By Florence Ugbem
Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) is to commence a thorough automation and data verification to ascertain the workforce and give room for recruitment where necessary.
This was disclosed at a press briefing by the Executive Chairman, Benue State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Grace Adagba last Saturday at the SUBEB Multi-Purpose Hall, Makurdi.
Dr Adagba noted that as part of efforts to reposition the organisation, the Board will begin the exercise from Monday, January 15, 2024 to Thursday 29th February 2024, at the 23 local government areas of the state. The exercise which, she said, would last for 40 working days is geared towards ascertaining the actual workforce of the board through a verification system.
“We also intend to ascertain the actual workforce of the Board through a thorough verification system in all local governments and forward a memo to His Excellency, our governor for employment of teachers, which shall be strictly on merit”, she said.
She also revealed that upon assumption of duty, she discovered an intolerable practice of arbitrary deduction of teachers’ salaries, stating that the practice was unacceptable, and as such introduced and maintained an automated payroll system for salaries to take care of all the shortcomings in the system.
Dr Adagba added that in the cause of the verification, salaries of staff will continue to be paid despite the data capturing and verification.
She stressed that at the end of the exercise, the new payroll system will be implemented by March this year, adding that there will be no more issues of salary omissions among staff.
She noted that poor infrastructure and lack of suitable workforce in the schools were some of the challenges bedeviling the primary school system in the state, saying she intends to include the construction and renovation of structures and offices in the budget and work plan.
According to her, she also desires to abolish the use of chalk on blackboards and replace it with whiteboards. This, she said, is more effective, efficient and a better tool for teaching.
She lamented that insurgency has affected basic education in the state and called on the Federal Government through the UBEC Assistance Programme to ensure that during their deployment of training and counterpart funds, they should include security funding to states that are affected by insurgency including Benue.
Dr Adagba stressed that it would no longer be business as usual at SUBEB, stating that henceforth, all contracts awarded must follow due process. “All contractors must be registered and only those registered will be considered for bidding”.
She said preference would not be given to any individuals or companies, assuring that there would be effective monitoring and supervision of such contracts to ensure that standards are strictly adhered to.
In his remarks, the Director Digitalization Resource Centre, Dr Karim Usman disclosed that a software has been created to help carryout the verification across the 23 local government areas in the state, explaining that the software enables them to know the number of staff captured at each LGA visited, adding that documents and a temporal Identity card will be presented to those who have been captured as proof of successful capturing.
Meanwhile, two days training of verification officers began last Monday at the board’s headquarters while the verification is to start on Wednesday in Makurdi.