Thousands of teachers in the Benue state of Nigeria are to be sacked in order to pay the long promised minimum wage of $112 a month for their colleagues. The state governor says he is planning not only to sack teachers but also to close some primary schools because the state does not have the money to pay the minimum wage.

While secondary teachers and other civil servants now receive the minimum wage in the state, primary teachers, who constitute the vast majority of the teaching force, are still not paid this basic amount of money. The chair of the parent teachers association in the state told the All Africa website: "though the reward of teachers is in heaven, it is pertinent to compensate their efforts on earth".

It was not until the teachers went on strike earlier this year and stormed examination centres that the state government agreed to pay the minimum wage from this August. Teachers say they will vigorously resist any attempt to make them pay for the increase by teacher sackings and school closings.

As we reported last month, Nigeria is the fifth largest exporter of oil and the eleventh largest exporter of natural gas in the world. Yet 10% of the children who are not in school live in Nigeria and teachers have to strike just to get a living wage. Meanwhile the World Bank is investing $1 billion in the country's energy sector, from which the people of Nigeria get almost no financial benefit and much environmental and social harm.

This year some students protesting for education have been shot dead by Nigerian security forces. In the latest incident a student was shot dead protesting against high fees at the university of Uyo. Protests are put down violently by police and many students have been detained. Read more details here.

The situation in Benue state and for the students points up the cruel economics of the priorities both of the World Bank and the Nigerian government - teachers unable to live on the paltry salaries paid, fewer teachers and fewer schools, students fighting for educational rights brutalised or even killed. The main priority is to ensure that Nigeria's rich mineral resources continue to be exploited. The only forces which can oppose such priorities are the united action of teachers, parents and students to assert a different vision of society.