NASS Aides Threaten Shut Down Over N1.5bn Unpaid Salaries | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NASS Aides Threaten Shut Down Over N1.5bn Unpaid Salaries

national assembly
Posted: Oct 13, 2016 at 4:36 am   /   by   /   comments (0)





Abuja – Legislative aides to lawmakers in the National Assembly have threatened not to allow the Senate and the House of Representatives sit and conduct their legislative business over their N1.5 billion unpaid salaries and allowances.

The aides, who are members of the National Assembly Legislative Aide Forum (NASLAF), said majority of them have not been paid their 28-day allowance after a year of being in the services of the National Assembly apart from other entitlements.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Ucho Kingsley, one of the protesters, said they were also entitled to periodical training programmes, but till date, they have not been sent for such programmes.

“Today is the 12th day of the month of October and our September salary has not been paid. Our entitlements such as transport allowances for five quarters beginning from last year have not been paid to us.

“It’s the same for our 28-day allowance which has not been paid to most of us. We are entitled to training at least one each quota but till date we have never been sent for training.

“Nobody has come to address us, nobody has come to speak to us. When we ask they give us excuses of the problem being from management or that person. All we want is for our salaries to be paid on time, the same thing for our entitlements”, he said.

Also speaking, Yusuf Modu Sherrif said: “I don’t know why this discrimination exists despite the important role we play to senators and members of the House of Representatives.

“Today’s protest is to tell the management that enough is enough, next time we storm this place we will not allow the speaker and the Senate president to enter the chambers until they address us”, Sheriff threatened.

But when contacted, Samuel Melaye, a factional leader of NASLAF and brother/aide to Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi West, said they had been assured by Mohammed Sani-Omolori, clerk of the National Assembly, that they would be paid as soon as possible.

However, before the close of work on Wednesday, Independent observed that many legislative aides who took part in the protest were calling on their colleagues who had left the Assembly premises to come back as the banks had been instructed to start paying their September salary.

An aide, who spoke exclusively to Independent on the matter, stated that the management was rattled by the threat to shut down both chambers and force the leadership to address their issues before legislative activities.

A few minutes before 4.00p.m on Wednesday which is the normal closing time for banking operation, many of the aides seen participating in the protest were sighted going in and out of the banks which are largely concentrated at the basement of the ‘white house’ (National Assembly administrative office complex).

The aide, who pleaded anonymity, however, said that the threat remains potent as the real issue of entitlement and allowances have not been addressed, alleging that “management has warehoused their money which is accumulating interests for those in charge while the real owners of the money grapple with economic hardship.”

Also developing is the unpaid salary and quarterly allowance of lawmakers with tension rising among members who are said to be putting the leadership under intense pressure.

Independent reliably gathered that the House of Representatives with its leadership held a serious executive session on Wednesday evening to discuss ways of resolving the matter.

The source stated that the meeting which held in one of the conference rooms was scheduled for 8.00p.m with strict instruction for all concerned members to be present to avoid any misgivings toward the leadership.

In a separate development, Mohammed Sani Omolori, clerk of the National Assembly, reiterated the resolve of his administration to enhance the capacity of the workforce for better productivity.

Omolori stated this while declaring open a five-day training workshop on network support services by a private IT company for staff of the information and communication technology department where he expressed his desire to make the department effective and above board especially in this era of computer.

The CNA tasked the benefiting staff to fully utilise the training and make the difference show in their daily output.

In his welcome address at the event, Director of ICT, Mohammed Umar, commended the CNA for the laudable gesture in putting together the training which he described as “a round peg in a round hole” that would uplift the activities of his department to higher level.