As the nation is feeling the bite of fuel subsidy removal, the 9th National Assembly management has started clearing members of the Senate and the House of Representatives for payment and collection of severance payments.
Yahaya Danzaria, the Clerk of the House, instructed ‘all honourable members to collect their clearance forms for the payment of severance gratuity from the Office of the Clerk to the House and submit same after completion in Annex Room 2.154 or 2.031, Finance and Accounts Directorate, on or before Friday, June 9, 2023’.
This has sparked outrage in some parts of the country. Many people have suggested that employers offer severance pay as part of their financial compensation for terminating or laying off employees. They question if the legislators lost their jobs, especially as some moved to other political positions. Others lament the insensivity of the political office holders to the plight of ordinary citizens, who, since the inauguration announcement of Bola Tinubu, have covered long distances on foot because of rising transport costs due to increased fuel prices.
Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila read out the clerk’s notification on the floor. In the 2023 Appropriations Act, more than N30 billion has been allotted for severance and welcome packages for departing and incoming members, as well as staff.
The 10th Assembly is scheduled to be inaugurated on June 13, 2023, whereas the 9th Assembly, which began on June 11, 2019, is anticipated to end by the first week in June.