PASAN raises the alarm over legislative allowances
• ODHA Speaker assures of better tomorrow
Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) has urged the state assemblies across the nation to commit to the welfare of their legislative staff, demanding more concessions for the legislative commission.
The National Financial Secretary of the association, Mr. Bitrus Nuhu, who led a national delegation to the Ondo State House of Assembly in Akure recently, lamented that their members are shortchanged of their entitlements.
Nuhu added that the 35 percent legislative and office allowances, which would hitherto aid efficiency and effective service delivery of its members, are denied in some state assemblies.
The PASAN chieftain pointed out that some states like Kogi and Ekiti are owing their staff six and seven months respectively, with overbearing negative effects on the association.
He said: “Things are in shambles because of the situation because some of our staff in the state houses of assembly have not been paid salaries, and it is through their salaries that they remit check-up dues to the national body to enable us run the activities of the union.”
Nuhu, who also attributed the national ordeals to the destabilization of the National Assembly leadership, tasked the Assembly on training of staff and repositioning of the Ondo State House of Assembly Commission for better performance.
The Speaker, Jumoke Akindele, who disclosed that she and the lawmakers too are not enjoying many of their legislative benefits and entitlements, noted that the non-payment of such allowances are not peculiar to the state alone but nationwide problems.
According to her: “It is not that we don’t know what they need, we are just constrained. At this time in our national history, there is no state Assembly that can boast it is getting everything right.
“As I stand here, nothing is provided for us and my colleagues. I am not blaming anybody, but I want to believe that as things get better, we will improve the working conditions of the legislative staff.”
Akindele affirmed that the commission has been so effective in the state and the training of staff, which she acknowledged is integral to the legislative function, is statutory ‘calenderized’.