By Henry Umoru
The National Assembly is at the moment witnessing serious power play between the clerk, Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori and chairman, National Assembly Service Commission, NASC, Ahmed Amshi.
The controversy revolves around the issue of retirement age of the clerk and 150 other directors at the National Assembly, just as Omolori and Amshi yesterday engaged each other in open disagreement, following notice of retirement issued to all senior staff due for retirement, including Omolori himself.
Rising from a meeting yesterday, NASC quickly announced the immediate retirement of the clerk and over 150 senior officials of the Assembly who had attained the retirement age.
According to NASC, it took such a decision in line with the National Assembly Service Act 2014 (as amended).
A statement signed by the Chairman of the commission, Engr. Ahmed Kadi Amshi, read: “Pursuant to its mandate as provided in the National Assembly Service Act 2014 (as amended), the National Assembly Service Commission at its 497th meeting held yesterday has approved the retirement age of the staff of the National Assembly Service as 35 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first.
“The commission has approved the immediate retirement of staff of the National Assembly Service who have already attained the retirement age of 35 years of service or 60 years of age. Retirement letters would be issued to the affected staff accordingly.”
Countering the statement by Amshi, Omolori in statement he personally signed, took a swipe at the commission, saying it had no powers to retire workers in the manner it had done.
Omolori’s statement read: “The Management of the National Assembly wishes to inform all staff and the general public that the extant regulation as contained in our Revised Conditions of Service duly passed by both Chambers of the 8th National Assembly puts the retirement age of staff at 40 years of service and 65 years of age whichever comes first.”
He said that the Resolution of the 8th National Assembly on the conditions of service of staff has not been rescinded nor abdicated by the National Assembly, who under the authentic National Assembly Service Act 2014 as passed, was empowered to review any proposed amendment to the conditions of service by the commission.
Omolori added: “Therefore, the National Assembly Service Commission does not have the powers to set aside the revised conditions of service as passed by the 8th National Assembly.”
According to him, the management has maintained silence in deference to the leadership of the 9th National Assembly which is looking into the position being canvassed by the .ommission.
“It is, therefore, intriguing that the National Assembly Service Commission has unilaterally gone ahead to take a decision.
“Management urges all staff to disregard the press release by the commission and go about their lawful duties. “
Meanwhile, the in-fighting is creating serious cracks in the leadership of the National Assembly as the House of Representatives insisted last month on retaining its resolution that extended the tenure of the National Assembly Clerk, Alhaji Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori and some 150 top officials of the Assembly.
It was gathered that the decision may have destroyed the cordial relationship between the two chambers as the Senate leadership is reportedly seeking the reversal of that resolution to enable the National Assembly Service Commission terminate the tenure extension.
The House of Representatives rejected a memo by the National Assembly Service Commission seeking to cancel parts of the resolution, particularly the one relating to the extension of retirement age of Omolori and other officials.
Both chambers of the National Assembly had in 2018 debated and approved the new conditions of service for National Assembly Staff, which included the extension of tenure.
As a result of the amendment of the National Assembly’s condition of service, the retirement age for public servants in the National Assembly was moved from 35 to 40 years, while the retirement age was upgraded from 60 to 65 years.
About Article Author