Heated Debates as Reps Speaker Averts Rowdy Session over NASS Staff

Paschal Emeka, Abuja

House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday stepped down a bill for an Act to Amend the Pension Reforms Act,2014 which seeks to Exclude/Exempt the National Assembly Service Commission from the Contributory Pension Scheme and Establish the National Assembly (NASS) Service Pension Board: and for Related Matters.HB.2025.

The Bill was presented for a third reading during plenary but most members who spoke during the debate alleged that those who want the Bill passed for the third reading does not meant well for workers at the National Assembly Service Commission, NASC.

In his line of debate on the Bill, the Deputy Chairman House Committee on Pension,
Hon. Bamidele Salami informed the House that he will be the last person to support such a Bill as he had consistently moved several motions in the floor for the welfare and promotion of packages for workers in the country.

Hon. Salam further expressed disappointment over the presentation of the bill at the floor for passage adding that exemption of National Assembly Service Commission, NASC staff from contributory pension scheme should not be considered.

He concluded by stating that any move to exempt NASC staff from the current contributory pension scheme and establish the National Assembly Service Pension Board might collapse the entire system.

Also, speaking during the debate was the deputy speaker of the house. Hon. Wase Idris who insisted that the Bill should be allowed to scale through third reading as all legislative procedures have been followed right from the first reading to the second Reading during plenaries.

Hon. Wase also disclosed that it is within the powers of the speaker of the House of
Representatives to decide whether or not the Bill should be presented for public hearing for more input from critical stakeholders or not.

Reacting, the speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila explained that lack of funds was a major reasons why public hearing on the Bill was not considered.

The Speaker further gave reasons why National Assembly staff should not be exempted from the contributory pension scheme in the country.

Hon. Gbajabiamila further used the opportunity of the heated debate at plenary to advise members not to take the mater personal promising to engage all stakeholders, such as Office of the Civil Service of the Federation, OHCSF for input.

Earlier during the debate at the plenary, the speaker had requested for an earlier motion through which proceedings of the Bill in question was carried out and noting that due procedures were followed.

In conclusion, the speaker directed the Chairman House Committee on Pension to meet with the Chairman House Committee on Business and Ethics and report back to the house in few days

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