Published January 5, 2021
Sunday Aborisade Abuja
Some of the 355 workers recruited since 2017 by the National Assembly Service Commission claimed on Monday that they were still expecting salaries.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that many of the affected workers had not received salaries since they were recruited more than three years ago .
It was learnt that the commission , sometime in 2017 , started the exercise to replace some members of staff who had either retired or left the service .
Some of those already in the system as legislative aides without letters of appointment applied .
Others who also applied were those who did their youth service in the National Assembly, but were still hanging around after the mandatory one year programme, looking for jobs .
Many of them were said to have been given letters of appointments , which were later withdrawn when no provision was made for their salaries.
The affected staff were said to have remained in the system for more than a year until July 2018 when the National Assembly Service Commission gave them fresh letters of appointment .
Some of the workers , who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity to avoid sanctions , however, said only a few of them were paid after the confirmation of their appointments .
A senior official of the NASC, who had earlier spoken to our correspondent on condition of anonymity , attributed the delay in the payment of the workers ’ salaries to declining revenue .
He had said, “ We employed about 250 people . Those who started in December 2017 started enjoying salaries three months after .
“ Those that were not employed by the National Assembly proper in 2017 were employed in July 2018 . They stayed for one year before they were asked to resume in 2019 .
“ I understand why their names were not captured in the 2018 budget; that was why it took about a year before we asked them to resume .
“ Many of them were still coming to the office even when their appointment letters had been withdrawn .
“ We begged them to wait till when their names would be captured in the budget. Some of them who were offering critical services were being paid stipends from our allowances . ”
But the Director, Public Affairs, at the NASC, Mrs Janet Mambula , on Monday said, “ The commission is already looking into the matter.”
When asked to throw more light on steps being taken and the number of those affected , Mambula said , “ When I say the commission is looking into it , just take it that we are working on it .”