Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial candidate for 2023 general elections, Sheriff Oborevwori, has promised teachers in the state a better deal, if elected governor in the March 11, 2023, gubernatorial election.
Oborevwori, who made the promise at interactive session with members of Delta State chapter of Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, said well-structured and efficient educational system was critical to nation building and sustainable development.
He added that experts agreed that human resources constituted 65% of national development, while infrastructure and natural resources make up 10% and 25% respectively.
According to the governorship candidate, teachers play a crucial role in this process since they are largely responsible for the development of a nation’s human resources.
He said: “They are next to the family unit when it comes to imparting the right knowledge, skills, and values imperative for national development. In the words of Sir John Adams, Scottish education scholar, “a teacher is a maker of man.
”He is foundation of all education, and thus of the whole civilisation of mankind, present and future. No nation’s reconstruction is possible without the active cooperation of the teacher.
“My meeting with you today is in recognition of the invaluable role of the teacher as a critical stakeholder in nation building.
”As you know, I am aspiring to be the governor of Delta State under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party. I have set forth my social contract with Deltans under my M.O.R.E agenda, which is an acronym for Meaningful development, Opportunities for all, Realistic reforms, and Enhanced peace and security.
”The M.O.R.E agenda comprises programme priorities that will advance Delta to the next level of growth and prosperity.”
“This brings me to the matter of the next presidential elections taking place less than ten days from today. Our amiable and hardworking governor, Senator, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is on the ballot as vice-presidential candidate of our party.
”The NUT, I know, has had an excellent working relationship with Governor Okowa all through his tenure. He has been a listening, caring, and compassionate governor, determined to improve the lot of our teachers.
”Not long ago, the governor released the sum of N5b for the payment of pension arears to local government retirees, many of whom are teachers. In addition, the governor has set-up a committee, headed by the Head of Service, to facilitate a bond arrangement to accelerate the payment of pension arrears and discussion is on-going with Arm Asset Company in that regard.”
Oborevwori lamented that some misguided elements had allowed themselves to be used by an irresponsible and desperate opposition to politicise the pension matter.
“I think the current administration deserves commendation for its untiring efforts to clear the backlog of pension arrears, which was over N86b when Governor Okowa assumed office.
”I know that to date, a total of 79 billion has been released for accrued rights pensions settlement and 10% employer contributions to serving workers Retirement Savings Account between May 2015 to January 2023.
”Furthermore, this administration subsidises the local government councils with N500m monthly to pay retirees, even though it is the duty of the various councils to pay, being their employers.
“One of my priorities, if elected governor, is to continue the process and ensure that the backlog of pension arrears is cleared within the shortest possible time,” he said.
According to him, if elected the next governor of the state, he will also prioritise the following in the basic education sector.
Delta State Chairman of NUT, Okotie Titus, lauded Oborevwori for the opportunity to interact with teachers.
He assured that teachers would partner with him, and implored him to carry teachers in the state along in his administration, if elected governor of the state.