A Previous Strike by Nigerian Teachers
Members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and in Plateau State are to go on strike this week
Primary Teachers in FCT (the new capital of Nigeria) are protesting at the non-payment of arrears of salary owed to them from 2007, 2008 and 8 months of 2009. Teachers there had earlier suspended a strike on the basis of an agreement with the government reached last August that arrears would be paid. The union has warned that if the government does not come up with the arrears, the present week long strike will be resumed at the beginning of February.
Meanwhile teachers in Plateau State, Nigeria resumed their strike on Monday because of the state government's failure to honour an agreement after a 4 month strike last year - to pay arrears of payment owed and to implement the new Teachers' Salary Structure.
There has been much industrial action by teachers in Nigeria recently - due to their appallingly low salaries (see previous blogs). To quote a previous post: Teachers in Nigeria are some of the worst paid professionals in the country - the highest paid earn about $100 per month. Nigeria is the fifth largest exporter of oil in the world. Global corporations like British Petroleum are reaping huge profits from its oilfields (and incidentally causing havoc with the environment and the social structure in the oil filelds) from which the Nigerian government gets a small percentage in revenues. The IMF have locked Nigeria into a package of ‘market based reform’. To quote the CIA Fact File: ‘Since 2008 the government has begun showing the political will to implement the market-oriented reforms urged by the IMF, such as to modernize the banking system, to curb inflation by blocking excessive wage demands’ - presumably like those of the teachers who are struggling by on a couple of dollars a day! Included in the IMF package also is the privatisation of the four government owned oil refineries. In other words - the West and the multinational coprorations are coining billions of dollars which rightfully belong to the people of Nigeria.