NASS Protest: Saraki, Dogara direct management to resolve issues by Friday

Staff members of the National Assembly during a protest against alleged nonpayment of their allowances, poor remuneration and non-implementation of CONLESS, a new salary structure approved since 2010 for them, at the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday (4/12/18).
Staff members of the National Assembly during a protest against alleged nonpayment of their allowances, poor remuneration and non-implementation of CONLESS, a new salary structure approved since 2010 for them, at the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday (4/12/18). 06284/4/12/2018/Hogan Bassey/ICE/NAN

The Senate president, Bukola Saraki, and speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have directed the National Assembly Management Committee, headed by the clerk, Sani Omolori, to resolve all issues raised by protesting members of staff and report back to them on Friday.

Mr Saraki’s special adviser on media and publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

Some legislative staff of the National Assembly had on Tuesday morning blocked entrances into the Senate and the House of Representatives chambers, preventing lawmakers from entering to hold plenaries.

They demanded the implementation of Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS), enforcement of promotion and training of staff.

They vowed not to allow lawmakers hold plenaries until they receive notification of payment.

The workers also accused Mr Sani-Omolori of denying them their entitlements up to eight years and blocking the enforcement of CONLESS.

They booed Messrs Saraki and Dogara when the duo attempted to address them on Tuesday afternoon.

As at 2 p.m., the workers were seen moving around the complex chanting “no alert, no sitting” and “Ole!” among others.

In his statement, Mr Olaniyonu stated that at a meeting attended by the National Assembly’s Management and members of staff under the umbrella of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Messrs Saraki and Dogara, who addressed the meeting on behalf of the leadership of both chambers, said it was important for the workers to be well motivated and their demands properly addressed in order to create a conducive atmosphere for the legislature to perform its duties.

They also noted that the demands of the workers were part of the responsibilities of the National Assembly’s Management and that the grievances of the workers should not be allowed to linger.

“The leadership of the National Assembly made it clear to the staff that the issues raised by them were previously unknown to the legislators and that even if they were known to the Senate President and the Speaker, the leadership could do little to address them because they fall under the purview of the NASS’s Management. They added that the constitution of the National Assembly Service Commission which the workers demanded will be made before Friday.

“The workers demanded for the implementation of the CONLESS system in the payment of their salaries and allowances, approval of new condition of service for the workers, among other issues. However, Dr. Saraki and Rt. Hon. Dogara, as well as their colleagues also reassured the workers that they will personally supervise how the management will eventually resolve the issues and ensure that the workers are not short-changed,” Mr Olaniyonu said.

The workers’ protest comes weeks after legislative aides staged a protest in the complex to demand payment of salaries and other allowances.



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