Group tasks Senate on passage of Harmonised Retirement Age of Staff of NASS Bill

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A Civil Society Organisation, Nigeria Good Governance Research Centre, has called on the Senate to urgently tow the line of the House of Representatives by passing the “Harmonised Retirement Age of Staff of National Assembly Bill”.

This was contained in a statement issued by its Executive Director, Comrade Igbotako Nowinta at the weekend, the group asserted that:

“As keen watchers of the affairs of the National Assembly, and also as concerned patriots of our country, the Nigeria Good Governance Research Centre, is bringing to the door steps of public opinion, an issue that is of tremendous importance to the health and well bein of the highest legislative body in Nigeria.

“On Monday, 4th of December, 2023, the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) held an epochal meeting at the Senate Conference room, in Abuja, and subsequently came out with a communique that swallowed hook, line and sinker the need for five (5) years extension of service of staff of the National Assembly.

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“In taking that historic decision PASAN’s Congress adopted the planned extension of 5 years in service for her teeming members as a wonderful way to give its staff the opportunity of growth for better service delivery within the system; such as it is obtainable in civilized parliamentary democracy globally.

“The following officials appended their signatures to that fantastic document: Omagu Godwin – Chairman; Gideon Nwaogu – Secretary; Sani Rabiat – Member; Millicent Laz -Eke – Member; Mr. Okpekor N. Okpa – Member.

“When the Bill: “Harmonized Retirement Age of Staff of National Assembly Bill” was navigating through the House of Representatives, a public hearing was conducted with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in attendance including yours sincerely; The Federal Civil Service, the Nigerian Union of Teachers ( NUT), the National Judicial commission (NJC) and others stakeholders were all around to scrutinise the Bill. No vested interests raised any objection at that level.

“Now, that the same bill is now to be looked at the Senate, it is most absurd that a few individuals are frantically attempting to blow up a great process they had collectively and passionately supported in the past. Why now; why trying to scuttle the superior position taken by PASAN’s congress; why this sudden fire – breathing approach a process genuinely meant to be of immense benefits to the staff of the National Assembly?

“That these disgruntled, shameless, inconsistent elements are now shouting aloud that this proposed bill is being opposed by faceless Junior staff of the same National Assembly, is most laughable, unprogressive, self serving and ridiculous. It shows clearly that they are being sponsored by some desperate personalities who are hell bent on getting to the cockpit of the highest bureaucratic seat in the National Assembly.

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“It is therefore, on this note that we decided to come out to oppose and anathemise stridently those paid actors working assiduously to kill this laudable Bill; we are gravely concerned because this is an issue that genuinely touches the over all well being of staff of the National Assembly nay the long time robust sustainability of progressive capacity of staff.

“We will not allow this brazen attempt to subvert and obstruct the superior will of PASAN’s congress; this unfortunate efforts to generate climate of tension and acrimony within the National Assembly, where it is non existence is doomed to collapse.

“Those few gangs of men taking out their spleen against this process; those fanning the ambers of rebellion or conjuring artificial atmosphere of tension, precipitied by bile self interests; exhibiting or show casing meanest aspirations of the few are suffering from moral failure and they should be ignored by the relevant stakeholders within the National Assembly.

“Simply put, any remote or direct conspiracy from any quarter against this Bill should never be allowed to stand.

“For us the present position of few over ambitious individuals is like trying to use bare hands to halt a progressive moving train for the staff of the National Assembly; and this is passionately calling on the Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, and other heavyweights within the National Assembly and beyond to do the needful by ensuring uncompromisingly and indefatigably that this proposed legislation: “Harmonized Retirement Age of Staff of National Assembly Bill”, is passed smoothly for the benefit of posterity and posterity.

“The Senate should not fail or falter in patriotically towing the magnificent line already taken by the House of Representatives.

“The acceptable school of thoughts in this direction is that if this bill sees the light of the day, it will germinate into a scenario of meaningful and comprehensive development of the nation’s highest legislative organ.

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