• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Workers protest, allege Anambra Assembly use NYSC members instead of civil servants 

By Emmanuel Ndukuba, Awka
The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Anambra Chapter on Tuesday protested against the State Assembly over the usage of members of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving under the State Assembly Commission to convey illegal legislative sitting and legislative functions.
The leadership of the Anambra State House of Assembly decided to engage the members of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) attached to the House of Assembly, having observed that the real workers under the auspices of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Anambra Chapter were on strike due to poor remuneration and demand for improved members’ welfare.
Staging a peaceful protest on Tuesday in Awka,  Anambra State Capital, which was based on their demands for improved members’ welfare, obtainable in other States of the Federation, PASAN stated that the Assembly Complex is unkept with killing of reptiles on daily basis over negligence of the House management.
According to Promise Chijioke Onwukwe, PASAN Deputy National President, members of Anambra PASAN embarked on the protest because of the insensitivity of the lawmakers to them as they have failed in its responsibilities to workers.
“We are talking about the payment of enhanced salary called CONYLESS, staff training, provision of laptops, establishment of ICT unit, employment of more staff and utility vehicles for the Assembly. You go to collect or submit mail; you will trek from one office to the other under the Sun while those that you are working for are cruising in air-conditioned vehicles.
“It might not be far from the truth that Governor Charles Soludo may have provided all these things, but they are nowhere to be found and this is unfortunate.
“Go round the Assembly compound, you will see that it has been overgrown by grasses and staff of the Assembly killing all manner of reptiles, snakes and scorpions almost every week and that shows that this place is not conducive to work.
“The lawmakers think only about themselves and treating us as slaves. We don’t enjoy all the salaries and allowances as the other states do. What they only give to us is the N1000 outfit allowances.

The workers disrupt legislative activities – Assembly. 

The Legislative Arm of Anambra State Government has failed us. The honourable members talk about their welfare, and neglecting their staff. They also barred staff from Administration of duty in the State. They are borrowing Corpers (NYSC members) to work with in the House”, he said.

Also speaking Okoye Abraham, Anambra State Chairman of PASAN, said initially, the House had only three NYSC members and immediately they commenced strike, they got more to replace them.

“We had only three Corpers deployed to the House, and for the House to sit, it must have 15 of us and instead of them addressing our problem they decided to get more Corpers to carry out the business of the House,” he said.

Reacting, the Majority Leader of the House, Ikenna Sylvester dismissed their claims accusing them of disrupting the activities of the legislature.

“It is only the Anambra state PASAN that is on strike and they are not on strike because their statutory payment are not being paid . They are on strike because they are talking about their welfare which has to do with their allowances and what are the allowances for?

“It has to do with the internal payment which you need to settle based on the status or the area that you are working.

“In as much as you are asking for allowance you need to be in the compound where you are working so that we can have the opportunity to know exactly what you are doing and your number and take decisions on what is needed and render the services expected of them.

“To crown it all, this is Anambra State House of Assembly and most of those staff are strictly under the office of the Head of Service, and they are posted to come and work with the State Assembly members.

“They are duty bound to listen to where they are posted and know exactly what they are expected to do and if they don’t want to work at the House of Assembly, they are free to go back to the Head of Service and not to come here to disrupt the activities of the House of Assembly,” he said.