Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has warned teachers against enslaving themselves with huge bank loans which would leave them with little or no salary at the end of each month.
He expressed regrets that taking so many bank loans at the same time has impoverished many teachers, dampened their morale and affected their service delivery.
Fayose promised to carry out reforms that would solve the perpetual problem of over-deduction of salary of workers through the biometric payment system introduced to block loopholes being used to siphon the state’s lean resources.
The governor who spoke on Friday during an interactive session with primary and secondary school teachers at Ola Oluwa Muslim Grammar School, Ado Ekiti on Friday also donated 400 laptops to Accounting Officers operating in the state and Local Government levels.
The donation of the laptops was to facilitate the collation of vouchers of teachers before onward transmission to the Accountant General’s office for payment.
Fayose warned that the teachers should not be oblivious of the fact that a popular loan called ‘sharp-sharp’ introduced by one of the commercial banks is fast becoming a burden rather than benefit.
He said: “Workers need to be careful with these loans from commercial banks, especially the one called sharp-sharp. Many are facing serious challenges caused by over-deduction by banks and when they have problems they will be blaming the government.
“I am not really happy with the idea of workers going home empty handed after the payment of salary because some had taken too many loans and they are left with nothing after receiving their salaries.
“That was why I had instructed the Local Government accounting officers to crosscheck vouchers prepared with the ones collated by bursar of each school, so that all errors can be detected before reaching the Accountant General.
“And to those who had fallen victims of over-deduction, we will address it through the ongoing reforms. Though, we have no mandate to interfere with what you do with your banks, but being a passionate person and friend of the teachers, I have directed the Accountant General to bring the managers of those banks to me, so that all these complaints can be addressed.”
According to him, he was aware that problems arising from over deduction of salaries were rampant at the local level, promising to strengthen the system via decentralization of pay points to really abate the noticeable bottlenecks.
He said though not all the accounting officers will get the laptop computers in the first trench of the distribution, promising to make up in the next round while training will also follow appropriately.