Blind graduate yet to receive salary five months after automatic employment by Borno gov
32-year-old blind university graduate in Borno, Mr Mohammed Mustapha, who was offered automatic teaching appointment by Gov. Kashim Shettima on compassionate ground, says his salary has not been paid for the past five months.
Mustapha said in Maiduguri on Tuesday that the development had placed him under severe hardship,
Mustapha, a graduate of History from Gombe State University, was employed by the state civil service in February 2017 sequel to the directives of Gov. Shettima and posted to teach at College of Management Studies, Konduga.
The governor’s gesture followed an appeal to him by Mustapha through the Hausa Service of the BBC, requesting for a job.
Shettima had then invited Mustapha to the Government House, Maiduguri, after hearing the appeal through the radio station, and granted him an Executive approval for him to be employed by Borno Ministry of Higher Education.
However, Mustapha said that he was yet to receive his salary for five months since his posting to the college.
According to him, from the time he reported to work, he had been transporting himself to and from Konduga, a distance of about 60km from Maiduguri, where he resided.
“Honestly, life has become more difficult and very unbearable, since I was employed.
“They said I must undergo the Biometric Verification before I get paid, which I already did in March.
“On several occasions, I had gone to the verification committee to inquire why I was yet to be paid but no tangible explanation was given to me.
“The last time I went, they said I must get a note from the Head of Service before they treat my case; I went to him (HOS) and he promised to do something and I am still waiting.
“Now I am left confused and I do not know what to do; I am not a beggar and I do not want to ever beg anyone.
“I want an opportunity where I can work to earn a legitimate livelihood and impact on the lives of my people,’’ said Mustapha.
In his response, Malam Bulama Abiso, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in Borno, said that Mustapha was not the only teacher who was affected.
“Many of our teachers’ salaries have been pending despite been verified by the Biometric Committee.
“Some are owed five months, some seven and some even ten months salaries.
“As a union, what we did was to approach members of the committee and ask them to identify our teachers having issues with their verification.
“We were able to identify those with problems and solved same for them.
“So far, about 4,000 teachers were successfully verified, while some were not,’’ Abiso said.
Meanwhile, Mr Titus Abana, Borno Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress, said the verification exercise had brought untold hardship to legitimate workers in the state.
Abana lamented that non-payment of salaries of workers that had been verified was lamentable.
“We told them (committee) to continue paying salaries of workers while verifications continue, but they refused.
“They told us that the exercise will only last for two months, but now as I am talking to you, there are workers that are yet to be paid their ten months salaries,’’ he lamented.
Reacting, Alhaji Yakubu Bukar, Borno Head of Service, said that he was aware of the case of Mustapha.
“The case of Mustapha is a special case; his case is with Bako, the Chairman of the Verification Committee.
“I am not the one handling his issue but I have asked Bako to bring it forward to be treated,’’ Bukar said.