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.
Reacting to the demise of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I, Dr. Saraki, who on Wednesday expressed sadness over the news, in a statement by Olaniyonu, in Abuja, said the late Olubadan was a great and courageous monarch who fought valiantly to preserve the dignity of the Ibadan traditional stool and by extension the nation’s traditional institution.
He described the late traditional ruler as a highly accomplished parliamentarian, frontline politician and a statesman who was a member of the Federal House of Representatives in the First Republic and remained till his death a role model for current members of the parliament at state and federal levels.
The late Olubadan, the Senate President stated, was a personality who became an inspiration to the entire Yoruba nation in particular and the country in general.
Saraki said: “Looking at the life and times of the late Olubadan, I cannot but hold my breath considering his achievements. This was a man who started as a Clerk, became a Teacher, Soldier, Politician, Educationist, Parliamentarian, Philanthropist and first class traditional ruler in a span of about 100 years. I will simply say he lived a worthy and exemplary life. His was a true life story of grass to grace. This I believe would remain a great source of inspiration to all of us and the upcoming generation.”
He commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased, the nation’s traditional institution, the government and people of Oyo State and the entire Yorubaland; and prayed God to grant the soul of the late monarch sweet repose.
He urged the family of the late Monarch and all those in grief over the death to take solace in the fact that the late Olubadan lived life to the full and made positive impact on all those who met or were close to him during his life time.