N’Assem­bly Work­ers Threaten to Con­tinue Pick­et­ing

Ac­tion may dis­rupt bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion

THISDAY - - NEWSXTRA - Shola Oyeyipo

Leg­isla­tive ac­tiv­i­ties will again be paral­ysed next week if the de­mands of Na­tional Assem­bly work­ers un­der the aus­pices of Par­lia­men­tary Staff As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (PASAN) are not met till the re­sump­tion of ple­nary Tues­day.

PASAN chair­man, Mr. Musa Ba­ture, who made the dis­clo­sure Fri­day when he ad­dressed Na­tional Assem­bly me­dia cor­re­spon­dents, said work­ers were ready to ground leg­isla­tive busi­nesses at the Na­tional Assem­bly if their de­mands were not met.

If the work­ers make good their threat, the im­pli­ca­tion is that it may de­lay the pre­sen­ta­tion of the 2019 bud­get pro­posal ap­proved by Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari Fri­day dur­ing a spe­cial Fed­eral Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil (FEC) meet­ing.

The Minister of Bud­get and Plan­ning, Mr. Udoma Udoma, told state house cor­re­spon­dents that the coun­cil was now to li­aise with the Na­tional Assem­bly to get a date when the pres­i­dent would present the draft bud­get for the con­sid­er­a­tion of the Se­nate and the House of Representatives.

Mean­while, when ac­knowl­edg­ing ef­forts by the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship of the Na­tional Assem­bly to ad­dress the needs of work­ers, Ba­ture had noted that “The lead­er­ship of na­tional body of PASAN as well as zonal lead­er­ship and mem­bers of the two chap­ters that makes up FCT, we will still go ahead with in­dus­trial ac­tions if our de­mands are not met as promised.

“It’ is based on as­sur­ances by po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship that the union in its emer­gency congress held last Wed­nes­day re­solved to sus­pend the pick­et­ing for two days as a mark of re­spect for the Se­nate Pres­i­dent and Speaker of the House.

“The pick­et­ing and pend­ing strike ac­tion is pred­i­cated on Con­sol­i­dated Salary Struc­ture, which was ap­proved for NASS staff since July 2010 and only 28 per cent was ap­proved till date.

“Also the con­di­tion of ser­vice and pro­mo­tion, con­ver­sion and up­grad­ing are in the kitty for ne­go­ti­a­tions. We have tabled the is­sue of train­ing for leg­isla­tive staff as this is piv­otal if our democ­racy must ad­vance.”

The House of Representatives Thurs­day sum­moned the Minister of Fi­nance, Zainab Ahmed, over the re­cent protest by PASAN mem­bers, which pre­vented leg­isla­tive busi­ness last Tues­day.

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