Nigeria is on high alert for a meeting of the World Economic Forum in the capital, Abuja. Schools and government offices will be closed for the three days of the conference as the masters of the universe gather to map out the eoncomic future for a continent. The irony of this high level of protection for the powerful, while some 200 schoolgirls have been taken from their dormitory at gunpoint, with no end in sight to either their torment or that of their parents, will not be lost on the thousands, who have protested around the country against the abductions and the government's signal failure to rescue the girls or even to accurately record their numbers.

For teachers, this situation is dreadful enough. What makes it even worse, if that were possible, is that apart from the abductions, tens of schoolchildren and at least 70 teachers have died at the hands of Boko Haram in the north of the country. And now, this website has read of primary teachers starving to death in Benue State, in the centre of the country, as they continue with their , to demand the promised minimum wage of $112 a month. The teachers have been on permanent strike since October of last year, after repeated promises by the state government to pay them the paltry salary which they are owed.

The Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam has now said that he and other senior officials will take a 5% pay cut so that the teachers can be paid. A promise which has yet to be fulfilled, like all the other prommises made to the teachers. High ranking civil servants have seen their pay increased by 585% since his government took office in 2006 and their present pay is 24 times the minimum wage demanded by teachers. This gross inequality shows how well the Nigerian government is learning from organisations of oligarchs like the World Economic Forum and of course even the high ranking civil servants' pay does not begin to compare with the billions of dollars being extracted from the country by multi-national corporations like Shell, even as they lay waste to the environment and social structures around the Niger delta.

Among the panelists at the WEF event is Bod Diamond, former chief of Barclays Bank, who resigned in the face of the Libor scandal. Also on a panel will be Hans Paul Buerkner - chair of the Boston Consultancy Group, one of the leading proponents of education reform for

No doubt both he and ex UK prime minister Gordon Brown, a leading advocate of neo-liberal economic policy and now a 'Speical Envoy for Global Education', will have all sorts of pious things to say about the failure of African countries to provide Education for All and will suggest the usual 'reform' nostrums. Perhaps they could start by suggesting that countries do not force teachers to starve to death in the fight for a living wage. But of course that won't happen. Never mind, at least the Nigerian state will deploy mega amounts of money and resources to ensure that the oligarchs stay safe, even as the poor girls from the North remain missing.