State and also listed areas of challenge which should be tackled for effective service delivery.
He called on government to assist to defray the outstanding leave Grants from 2013 to 2020, promotion Arrears of 2011 to 2015, implement 2012 promotion right to the Teachers retiring from service and steer speedy release of NUT check-off Dues from secondary school to the union.
National Representatives of the Union, the Ministry of Education, Nigeria Labour Congress, ONNA Local Government council among others presented Goodwill messages at the conference which featured lecture on the theme of the event delivered by Dr. Christiana Isaac Emediong Okon of the faculty of Education, University of Uyo.
Highlights of the Conference include election of a fourteen member executive to pilot the affairs of Teachers in the State headed by comrade Edet Okon Emenyi as State Chairman.
Others are Mr. Michael Udofia, Deputy State Chairman, Offiong Inyang 1st vice chairman, Uduak Essien, second vice Chairman, Nsikak Etebom third vice Chairman.
Comrade Anthony Unanam is the National Representative, John Edet-Publicity Secretary, Clement Essenam, State Treasurer, Aniefiok Ibat, Social Secretary-one, Usenobong Uwah, Assistant Social Secretary, Asuquo Eyoh, Auditor-one, Ofonime Udo Akpan, Auditor-two and Mary Ekanem as State Editor