The Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has alleged that Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s ploy to sack about 22,000 Primary school teachers in Kaduna state over poor performance in the recently conducted competency test was part of conditions given to Kaduna state government to meet before it can access loan from World Bank.
The Local Government Employees across the Country also declared that the competency test was dubiously held and conducted, alleging that dead and retired teachers were part of names announced to have failed the said test.
Speaking in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital on Saturday, Ibrahim Khalid, President of NULGE disagreed and faulted sincerity of the competency test conducted for Primary school teachers in the State, saying that the motive behind the whole process was premised on downsizing the State workforce in order for Governor El-Rufai to be able to access loan from World Bank.
Khalid, who doubles as the National Treasurer of Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), noted that the scripts released by the Kaduna state government revealed names of teachers who had died two years ago and those who had retired about a year ago, and Governor El-Rufai announced such names as part of those who passed and failed the test.
He explained that part of the conditions given to the government of Kaduna state before it could access the World Bank loan currently under consideration by the National Assembly is to downsize the workforce of the state.
Khalid also maintained that the governor had conducted three competency tests previously, for the teachers and they all passed but insisted on the fourth one because of his desperation to downsize the workforce, describing involvement of President Muhammadu Buhari in the controversy as unfortunate.
He said, “The intention of El-Rufai, sincerely, is not about competency of staff or primary school teachers, no where in the World is 75% set as pass mark for examination, I don’t know how he arrived at 75% as benchmark to pass exams.
“There is a lot of issues, our members in the state discovered that some teachers that appeared for the exams were dead almost two years ago but they appeared as part of those who sat for the exams.
“There was another discovery, some of the teachers retired a year ago and they came and passed the exams. There are lots of confusions; some of those who passed exams are security men while some are cleaners, they are not teachers.
“El-Rufai is only out to downsize because we heard that he was pushing to get loan from the World Bank and one of the conditions given to him was that he must downsize the workforce of the state.”
Khalid however, explained that the Union will continue to engage government at ensuring that the planned mass sack of teachers and Local Government employees is suspended.
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta