Some legislative aides to federal lawmakers on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest to demand unpaid allowances.
The aides were positioned in the complex, at the lobby between both chambers of the National Assembly, as they sang solidarity songs and held up placards with inscriptions, “we are aides, not slaves.” Both the upper and lower chambers were expected to resume plenary today.
The Senate resumed plenary and promptly entered into a closed-door session presided by Senate President Bukola Saraki. Nyakari-Abasi Etuk, who led the protesters, told sources, that they have not been paid Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) among others, since the inception of the 8th assembly. “Some of us they are owing us up to one point something million and these are funds we use to go on errands and other miscellaneous things. “The last leadership of the national assembly paid us up to date. We are not talking about training, the issue of training is also there, we are supposed to have four trainings in a year“ Ever since we started we have not had training. The training that we had was sponsored by the National Assembly Service Commission. All we are asking for is our entitlements,” he said.
He further explained that their demands have been channeled to the leadership of the National Assembly, but were not attended to. “This is our plight, this is our concern. We are telling everybody – today is the resumption date – most of the aides, some have died, some don’t have money to send their children to school. “The leadership, as a matter of urgency, we are calling on the leadership to ensure that our allowances, to ensure we collect our duty tour allowances. “Every year, allocations and budget are given to the national assembly which captures the legislative aides. So all we are saying, all we are asking for is for them to pay us. We are over 3,000 legislative aides.”
No one from the leadership of the National Assembly was present to address the legislative aides at the time of this report.