Sequel to the crisis that looms at the National Assembly, Legislative aides to Senators and members of the House of Representatives have concluded plans to paralyse activities at the National Assembly on Monday.
According to Vanguard report, the aggrieved officers have decided to take this action to protest against the action of some of the Directors in the Finance Department of the National Assembly, who have refused them the N9 billion allegedly owed them, just as they are kicking against the unconditional delay in the payment of staff salaries.
As a result, they have threatened to expose the discrepancies and lack of transparency at the National assembly if their demands are not met.
Speaking to pressmen, some of the protesting legislative aides disclosed that the protest was a fallout of the refusal of the National Assembly management to pay all the 2, 500 legislative aides that served in the 7th Assembly, their severance gratuity and duty tour allowances which ranges from N1.5million to N3 million per aide, depending on grade levels and steps.
They alleged that based on information at their disposal, the N7billion meant for the payment had been released to management of the National Assembly by the Federal Ministry of Finance last month without any sign of readiness for payment from them.
One of the aggrieved protesters, who pleaded anonymity, said: “Our protest is all about prolonged delay we are expecting in the payment of our severance allowances by the management of National Assembly, even weeks after payment of similar allowances to all the 469 federal legislators who served in the 7th Assembly.
“We believe that the protest, though aborted, has sent the needed message to them that we are ready for showdown with them any time from now if we are not paid the money in this first week of September”.
When contacted, a member of the 7th National Assembly Severance Committee while defending the rot in the system put the blame for none payment of the money to the inability of President Muhammad Buhari to form his cabinet:
“We have no authorized signature to pull out the money for payment. It is only a Minister of Finance that can sign such amount and release fund for such payment.”