Aides threaten to drag Saraki, Sani-Omolori to EFCC, ICPC over ‘N4b debt’ - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Aides threaten to drag Saraki, Sani-Omolori to EFCC, ICPC over ‘N4b debt’

Aides threaten to drag Saraki, Sani-Omolori to EFCC, ICPC over ‘N4b debt’

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki

Aides to federal lawmakers are threatening to take Senate President Bukola Saraki and Clerk to National Assembly (CNA) Mohammed Sani-Omolori to anti-corruption agencies.

This followed alleged non-payment of their allowances and other entitlements for the past three years.

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The workers, under the aegis of National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF), are protesting the confusion trailing the alleged non-payment of the entitlements totalling more than N4billion, which include Duty Tour Allowance (DTA), 28 per cent salary increment, among others.

The aides also threatened to shut the National Assembly.

They protested yesterday at the lobby of the White House before a meeting of the executive members and the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly.

The protesters sang war songs. They carried placards. One of them read: “We are aides, not slaves”

The Chairman of the aides’ forum, Sam Melaye, said: “The protest is about our allowances and entitlements. It has become clear to us that they are now passing the buck. The Senate president, who is the chairman of the National Assembly, said the CNA is responsible for our plight, and the CNA is now in turn accusing the Senate president of being responsible for the situation we have been subjected to.

“But at this point, it doesn’t really matter who is responsible, all we are saying is pay us our entitlements.

“Our DTA has not been paid for 10 quarters and that’s over N2billion. We are supposed to be trained twice in a year. This has not happened in the last three years and that is supposed to gulp over N2billion and training allowances, which is based on calculation of N1billion per year, is N3billion now.

“By laid down procedures and yearly budgetary provisions of N250million on a quarterly basis, each of the legislatives aides is expected to go for training on the template of capacity building, the totality of which is N1billion per year, but for the past three years, no category of the aides has been sent on any training, let alone paid the required allowances.

“All we are saying is that the National Assembly should do the needful

“We are going to meet the Acting CNA, since the CNA is not around, but I want to believe that the outcome of the meeting will be favorable to us. But if it is not favourable, we will take on the next step of writing anti-graft agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), in order for them to pay us our entitlements.

“If our demands are not met, we will shut down the National Assembly.

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“Although there had been protests over this same issue in the past, this is the first time I’m leading protest as the chairman of Legislative Aides Forum and I can assure you, there will be no retreat, no surrender.”

After its meeting with the Acting CNA, who is also the Clerk to the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, the group gave an ultimatum of September 14 after which if its demands were not met, it would begin next plan of action.

National Assembly spokesman Rawlings Agada, who spoke with The Nation on the phone, said the issue will be resolved as soon as the CNA returns from his official assignment outside the country.

Agada, who said he was not around the complex when the protest took place, however believed that the problem could be as a result of administrative or fund release challenge.

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