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Crisis looms in NASS as over 4,000 staff demand implementation of revised condition of service

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NGO condemns critics over call to stop implementation of Revised Condition of Service

…write Lawan, Gbajabiamila on the rejection of Commission’s Cmtte’s report

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

The industrial strike is afoot in the national assembly as over 4000 parliamentary staff including states’ houses of assembly have demanded the full implementation of the revised condition of service enacted in the 8th National Assembly.

Reacting to reports that chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, Sen. Abubakar Tutari was disposed towards halting the new condition of service, relying on a report of a committee set up by the Commission, the staff under the aegis of Concerned Staff of the National Assembly and States Houses of Assembly, in a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, cautioned against the action, saying it would bring chaos, confusion, trigger industrial disharmony within the system.

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The staff warned that failing to implement the new condition would throw the bureaucracy of the National Assembly and states’ assemblies into confusion, as the new order has been ratified by some states.

The group said that the Revised Conditions of Service was not shrouded in secrecy, noting that the National Assembly Service Commission had the power of variation to set the age limit of service for its staff just like the National Judicial Commission (NJC) has done for Judges and the Federal Civil Service for University Professors.

The letter was jointly signed by the group’s National President, Comrade Salisu Functua, the National Secretary, Akindele Adesanya and the National Publicity Secretary, Aguawike Ebele.

The letter reads: “We urge you to ensure that the peace that NASS Management has been enjoying since inception is allowed to reign and foster.

“We have it on good authority that the committee’s work was initiated by powerful vested interests to instigate a leadership change in the Management of the National Assembly. We demanded that the National Assembly Service Commission should set aside its recommendations and Position Paper as the Committee cannot serve both as Investigator, judge, and the executor of the said recommendations”.

According to the workers, the report of the Commission’s Committee was prepared on the strength of a petition and without contribution by the Management of the National Assembly or even Parliamentary Staff Association.

“It may interest you to know that by 9:00 am, Tuesday, 19th May 2020 when the Management of the National Assembly took the said proceedings to the Commission, few days after the request, the report of the committee was ready without the input of the Parliamentary Association of Nigeria (PASAN), the leadership of the National Assembly, the Management of the National Assembly and other key stakeholders. The Committee did not think it was necessary to invite stakeholders or even the Staff Union whose initiative it was to have the revised conditions of service to interact with them.

“They relied on spurious and sponsored petitions and phantom allegations to reach a decision; a decision that will impact negatively on the welfare of over four thousand Staff of the National Assembly.

“The full and complete reliance of the committee on the petition(s) and the supersonic speed with which it wrote its report and subsequent position paper in the form of a memo to the Chairman exposed a troubling pattern of impunity, partiality and an unrelenting determination to deliver a pre-determined report in furtherance of a predictable subterfuge. We are worried about the incalculable damage this hatchet job which is what this report is, will do to the institution of the legislature if it is allowed to stand.

“Ironically, only three members of the committee were in Abuja during the lockdown when the committee supposedly wrote the report. The remaining three members were summoned to Abuja and had to travel under heavy police escort to Abuja in order to sign the report,” the letter further explained.


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