The management of the National Assembly has been accused of withholding salaries and other emoluments of Lagislative Aides duly appropriated and released.
A report of the House of Representatives Services Committee which indicted the NASS management, disclosed that the National Assembly Services Commission through the immediate past Clerk, Mohammed Omolori, deliberately refused to pay legislative aides in the 9th Assembly 28 days allowances and other pending benefits.
Frowning on the situation, the committee mandated the National Assembly Service Commission to “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 (Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members).”
The Reps directive flows from the report of its Committee led by Hon. Olawale Tasir Raji, which investigated the non-payment of salaries and allowances of legislative aides, including their statutory 28 days entitlement.
The report’s ” 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, 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 are accorded 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.
“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.
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.