With strong indications, the looming brouhaha in the National Assembly, over the alleged tenure elongation of the Clerk, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, may soon end, with the search for his replacement.

The situation which has created discord in the rank and file of the National Assembly bureaucracy
started since the current Clerk to the National Assembly assumed office.

It was gathered that as part of moves to end the crisis, the leadership of the National Assembly has decided to replace the Sani- Omolori, even as there are plans to reverse the retirement age and conditions of service controversy.

The condition of service of staff of the House was amended at the end of the 8th National Assembly, where a Bill titled ‘Retirement age and conditions of service’, was ‘smuggled’ in by the last leadership.

The document has it that the retirement age for civil servants in the National Assembly was moved from 35 to 40 years. The retirement age was upgraded from 60 to 65 years.

It was learnt that the ‘amended’ rule was being implemented, despite the fact that it wasn’t passed by both chambers of the 8th Assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In accordance to details of the controversial document, the Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani-Omolori and about 150 officers are expected to remain in office for another four to five years, despite attaining the legal age of retirement.

It was gathered that the newly-inaugurated board of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), upon resumption, set up a Committee to re-examine the implementation of the controversial Harmonised Retirement Age of the Staff of the National Assembly Service.

The Committee is said to have submitted its report and has removed the controversial five-year tenure elongation of the Clerk, Sani-Omolori and over 150 other senior staff.

Addressing the development, Chairmen of National Assembly and NASC chapters of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Sunday Sabiyi and Ojemeri Oisamaye, in a letter addressed to the chairman of NASC, Ahmed Amshi, urged him to invoke the powers of the Commission. The letter read in parts: “We strongly implore the Commission to invoke its powers, in line with Sections 6(8), 7(1)(b) and 19 as well other relevant sections of the NASC Act, 2014, to holistically review the conditions of service and streamline the irregularities found therein.”

According to them, at no time did they support the tenure elongation of the Clerk and other senior staff due for retirement.

In the meantime, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan and Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila are said to be looking forward to appointing persons from the North East and South-West respectively.

It was also gathered that the current permanent Secretary in charge of legal matters for National Assembly, Bala Mohammed Yabani has been tipped as the next Clerk to the National Assembly. Also, Arc Olatunde Ojo Amos who is the current Permanent Secretary, Estate and works/Procurement is among the persons reportedly tipped to be the Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly. The present Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewor is also being tipped to be the Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly. Also, Adebanjo Ademola, who is a Director in the National Assembly and a former liaison officer in Lagos, is being considered for the Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly too.

Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS)on Wednesday, has invited the Chairman of the Commission, Amshi and union leaders of PASAN, National Assembly chapters to its office.

Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi

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