From James Ojo, Abuja.
A showdown is imminent between presiding officers and management of the National Assembly over a three month unpaid salaries of political aides appointed by the officers.
Both the presiding officers and principal officers were permitted by the Revenue Mobilization, Fiscal and Allocation Commission (RMFAC) to appoint specific number of aides who were placed on consolidated scale of remuneration.
Since the beginning of the 8th assembly, it was gathered that the management had not found it easy paying the salaries of the aides and that of established workers due to paucity of cash flow.
It was confirmed at the weekend that the last time political aides, appointed by the presiding and principal officers, received their salaries was in December, while those who were given letters of appointment since January were yet to be paid a dime.
What is fueling the crisis, according to a National Assembly source, was the rejection of a proposal by the management to the principal officers to reduce the numbers of aides.
Daily Sun was informed that the proposal could not scale through because of the political backlash of such moves since most of the aides were either nominated nor imposed on the principal officers by political and religion godfathers, friends, schoolmates and family friends, including in-laws.
“Majority of the aides got appointed through godfathers, many were imposed, so it will be difficult to go back home to say no more jobs when some had collected salaries.
In fact, it is like committing political harakiri,” the source explained.
As at yesterday, it was learnt that the management had came up with another option of opting out of the Consolidated salary scale, which would allow the management to carry out a downward review of salaries and emoluments.
“We have been informed that there will be a cut in our salaries, although we have not been issued with a letter to back it up, but it is a reality that we will not enjoy the salaries of our predecessors, it is that bad but then it is better than nothing,” one of the aides who resumed in January said.
Also, the review is expected to affect the quarterly allowances for transport and training for political aides, the top management revealed.
According to him, the management is yet to strike a balance on the number of training sessions that would be organized for the aides as everything is been done to reduce overhead cost.
National Assembly director of information and publication, Mr Ishaku DIbal, could not be reached on his mobile phones to get the reactions of the management on the matter. Sun