Members of the Nigerian House of Assembly have started receiving payment of their March salaries against their earlier donation towards coronavirus fight.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had in a video message announced that every house of reps members will donate their two months salaries to aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, starting from March.
However, many reps members started receiving their March payments on Tuesday, despite their earlier pledge of forfeiture.
According to Daily Trust, a member of the House who has received his March salary, said 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.