Nigerian teachers are being forced to take strike action yet again to try to secure the salaries that are owed to them. Many states in the country have still not paid a 27.5% pay rise promised to the teachers and many are still not giving teachers the $114 a month minimum salary. The Nigerian National Union of Teachers announced an indefinite strike from June 1st in the 18 states which are still not complying.

Meanwhile the World Bank with its partner the International Finance Corporation has announced $1 billion investment in Nigeria's energy sector. Nigeria is the fifth largest exporter of oil and the eleventh largest exporter of natural gas in the world. As well as these high value assets it has other minerals and a rich variety of agricultural produce. Multinational coporations (MNCs)  such as Shell and Chevron are making billions of dollars from the Nigerian oil and gas industries as a result of privatisation policies forced on the country by World Bank Structural Adjustment Programmes. Yet 70% of Nigeria’s people live below the poverty line, almost one in ten children die in infancy and the average life expectancy is only 47.24 years. In education 38% of children do not attend primary school and 65% do not have any secondary education. 10% of the children in the world who are not in school live in Nigeria.

Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly,  the French-born World Bank country director for Nigeria, said this week that "the IFC will participate in the activities of oil majors and other Independent Power Projects, IPPs, and also in the privatization of the 11 power distribution companies and six power generating companies." As well as providing opportunities for MNCs to make mega profits privatisation in Nigeria has been marked by mass layoffs, violence and corruption and increasing poverty.

The hypocrisy of the World Bank as it pays lip service to Education For All, while enabling multi-national corporations to make massive profits out of the riches under the ground of Nigeria, is staggering. And in its reports on education it blames the teachers for the failure of countries like Nigeria to achieve universal free education. Meanwhile the teachers, struggling to work in impossible conditions are forced to strike to achieve a living wage. 

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