…..Want full Budgets implementation for salaries, other allowances
By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday asked the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), to cause the Management of the National Assembly to immediately commence payment of 28 days allowances and other pending benefits to all Legislative Aides in the 9th Assembly.
This was contained in the report presented to the House by Hon. Olawale Tasir Raji-led House Services Committee which investigated the non payment of salaries and allowances of Legislative Aides, including their statutory 28 days entitlement.
In the report listed for consideration on Tuesday plenary, the committee said: “The National Assembly Service Commission should direct the Management of the National Assembly to pay all the Legislative Aides their allowance for the First 28 days and arrears of unpaid salaries with effect from the date of their assumption of office as confirmed by their Principals ie: Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members)”.
The committee frowned at the practice where workers’ emolument duly appropriated for and released to the management would not be paid leaving family men and women (Aides) in the services of lawmakers at the mercy of National Assembly staff.
“This recommendation is based on the fact that adequate budgetary provisions were made in both 2019 & 2020 and funds released on first line charge basis for the payment of salaries and allowances of Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members together with their respective Legislative Aides”, the report said.
According to the committee in its findings from interactions and public hearing, all Legislative Aides are accorded the status of public servants temporarily appointed to serve for a stipulated period, usually four years.
“Legislative Aides of the National Assembly is accorded with the Status of a Public Servants employed in a short term capacity or on contract basis under the Labour Act (1974), the Public Service Rules 2008 and the National Assembly Service Act 2014.
“Based on the documents submitted to the Committee which included the Payroll of salary structure/scale and record payment of salary and allowances of all the Legislative Aides from June 2019 to May 2020 and the pay slips of the Legislative Aides submitted by the Zonal Leaders of NASSLAF, it was evident that not all the legislative aides were paid their salaries and allowances with effect from the date of assumption of duty nor were their arrears paid”, the committee found.
However, the management, then led by Mohammed Sank Omolori, who was forced out of office in July 2020 — in its defence told the committee that it paid salaries to Legislative Aides based on dates found on their appointment letters.
“The Secretary, Human Resources of the National Assembly informed the Committee on behalf of the Management of the National Assembly that, the Management paid all Legislative Aides based on the dates stated on their respective appointment letters. In addition, the first batch of letters of appointment of the Legislative Aides came to National Assembly Management on 26th August, 2019, which made it difficult for the Management to pay their salaries and allowances with effect from 11th June, 2019” the report added.
While thanking the House leadership for tasking it with the responsibility of resolving the situation of unpaid salaries and allowances of Legislative Aides, the committee chairman, Hon. Wale Raji (APC, Lagos), said it diligently
deliberated and agreed on the findings and recommendations contained therein.