By Archibong Jeremiah, House of Assembly Correspondent
Legislative Aides to Honorable members of the Cross River State House of Assembly have revealed to CrossRiverWatch that eight months after the commencement of the 8th Assembly, they still don’t know their fate.
In separate confessions, most of them who spoke to our House of Assembly correspondent under anonymity said that they have not been paid any of their entitlement till date neither have they been given letters of employment.
One aide who works with a member from the Southern Senatorial districts said, “Each member is allowed to have two aides and they are to be gazetted but as we speak there is no news and any head way for us being gazetted not to talk of our statutory pay, all the money we get are from the pocket of our bosses and they are peanuts”.
Another aide also said, “Okay they said they are working on a law that will make us be at par with out counterparts in the civil service and be placed on same salary structure but as we speak we don’t know anything about the proposed law which is said, will be permanent”.
“Even if they want to make things better for us, they should take it one step at a time and in this case they should gazette us first while the law is on the floor of the House then push for His Excellency’s ascent, then we will say well done not trying to do everything at a time.”
Generally, most of them who spoke, all appealed to the House leadership to quickly intervene because according to them they have exhausted their savings and are almost stranded with some wishing they can get jobs elsewhere and stop deceiving themselves that they have appointments when they have neither letters of appointment nor regular pay.
When CrossRiverWatch contacted some members of the House, they also complained of serious funding issues for the House that have limited their ability to meet the demands of their aides.
One member who also didn’t want to be named said “We are having serious funding issues, to be honest. There is no money. Then there is the issue of legislation. I don’t think that the bills for these appointees were factored into the 2015 Appropriation, now that the 2016 budget has been passed, I think things will change significantly.”
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