Yesterday, following agitations by the aides, the National Assembly’s leadership intervened in the matter of delay for the payment of severance packages for former legislative aides who served in the 8th National Assembly between 2015 and 2019.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila met agencies of government, led by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed. In that meeting, Lawan noted that the ex-aides were entitled to severance allowances.
He claimed that “The tenure of legislative aides employed by the National Assembly Commission and posted to members of the National Assembly is tied to the tenure of the National Assembly. Therefore, they are entitled to a severance allowance.”
The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, was attended by principal officers of the Senate and House of Representatives. Other notable persons were also present at that meeting, including the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze.
Ahmad Lawan stressed that following the meeting with the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the National Assembly leadership identified some difficulties on who was supposed to pay the severance allowances to the former aides.
Lawan said “It is only fair that we give them what is due to them (aides). We realized that there was a need to bring on board for this discussion the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the National Assembly Service Commission as well so that in this meeting, we are able to discuss and finalize where the source of the severance allowance for the legislative aides will be.
“And the presence of both chambers here tells us that this is a matter that affects the entire National Assembly. All the aides of the Senators and House of representatives who completed their assignments are affected on both sides. That is why the principal officers of both chambers are here.”
Principal officers in the Senate present at the meeting included the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Olamilekan Adeola; Deputy Chief Whip Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; Deputy Leader Ajayi Boroffice; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; and the Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha.