Legislative aides to lawmakers at the National Assembly on Wednesday staged a protest over unpaid salaries and allowances estimated at about N1.5 billion.
The aides who gathered at the lobby of the assembly complex in Abuja chanted solidarity songs, demanding the immediate payment of the outstanding emolument.
Some of them said that they resorted to protest following the assembly management’s failure to fulfil its promise to pay the owed entitlements.
One of them, who pleaded anonymity, said that they had suffered untold hardship due to non-payment of the emolument.
He said “over a year of working at the National Assembly, legislative aides have not had any form of training.
“Today is the 12th day of October and our salary for September is yet to be paid.
“Meanwhile, some of our entitlements such as transport allowance for over a year, has not been paid to us also.
“It is same with the 28 days allowance which has not been paid to most of us.
“We are not happy that nobody has come to address us on these issues.’’
Another aggrieved staff, who also preferred anonymous, accused the management of paying permanent staff and neglecting the aides.
“I don’t know why this discrimination exists in spite of the important role we play in support of senators and members of the House of Representatives.’’
In his reaction, President, National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF), Sam Melaye, appealed to his colleagues to sheath their sword in the interest of peace.
Melaye said that the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori, had assured the protesters that their entitlements would be paid soon.
He said that some of his colleagues had already started receiving alert for September salary.
“Over 35 members of the forum confirmed receiving their salary alerts before 4 p.m. today.
“We met with the Clerk of the National Assembly today and he assured that not a dime of our entitlements will be left unpaid.
“So I call on our colleagues to sheath their sword and allow peace to reign.
“Considering the fact the Sani-Omolori recently resumed as clark, I want to believe that he will keep to his words and that the payment of salary will be handled,’’ he added.