Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has assured legislative aides and members of the 7th National Assembly that the payment of their severance allowance will soon commence.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu said all efforts were being made to ensure that the former aides are paid their entitlements, and attributed the delay to the non-release of the funds by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
The National Assembly had on December 1, 2015 passed the N575 billion supplementary budget presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, out of which N10.6 billion was allocated for the settlement of the severance benefits of the legislative aides and members of the Seventh National Assembly. Five billion Naira is earmarked for severance allowance of ex-legislative aides
It will be recalled that the tenure of the 2015 appropriation bill has been extended till March this year by the Federal Legislature.
However, several weeks after the budget was assented to, by Buhari, the former aides were yet to be paid, a situation that prompted the aggrieved beneficiaries to stage a protest last week at the National Assembly complex.
Saraki, according to the statement assured that,”as soon as the money is released, all the beneficiaries will be paid promptly. The request has already been made by the National Assembly management.
“As Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, I share in the plight of the aides of my colleagues, and I will ensure that their case is fast-tracked to ease their present difficulties,” the Senate President assured.
Both the Chairman of the Senate Services Committee, Senator Abdullahi Gobir and the Director of Information and Publications, Mr. Ishaku Dibal have confirmed to the Senate President that the delay in the payment was due to the non-release of the fund by the Finance Ministry, assuring that payments would commence as soon as the money is made available.