By Rose Onda
Legislative aides under the auspices of the “Concerned National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum” on Tuesday protested at the foyer of the National Assembly over unpaid salary arrears.
The aides stormed the foyer of the National Assembly carrying placards with various inscriptions.
They accused the Clerk to the National Assembly, Arc Olatunde Ojo, of failure to pay their salary arrears, implement Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS), minimum wage, Duty Tour Allowances (DTA), lack of training and Conditions of Service.
There was however drama when they sighted Speaker Femi Gbajabimila, who was on his way to the Chamber.
The protesters had relocated to the back entrance into the foyer of the National Assembly when they noticed the arrival of the Speaker and started chanting solidarity songs.
The Speaker, seeing the protesters, stopped and demanded to hear from their leaders.
Mr. Zebis Prince, who represents the South-South geopolitical zone of the group, told the Speaker that the aides want the CNA to meet their demands.
Some of the demands, according to Prince, include non-payment of the routine Duty Tour Allowance (DTA), lack of training, non-implementation of National Minimum Wage and the Consolidated Legislative Aides Salary Structure (CONLESS).
The Chairman, National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF), Comrade Salisu Zuru, later presented the written demands of the group to the Speaker.
Gbajabimila, after receiving the letter of demand, said it is “inexcusable” not to pay workers arrears dating back to 2019.
He said: “I believe that every labourer should be paid his wages. We are looking into it. While these things can be protracted, not paying wages of 2019 is inexcusable.
“We will look into it. I will just ask that you be patient. We plead for your understanding. We know there are financial constraints but one thing I know is this will be resolved amicably and your arrears will be paid.
“We appreciate you for bringing these demands to our attention and we will attend to it accordingly.