June 15, 2024

Anambra assembly staff embark on indefinite strike over poor salaries, service conditions

Members of staff of the Anambra State House of Assembly have embarked on an indefinite strike over various entitlements and poor conditions of service.

The staff, on the platform of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), carried placards and banners during a peaceful protest to the assembly complex on Tuesday.

They also moved to the state secretariat, chanting solidarity songs and demanding their entitlements.

The workers accused lawmakers of recruiting corps members to perform their duties instead of paying them.

Deputy National President of PASAN, Comrade Promise Chijioke Onwukwe, who led the protest, said: “We had embarked on this strike before, but the Conference of Speakers of the 36 state assemblies and the Governor’s Forum appealed to us that all our entitlements would be settled, but here in Anambra State, nothing has been done.”

The workers said they were protesting against a lack of enhanced salaries called CONYRESS, staff training, laptops, ICT unit in the complex, utility vehicles, and also calling for the employment of more staff.

“You go to collect or submit mail, and you will be trekking 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 Gov Charles Soludo may have provided all these things, but they are nowhere to be found and this is unfortunate.

“Go round the complex, you will see that it has been overgrown with grasses and staff kill all manner of reptiles, snakes and scorpions almost every week.

Reacting to the allegations, the Majority Leader of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Ikenna Ofodeme, said the claims were untrue.

“It is only the Anambra State PASAN that is on strike and they are not on strike because their statutory payments are not being paid, they are on strike because they are talking about their welfare, which has to do with their allowances.

“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. 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.

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