Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance is expected to appear before the House of Representatives over alleged discriminatory implementation of the 2018 Appropriation Act.
Recall that the House had penultimate week frowned at the non-release of budgetary allocation to the Judicial arm of government.
The lawmakers during Thursday plenary session on the motion over the recent picketing of National Assembly by members of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), frowned at the non-release of funds to the management of National Assembly for the payment of 28% increment captured in the Appropriation Act.
In his lead debate, Edward Pwajok, chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business explained that the non-payment of the workers benefits is as result of the the low level of implementation of the 2018 budget.
“The National Assembly and judiciary are on First Line Charge and so there ought to be full implementation of the budget of the two arms of National Assembly,” Pwajok said.
Speaking on the resolution of the House, Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, argued that the picketing carried out by the aggrieved workers was not against the leadership of the National Assembly but management of National Assembly.
While noting that the workers acted in ignorance of the provisions of Legislative House (Powers and Privileges) Act by preventing federal lawmakers from carrying out their constitutional functions and blocking the entrance of the Senate and House chamber, Namdas observed that both chambers resolved to intervene in the crisis considering the
crucial roles being played by the Parliamentary workers.
He said: “The increment that people are talking about is not for salaries, it’s about 28 percent. We have called the Finance Minister to appear before us because this money was captured in the 2018 budget. But unfortunately it has not been released.
“We have summoned the minister to come and explain why resources have not been released. We will need a well equipped management staff. The protest is not against the leadership of the National Assembly.
“The National Assembly is structured in such a way that the Senate has its own fund; the House of Reps has its own fund and the management has its own fund. None of the two presiding officers have access to the funds of the management.
“We are not supposed to be fighting people working with us. We care for them. But they should follow due process,” the Adamawa lawmaker said.
While responding to questions on the delay in passage of the 2019-2021 Medium Term expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), Namdas assured that necessary legislative action is being taken to ensure passage of the document.
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