Reps say committee increase in Nigeria’s interest
• Budget Office Stops Payment Of Gratuity, Allowances To Legislative Aides
The House of Representatives has justified the increase in its standing committees from 96 to 109, saying it was in Nigeria’s best interest.
The House spokesperson, Mr. Benjamin Kalu said the development would not place additional running cost on the lower legislative chamber.
Also, the Chairman of the adhoc committee probing abandoned projects by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Ossai Nicholas Ossai said the increase in the number of Committees does not translate to an increase in the budgetary allocations to the House of Representatives.
Asked to shed light on House’ committee budget, he said it was dependent on the nature of oversight duties assigned to any of the committees.
But, in a circular addressed to the Clerk, National Assembly, Mr. Sani Omolori, the Director General, Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze has rejected the request for the payment of severance gratuity to legislative aides.
He explained that the decision, which affects about 5000 legislative aides, was based on the counsel of the Revenue Mobilisation And Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), as they are not entitled to the benefits, because they were not captured among political public and judicial office holders’ salaries in the amendment Act 2018.
An average legislative aide, depending on his ranking earns between N500, 000 and N5 million as severance gratuity and allowances before the latest decision.