National Assembly had resorted to bank overdrafts to pay its staff their monthly salaries and allowances. It has been confirmed by different sources that August and September salaries were paid through overdrafts.
Several legislative aides had protested the delay in payments of their allowances by the management last week. They called on the management to settle all their outstanding allowances believed to be about N1.5bn. They said that they were already compiling a formal complaint to the Clerk of the House.
According to the protesters, the complaint is coming late due to the crisis in the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF). Two groups are currently contesting the control of the association.
It was also disclosed that most Senior Legislative Aides (SLA) in the two chambers are yet to receive their 28 days allowance. It stands at N250,000 for each of the 2,345 aides in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Cash-Strapped National Assembly, Rich Members
The facilities sourced from banks do not include the controversial running cost paid to lawmakers. It also does not include salaries and allowances for their aides.
About N4.5 billion is spent on the running cost of lawmakers in the two houses of the National Assembly. The sum of N13.5 million is paid to each senator while a member of the House of Representatives gets a little above half of this. The balance is paid out to legislative aides.
National Assembly Denies Knowledge
National Assembly Director of Information, Ishaku Adamu Dibal, has however denied knowledge of the development.
Adamu Dibal said the delay in the payments of the allowances was unfortunate and attributed it to epileptic flow of funds to the legislature.
“It’s a major factor and it’s affecting every aspect of the economy. Therefore, it calls for patience on the part of every Nigerian. There is currently a shortfall in the funding of the National Assembly to the tune of between N400 and N500 million. “It is most worrying now that the funding is coming monthly and no longer quarterly.”