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Seven Months After 245k Promise, Taraba Govt Paid 75k to ‘Corpers’

Seven months after much-publicized promise, Taraba State Government has yet to fulfill its commitment to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in the state’s primary and secondary schools.

Governor Agbu Kefas had pledged to pay a one-off sum of N245,000 to each corps member serving in primary and secondary schools in the state.

The state commissioner for Information, Zainab Jalingo, had earlier stated that this policy was designed to attract and retain corps members to fill the gap in the state’s public schools, which have experienced a surge in enrollment following the government’s free education policy.

However, this promise has remained largely unfulfilled, leaving many corps members with high expectations unmet.

According to the initial statement, the allowance was to be broken down as N50,000 for health, N75,000 for housing, and N120,000 as a general stipend. Additionally, Governor Kefas promised to augment the corps members’ monthly allowance by N10,000.

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Seven months later, the state has only paid N75,000 to the corps members, who had been expecting nearly a quarter million naira. “I am confused because I don’t know whether it is a housing allowance from the promise or that is what the government can afford to pay,” said Bashir Musa, a corps member serving at a school in Takum.

Many corps members, who viewed the allowance as a significant boost to their financial stability, have had their hopes dashed.

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Corps Members Speak

A corps member serving at Taraba State College of Education, Zing, who preferred to remain anonymous, told WikkiTimes that the government had promised to give their colleagues in primary and secondary schools the full amount. “Yes, the governor said he would give N245,000 to corps members serving in public schools. But I think my friends got N75,000 last month as part of the promise,” he said.

Another corps member who identified himself as Malam Khalil said he heard about it but is yet to receive any payment.

Khalil, who serves at Government Day Secondary School Yamu Sale in Jalingo said, “N75, 000 has been paid to some. But it is only paid up to C1 2023 corps members. As A1 2024 corps members, we heard that we would get N75, 000 but we don’t know anything beyond that. We’ve come out of camp in March,” he told WikkiTimes in an interview.

Bashir (not real name) said a friend told him that he will get N75, 000 in three tranches before the end of his service year but so far, he got only first tranche.

“We heard that the governor will pay such allowances. But what we were told is that we’ll be given N75, 000 at the beginning, then midway into the service we will get another N75, 000 and finally when we come to the end of the service year, we will get another N75, 000. That is over 200K. I got the first N75, 000. The payment started two months ago. All corps members in public school that I know have received it,” he said.

Bashir, who teaches at Sabon Gari Primary School, Jalingo, said the increment of N10,000 promised on their monthly allowance is yet to materialize.

“State allowance is N6,000 and it has been like that since before our coming. We have heard about increasing it to N16,000 but it has not been affected. We assumed we will get the increment immediately after the payment of the N75, 000 but we didn’t get that. And we don’t why,” he explained.

A Plea

David Andrew, a corps member serving in a public school in Jalingo, expressed hope that the governor would consider their situation, as many had planned to use the money to solve personal problems.

“I can assure you some corps members stayed back here and refused to relocate elsewhere because of the money. I just hope the governor will fulfill his promise because that money has been budgeted already on our minds and it is going to be executed when the alert is received,” Andrew said.

Many corps members said the failure to deliver on this promise is particularly disheartening given the challenging conditions under which many of them are serving, especially in remote and underserved areas.

The situation has sparked criticism from various stakeholders, including educational advocates who have called on Governor Kefas to honor his commitment. They argue that fulfilling this promise is essential not only for the welfare of the corps members but also for maintaining the integrity of the government.

Activist Advises Govt

Adamu Bala, a Jalingo resident and advocate of girl-child education, warned that the government’s failure to fulfill its promise would demoralize corps members.

He argued that Taraba needs the corps members more than they need the state or the money due to the shortage of qualified teachers in the state. “As the months pass with no payment in sight, the corps members serving in the state will lose hope, and that can reflect in their dedication to their duties,” Bala said.

Despite the growing outcry, the Taraba State government remains silent, offering no concrete explanations or timelines for when the funds will be disbursed.

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Commissioner Zainab Jalingo, who had earlier announced the package on behalf of the state government, could not be reached for comment on why the payment has not been made or when it will be made.

Emmaneul Bello, an aide to the governor on media and digital communications, did not respond to inquiries sent to him to explain the reason for the delay and splitting the money.

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