A human right activist, Victor Egwim, says the moves in some quarters to obstruct the implementation of the revised National Assembly (NASS) condition of service for workers is not in the interest of national development.
Egwim, in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos, said such moves were anti-democratic, adding that the move would hinder progress.
He called on the Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, to intervene on the issue toward restoring normalcy at the assembly.
“The new regulation has been in operation since the eighth Assembly and currently being adopted at the State Houses of Assembly.
“The revised condition of service was targeted at putting the Nigeria parliamentary workers at par with international standards,” he said.
Egwim pointed out that the call for suspension of the reviewed conditions of service was also a calculated attempt at overturning the achievement, adding the current leadership should be commended for its innovation.
According to him, the current Senate President and the Speaker were leaders of the House when the amendment of the new condition of service was made.
“During this period, when the report got to the Senate, they thought it wise to make it 40 years of service and 65 years retirement age.
“We all know that the legislature is the youngest arm of government, because it is just about 21 years old, as it took effect when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo became the President, while the Executive and the Judiciary have been in existence since 1960.
“They discovered that the retirement age of 35 years in service and 60 years old do not allow the officers to give back to the commission after they had been trained.
“This is because when they are supposed to be at the peak of their service, they would be exiting the service as a result of their retirement age.
“However, the commission ends up calling them back as consultants and pay them 10 times more than their annual salaries, which is not healthy for the nation.
“Moreover, the union embraced it and agreed that it is better to extend service years instead of wasting money to hire them as consultants after retirement, so that they can render the services needed maximally before they can retire,” he said.
Egwim noted that the NASS leadership agreed and made the amendment, saying the amendment was for the benefit of the service, and not for any specific individual.
According to him, the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) initiated the amendment through the 5th National Assembly Service Commission, and presented it to the 8th National Assembly.
He said it was gazetted after it passed through the required due process, adding that the new regulation had been in operation since May 2019, and currently being domesticated at the State Houses of Assembly. (NAN)
– Jun. 3, 2020 @ 13:59 GMT |