A cross-section of education stakeholders in Oyo State on Wednesday expressed differing views on the car loan palliative approved for primary school teachers by Gov. Seyi Makinde.
The stakeholders, while responding to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Ibadan, noted that while the palliative may be commendable it may also be counter-productive.
Dr Sunday Olawale, Chief Lecturer in Department of Educational Psychology, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, advised against the disbursement of the loan in view of prevailing circumstances.
Olawale said this was because those the loan was intended for may end up living all their lives repaying it if care was not taken.
“I want to thank Gov. Makinde for this kind gesture towards our teachers because it is a commendable welfarist approach, particularly in the short run.
“However, its consequences, in the long run, may not be palatable because many of them will end up squandering the loan on something else.
“With petrol already not affordable, how will they be able to sustain fuelling their cars?
“I think the governor should rather think about how the negative effects of the subsidy removal on the teachers would be minimised and made bearable on them.
”Some may even have to refund the loan with their retirement benefits,” the scholar said.
Similarly, a primary school Assistant Headmistress, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said the governor was merely trying to score cheap political points through the action.
She said the process of obtaining the loan would be difficult, just as it had been for their secondary school counterparts who had earlier been granted the same gesture.
“Many of my friends who teach in secondary schools in Oyo State told me that anyone who wishes to acquire the loan must be well connected to a politician.
“Some said they paid between N150,000 and N200,000 before accessing the secondary school teachers’ car loan,” the assistant headmistress said.
She pointed out that, considering the current high cost of petrol, the idea was not the best option.
Another teacher, Mrs Madinat Rufai, said the gesture might not be in the best interest of the teachers, putting the expected administrative bottlenecks into consideration.
According to Rufai, beneficiaries would likely be made to pay through their noses before the loan would be disbursed to them.
“If this is meant to serve as a palliative, then it is one in the wrong direction because even many teachers, who currently have cars, have parked them due to the hike in fuel price.
“Besides, the interest on the loan may be out of this world,” Rufai said.
She said she would not apply for the loan.
However, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Oyo State Chapter, Mr Raji Oladimeji, appreciated lgovernment for staying committed to improving the condition of teachers in the state.
He said teachers would not relent in supporting the Makinde-led administration in taking education in the state to the next level through hard work and quality delivery of content to pupils.
“We will ensure good monitoring, so that the right categories of teachers benefit across the geo-political zones of the state.”
The NUT state chapter chairman however said every beneficiary has the right to do what he or she likes with the money from the loan.
“While it is referred to as a car loan, I think anyone benefiting has the right to do anything he or she wishes with the loan.
“There is nothing wrong with some people investing the loan into more profitable businesses,” Oladimeji said.
NAN reports that Makinde had on Friday declared a car loan palliative for primary school teachers in the state with a 40-month refundable period.