Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nigerian Lawmakers Lament Current Economic Squeeze

 The current economic hardship in Nigeria has been extended to the two arms of the National Assembly as the lawmakers have complained bitterly about the delay in the payment of salaries as well as other entitlements.
Following the dwindling oil prices and other internal crises, Nigerian's monocultural economy has taken a nosedive in recent times with the masses as the major casualties.
 Meanwhile, a recent report by New Telegraph has revealed the lawmakers who are privileged citizens in the Nigerian state are currently feeling the excruciating heat of the economic squeeze as their financial entitlements have been arriving untimely. The massive salaries of the lawmakers in the senate and the House of Reps members haven't been forthcoming and their oversight functions badly affected.
It was learnt that the National Assembly members and their legislative aides are still owed June salaries and allowances. Some Special Assistants (SAs) to principal officers of the Senate were paid last in February.
A cross section of senators and members of the House of Representatives lamented that the cash crunch had prevented them from carrying out their legislative functions effectively as well as fulfilling their campaign promises to their constituents since their inauguration on June 9, 2015.
“We are not shielded from the economic reality in the country. As at today , my June salary has not been paid and I don't have an idea as to when it will be paid . Really, the economy of the country is really affecting legislative functions, ” a principal of the Senate told a reporter last night. It was further learnt that the management and staff of the bureaucracy were not affected by the non - payment of salaries and allowances, as they were all paid before the end of June. Since the inauguration of the National Assembly on June 9, 2015 , it has been observed that both the lawmakers and their aides had hardly received their entitlements in good time.
The situation got bad such that legislative aides were owed January, February and March salaries up till April, when they were paid backlog of their monthly emoluments. One of the serving legislative aides, who spoke to a correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said that the management of the National Assembly had not even paid the aides their duty tour allowances (DTA) from June last year when they resumed duty till date.
The management of the apex assembly also had issues with the legislative aides who served in the immediate last assembly , leading to the ex - aides staging a protest in September last year at the National Assembly complex over non - payment of their severance gratuity and DTA totalling N 7billion.
The legislative aides affected were those who worked with members of the Seventh National Assembly. Some of the aides, according to inquiries made by New Telegraph , were those who served as senior legislative aides (SLA ), legislative aides (LA), personal assistants (PA ) and personal secretaries to Senators and House members.
The management partly paid the ex -legislative aides by the end of January, while no specific date has been announced for the payment of the outstanding. Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North), in an interview with a correspondent, lamented that the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had negated the first line charge status of the National Assembly, resulting in the institution being treated as ministries in terms of accessing its funds

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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