Finance Minister Summoned By House Of Reps After Protest By NASS Workers

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Following the Tuesday’s protest by National Assembly workers over non-payment of allowances and benefits, the House of Representatives has called Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed to appear before its Finance Committee, to explain why the 2018 budgetary allocations to the legislature and the judiciary has not been released.

As earlier reported by  parliamentary workers shut down the National Assembly on Tuesday in protest of their working condition, payment of entitlements and issues of promotion, preventing lawmakers from holding plenary.

The workers have however soft pedaled and resumed normal activities following assurances from the National Assembly leadership and management to address all issues of concern.

Edward Pwajok at the plenary, yesterday sponsored the motion for her summon.

Pwajok was worried that both government arms were on first line charge but were yet to receive their allowance due to the delay in release of funds by the minister.

He said: “The House notes the disruption of the sitting of the National Assembly on December 4, 2018;

“Further notes that Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASAN, protested against the non release of their benefits including promotions and other entitlements;

“Disturbed that the non-release is as a result of the non implementation of the 2018 Appropriation Act of the National Assembly;

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“Notes that the National Assembly and the judiciary are on the first line charge and there ought to be full implementation of the budget of the two arms of government.”

Briefing journalists at the end of plenary, spokesman of the House, Abdulrazak Namdas, said the action of the workers on Tuesday, which prevented the lawmakers from holding a session was unlawful, according to Legislative Houses and Privileges Act.

He, however, stated that the intervention by the lawmakers was to salvage the situation and give their staff better working conditions.

He said: “We have summoned the minister to appear before us. The money was captured in 2018 budget and it has not been released. So, we can’t give what we don’t have.

‘’We are of the opinion that the management staff of the NASS should have good condition of service. For us to function effectively, we need a very functional management staff. The protest is strictly not against the members of the national Assembly.”

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