Reps Receive March Salary, Defer COVID-19 Donation

Members of the House of Representatives have shifted the donation of their two months salaries to April and May this year. This was sequel to the payment of their March salaries against their earlier pledge. The members started receiving their salaries on Tuesday. It could be recalled that Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila had in a video message announced the donation of the two months salaries to aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation, he had said, will start from the March. Many members, however, received their payments without the deduction despite their promise to donate two months’ salaries to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

A member of the House who was paid his March salary disclosed to our reporter that many of his colleagues have equally received theirs. “The Speaker said March and April but members yesterday received March salaries. There’s seeming lack of coordination between the leadership and the clerk of NASS who’s responsible for transferring the funds,” he said. Another member, Solomon Maren (PDP, Plateau) confirmed that he was also paid his March salary. Shocked by the development, Maren contacted the Speaker about the development. The Clerk explained to the Speaker, that when the instruction for the deductions was given, it was late because the various banks have already prepared everything regarding the payment of salaries. “So, since it will not be reversed, the payment will now start from April and then May. You know, the banks are not working,” the lawmaker said. Reacting, the House spokesman, Benjamin Okezie Kali (APC, Abia) stated that the debit authorisation for the month had gone out in line with the standing debit order from the management of the National Assembly to the banks. If there are administrative technical hitches, it is not due to the fault of the members but a minor payment system error that will be corrected to effect our unanimous decision that supports the federal government during these trying times,” he said.

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