Alleged unpaid allowances: You have no power to shut NASS, Reps tell Legislative aides
THE leadership of the House of Representatives on Thursday cleared the air over the Tuesday protest embarked upon by the Legislative Aides attached to lawmakers in the National Assembly, NASS, over the alleged unpaid allowances put at N58 billion and the threat to shut down NASS, saying the aides lacked such powers
Fielding questions with the House of Representatives Correspondents in Abuja yesterday, the Chairman House Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon Namdas Abdulrazak disclosed that most of the members of the National Assembly were not aware of the grievances of the aides as their principals until the news of the protest was aired on Television Stations
Hon Abdulrazak stated that based on the letters of employment given to the legislative aides as temporary and unpensionable staff on the recommendations of their principals, the issues of non payment of Duty Tour Allowances, DTA, being complaint of was not contained in their conditions of engagements and as such it was not a matter of right but privilege which could only be paid out any time they embarked on tours as the name implied.
On the issue of training also raised by the aides, he rebuked the claim, saying that training was not a must for all the aides and that those categories of those entitled to training actually went through the training rather than doing physical cash to them.
According to home, “actually, most of the members were not aware of theirs. Aides’ grievances until the protest became issues in the Media and their protest aired on Television Stations, if they had discussed their grievances with us their principals, we would have taken the matter up with the management.
” Going through the letter of appointments issued out to them and their demands, we discovered that they were not entitled to the demands as a matter of right but as a matter of privilege they can get some payments when they embark on tour and such will be calculated based on Kilometres per hour and grade levels as applicable in the civil service.
” They are our Aides, they have been working for us and they have been working with us amicably since we came and so if they tell us their problems, we will into them in accordance with the rules of their engagement based on our recommendations and iron them out amicably and not through confrontation.”
On the threat to shut down the NASS if their demands were not met in a matter of days, he dismissed this, saying that the aides lacked such power since they were temporary staff whose appointment could be terminated at any given time.
Hjon Abdulrazak also disclosed that the lawmakers have resolved to work harmoniously among themselves within the remaining period of the 8th legislative agenda irrespective of their political differences in the interest of the nation.
He said that based on this understanding, all pending issues of differences among them have been put behind them as lawmakers and we’re now ready to face their legislative duties.
The legislative aides had embarked on peaceful protest on Tuesday when the lawmakers from the both Chambers resumed from recess over the non-payment of their allowances put at N5. 8billion and threatened to shut the NASS over the matter.