No tenure extension for top management staff of National Assembly, says Gbajabiamila

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Nigeria's Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila
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Idowu Sowunmi

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Thursday denied authorising a letter by his Chief of Staff, Sanusi Rikiji, in which the leadership of the House purportedly insisted on an amended National Assembly Condition of Service seeking service extension for top management staff.

A memo by Gbajabiamila’s Chief of Staff, dated June 3, 2020, with reference number: NASS/SPK/ADM/VOL.1/520, had surfaced online on Wednesday night.

In the letter, Rikiji said the leadership of the chamber was opposed to the position of the National Assembly Service Commission which removes the clause extending the services of the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, and 150 other management and senior staff members.

In his letter titled: “Re: Forwarding of Memorandum on the Review of Conditions of Service for the National Assembly Service,” Gbajabiamila said the House could not rescind the 8th Assembly’s resolution on the retirement age of National Assembly staff just like that.

“I am directed by the entire leadership of the House of Representatives to acknowledge the receipt of your letter on the above dated 01 June 2020 vide NASC/CHO/IPS/II/Il/94 and have deliberated on it.

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“I am further directed to inform you that the entire leadership of the House of Representatives cannot rescind the 8th Assembly’s resolution on the retirement age of National Assembly staff.

“Therefore, the House of Representatives maintains the position of the 8th Assembly as contained in the conditions of service jointly passed by that Assembly.

“Please accept the assurances of our regards,” the letter read.

It would be recalled that the speaker, in a statement on Wednesday night, said he did not direct issuance of the letter.

The statement said: “The attention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has been drawn to a letter purportedly emanating from his office allegedly stating his endorsement of the new Condition of Service for National Assembly Staff passed by the 8th Assembly.

“The Speaker wishes to inform the general public that there was no time he directed issuance of such purported letter from his office as there is a recognised and authorised channel for all correspondences and resolutions reached by the House or its leadership.

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“The Speaker also wishes to call on the general public to disregard the letter and always rely on official communication channels of the House for news on the position of the House on any matter.”