By Israel Afolabi
The State of Osun House of Assembly has ordered the stoppage of group loans amongst teachers in the state.
Chairman, House Committee on Education, Honourable Oladoyin Bamisayemi gave the directive at a meeting with primary school teachers and officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in a bid to resolve the dispute arising from alleged over-deductions of salaries in respect of loans obtained.
The directive followed the complaints of fraud by teachers that their salaries were being over-deducted for the repayment of the collected loans, which were meant to take care of welfare of the teachers.
Bamisayemi lamented that his committee has received a lot of negative reports concerning the deductions in teachers’ salaries across the state by SUBEB officials for the repayment of the loan.
According to him, “As a matter of urgency, the house had to meet and resolve the issue before it gets out of hand especially in Ife-South local government area where some affected teachers almost collapsed”.
The chairman added that the meeting was called to ascertain the reason behind the deductions of teachers’ salaries in the state and to what extent.
To know the details on all the loans collected in the affected local government, the parliament has mandated all the banks involved to appear for proper verification and clarification on the group loan deduction.
The Assembly then ordered that the group loan should be stopped in the state, just as it ordered the SUBEB to stop deduction of teachers’ salaries until it gets to the root of the matter.
In his contribution, the state chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Wakeel Amudah said the idea of group loan started in 2005 and it was meant for members’ welfare, but unfortunately changed to aid corruption amongst officials.
Comrade Amudah confirmed that NUT members were also not sincere to the extent that some members had to forge NUT letter to obtain the loan, which has now backfired.
Meanwhile, in their separate remarks, members of the house committee blamed the concerned teachers for their involvement in group loan which is now difficult for them to bear.