A coalition of civil society organisations in Bayelsa on Wednesday advised the state government to prioritise the welfare of workers in the educational sector.
The group, under the auspices of Bayelsa Non-Governmental Forum (BANGOF), said that inability of the state government to pay teachers and the non-teaching staff their salaries was critical and worrisome.
Mr Robinson David, the chairman of BANGOF, spoke on Wednesday when the coalition paid an advocacy visit to the state Commissioner for Education, Markson Fefegha, in Yenagoa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that teachers in the state were being owed 10 months arrears of salaries while other categories of civil servants were owed seven months.
David said that the state government had invested substantially in the education sector and should equally spread the funding to meet the welfare obligations to human resources.
According to him, it will be shameful if the funds expended on infrastructure did not translate to improved quality of education.
He also expressed the BANGOF’s desire to partner with the state Ministry of Education to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number four on quality education.
David was accompanied on the visit by Keme Opia, BANGOF’s secretary, Charles Oyibo, the state chairman of Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) and other executive members of the group.
He said that the forum was currently supporting the establishment of environmental clubs, among other activities in secondary schools.
In his remarks, the commissioner assured BANGOF of the state government’s readiness to partner with the group.