Nigeria: Senate Leader Urges Better Conditions for National Assembly Staff

11 December 2018

The Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, on Tuesday, urged the Senate to ensure that staff of the National Assembly are properly paid and motivated.

He said this at the upper chamber shortly after the Senate considered and approved the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service on the Conditions of Service for National Assembly Staff, which was presented by Emmanuel Paulker.

The report sought to review the conditions of the legislative staff as well as create funds for salaries, allowances and pension benefits.

The report came about a week after the workers shut lawmakers out of the complex to demand payment of their entitlements.

The workers vowed not to allow lawmakers sit until they received notification of payment.

They accused the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, of denying them their entitlements up to eight years and blocking the enforcement of the Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS).

In his remark, Mr Lawan stressed the need for the workers to be paid as the chamber requires services of dedicated persons. He said the workers must be motivated.

In a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle, Mr Lawan noted that the passage of the Bill was something the National Assembly agreed with the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria to do, to stop the PAN from picketing the chamber.

"We should motivate those that work for us. I believe it is time to tell Nigerians the truth," Lawan argued. The truth is that National Assembly is a place that requires dedicated people and these people must be paid in order for this to happen.

"I am happy we are looking into this Bill. Let us ensure that those who work for us are properly paid, motivated and cared for," he said.

The Senate President Bukola Saraki assured that the Senate would continue to engage and encourage a conducive environment for the staff.

"A lot is expected from us here and whatever we can do to encourage them to ensure that they give us their best performance, let's do that," he said.

And on his twitter handle, he said the Senate has "undersigned."

"We have given our commitment that we always want an environment that is suitable for our staff and we won't go back on our word.

"We have shown truly that the Senate is on the side of our staff and as such, we want to encourage that they always leave room for dialogue."

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