- Category: Politics
- Published on Friday, 15 July 2011 03:55
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1014
THE National Assembly Commission, the bureaucracy of the federal parliament, is set to stop Senators and members of the House of Representatives who allegedly engage in sharp practices in the employment of legislative aides.
Some of the lawmakers have been accused of hiring their wives and children as aides, among other alleged malpractices.
Many of them were also said to have put the names of their extended family members in their documentation, thereby collecting an additional N2 million each, monthly, meant for their official workers.
While a Senator is entitled to seven aides, including a Senior Legislative Aide (SLA), with a salary equivalent to that of a Grade Level 16 officer in the Federal Civil Service, a Representative is entitled to five aides, also to be paid by the commission.
While some of the aides were reportedly mandated by their bosses to enter into an arrangement where they collect their original salary, but take a little percentage for them, others are regarded as contract aides with paltry take-home.
In fact, many of the aides who are bitter with their bosses narrated how some with 10 years post-graduation experience are receiving N30,000 each directly from the lawmakers instead of N120,000 monthly they are officially entitled to.
Worried by the ugly trend, the NASS Commission is said to have concluded plans to embark on a mass interview exercise for all those enlisted by the lawmakers.
An informed source at the commission confirmed that the date of the exercise, which will soon be communicated through a circular to the aides via their respective bosses, will be followed by a table of payment at each quarter.
Again, all aides are being compelled by the commission to submit original copies of their credentials as some of them have been discovered to be placed on bogus salary scale not commensurate to their educational background.
Having being fed up with several complaints from the hapless workers, it was confirmed that part of sanctions that may be imposed on erring lawmakers include stopping the salary of aides, whose employment details are doubtful.
It was also confirmed that a special team set up by the commission to begin unscheduled visits to the duty posts of the aides to ascertain the veracity of their claims has been set up.
Sharp practices by most of the lawmakers became a norm shortly after their quarterly allowances were reduced by 40 last month.
A lawmaker told us in confidence that the practice is another strategy by some of his colleagues to rev up their slashed pay.
Yesterday, the first move of the commission to check the lawmakers was the commencement of head-count for all the aides and a two-week ultimatum for others to report at their duty-posts.
Already, the move is sending jitters down the spine of the lawmakers who are now opening a series of dialogue and agreements with their aides in order not to expose them further. (Nigerian Compass)