The lobby of the National Assembly complex was on Thursday jammed with thousands of job seekers who thronged the legislative building to secure employment with newly inaugurated lawmakers.
Majority of the job seekers were those whose employment just ended with the dissolution of the 8th Assembly last week Thursday.
The Nigerians who came from all parts of the country were a mixture of both former legislative aides, senior legislative aides and secretaries to former lawmakers in the House and the Senate.
The sheer number overwhelmed the Assembly security personnel who attempted to close doors leading to lawmakers’ offices against the loitering unemployed Nigerians.
It has become a usual sight every four years, especially for those not lucky enough to have their bosses re-elected back to the National Assembly. The rules of both chambers provide that each lawmaker is entitled to at least five aides in Abuja and their constituency offices.
The practice is that all aides employed by lawmakers are captured in the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) data base from where their remunerations are paid.
However, Nigerian lawmakers have over the years devised means of subverting the process by electing to pay the aides from their pockets, salaries far lower than what is approved by the NASC.
The aides so employed are taken advantage of as less than half of what is due to them is paid at the end of every month.
Some lawmakers have been alleged to have forced their Abuja-based aides to share their salaries with those in their constituency offices while the lawmakers pocketed what was meant to service the constituency-based aides.
A senior legislative aide (SLA) (consolidated) is entitled to earn between N500,000 and N600,000 monthly, including allowances, while a legislative aide (LA) is entitled to earn between N250,000 and N300,000, including allowances.
But some lawmakers have perfected the art of short-changing them for their relations and children whose names are sent to the NASC for appointment letters.
However, different persons are called to sign for the letters and do documentation posing as the real bearers of names on the appointment letters.
In the end, monies paid into bank accounts submitted by the lawmakers as belonging to their real bearers of the letters would be taken with as little as 40,000 or 50,000 or N60,000 paid to the ones who do the actual work of legislative aides.
Some of the job seekers who spoke to Daily Independent said they found themselves in the situation every four years due to crippling unemployment in the country.
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