NASS: Unions set for showdown over unpaid salary arrears

Posted by News Express | 9 January 2022 | 536 times

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• Senate President, Ahmed Lawan

 

By ABUBAKAR YUSUSF 

There are indications that members of in-house unions of the National Assembly (NASS) may be set for a showdown over alleged diversion of money meant for payment of their salary arrears and allowances by the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA). 

Sources at NASS disclosed that money for payment of six to seven months’ salary arrears owed members of NASS Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF) and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), spanning June to December 2019, had been appropriated. 

The arrears for both PASAN and NASSLAF were captured in the supplementary budget of 2021and were due for payment before December.  

But the unions are accusing the CAN of diverting the appropriated money, claiming that many of their members were yet to receive alerts for payment, while those who have received alerts got only one month salary arrears as at last Friday. 

The unions claim that the development was at variance with series of notices by the spokesman of NASSLAF, Abdul Lauya, that cheques for salary arrears owed the legislative aides were being paid to their accounts. 

It was gathered that PASAN had already issued notice of strike to the National Assembly with regard to the alleged diversion of its appropriated salary arrears and allowances to entirely different sub-headings. 

Reports, according to NASS, said Legislative aides employed between Jun 11, 2019 at the inauguration of the 9th Assembly, and December 2019 were entitled to salary arrears of six to seven months appropriated by the National Assembly. 

Some cluster of legislative aides who do not want their names in print accused the CNA of diverting their salary arrears and using same to pay the arrears of PASAN members. 

Sources hinted that it took a lot of confrontation for allowances of first 28 days to be paid to legislative aides while there was no clear information as to when other entitlements like Duty Travelling Allowmance (DTA), Minimum Wage, CONLESS and others, would be paid. 

Reports added that it was on record that when it comes to the issue of payment of salaries and allowances, PASAN members were usually given preferential treatment by the National Assembly, while the Legislative Aides were always treated as an appendix. 

Sources further alleged that during one of its recent agitations, the management and leadership of the National Assembly deployed security agents to harass, arrest and possibly detain dissident NASSLAF members who insisted on getting their statutory salary arrears and allowances. 

Before now, legislative aides’ salaries were usually delayed till between the 5th and 10th of the following month before payments are effected, as the standing instructions of the CNA on such payments before 29th of every month were usually flouted by those in charge of salary payment. 


Source: News Express

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