The FCTReporters’ investigation has revealed that approximately 600 teachers employed under the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Ministry of Defence, who were beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s service elongation package for teachers, are facing a salary backlog of 23 months.
Introduced during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari, the service elongation for teachers aimed to extend the retirement age to 65 from 60 and increase service years from 35 to 40.
Nonetheless, individuals employed in federal schools and institutions under military ownership have faced payment delays and unresolved salary issues.
Despite the Federal Executive Council’s approval of the Bill on January 20, 2021, and its subsequent signing into law by Buhari in April 2022, the implementation has encountered difficulties. A memorandum from the Federal Ministry of Education on January 26, 2021, advised against retirement, awaiting Buhari’s official approval.
Teachers under the Federal Ministry of Defence were also directed, through a circular dated January 17, 2022, to remain in service until their applications for elongation were determined, anticipating the presidential approval.
Several educators, opting for anonymity, shared that they did not receive their salaries until November 2022 despite fulfilling their duties since January 2021. While salaries were reinstated in December 2022, the unpaid arrears for 23 months persisted.
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In a letter to the Minister of Education dated October 13, 2023, some teachers sought intervention for the non-payment of accumulated salary arrears, emphasizing their compliance with directives.
The NUT s engaging with the ministries involved, and the Ministry of Defence has initiated a verification process for teachers in armed forces schools.
The spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, did not respond to inquiries, while the Ministry of Defence is actively conducting verifications of teachers in armed forces schools.