The Bauchi state government says it has suspended all the state’s Education Secretaries and some Local Education Authority (LEA) principal officers.
Malam Nuhu Zaki, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, made the disclosure at a news conference in Bauchi on Thursday.
Zaki said the suspension was due to suspected sharp practices discovered during a recent state-wide verification exercise inside local education authorities.
According to him, between April 2009 and April 2020, 876 primary school teachers retired from service, but the monthly wage bill of the 20 Local Education Athourities (LEAs) had continued to increase.
The commissioner said there was no justification for such wage increase.
He said when a verification committee detected the anomalies and discrepancies, the education secretaries told the committee that they had converted the salaries of the retired teachers to running costs.
“This was a clear case of financial crime and it must be investigated,” he said.
He said that investigation was still ongoing and justice and fairness would be ensured as those found guilty would definitely be sanctioned.
`We will spare no one found to be in conflict with the law,” the commissioner said.
He described the recent accusation made by the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) state chapter that he was instrumental in the unfair suspension of the education secretaries as “selfish and misguided.”
He said the suspension and subsequent investigation of the education secretaries was not an individual decision.
“I and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) acted on the directive from the governor”.
He restated the commitment of the state government to a robust, mature and clear industrial harmony between government and labour, saying “we are partners in progress.”
Zaki said all local government and LEA personnel received their salaries as and when due, except those with irregularities in their records.
Newsmen recall that the NLC’s Bauchi chapter recently blamed the Local Government commissioner for allegedly masterminding the education secretaries’ suspension.