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FG rejects delegates’ request for aides’ allowance

Former Chief Justice of Nigeria and chairman of the conference, retired Justice Idris Kutigi

The Federal Government has rebuffed request by some of the delegates to the ongoing national conference that their personal aides be paid by the government.

Each of the delegates are to receive N12m for the three months exercise.

The allowance include money for accommodation, transportation, part of feeding (the delegates are to have free lunch at the venue of the conference.

However, the delegates are expected to have aides such as drivers and personal assistants in order to ease their works and movements.

However, investigations by  one of our correspondents showed that some of the delegates met in Abuja on Monday shortly after the inauguration of the conference by President Goodluck Jonathan where the welfare of their aides was discussed.

The delegates, it was gathered, wanted the Federal Government to take over the allowances of their aides.

While some of them at the informal meeting said that the issue be raised during plenary, thinking that the N12m was meant for them and not their aides, a few of them were said to have disagreed.

One of the delegates, who was at the meeting, confided in our correspondent that the organisers of the conference ought to inform them about the number of aides they were to employ and who would be responsible for their salaries.

Another delegate was said to have given an example of the members of the National Assembly whose aides he said, were being paid by the Federal Government.

“This does not affect the salaries and allowances of these lawmakers,” one of the delegates argued.

At the inaugural sitting on Tuesday, a delegate from Jigawa State, Senator Mohammed Jibrin, asked the leadership of the conference to tell the delegates the number of aides each of them were expected to have.

 “We need to know the number of aides we are to employ,” he demanded.

Another delegate, a lady also asked the management of the conference who was going to be responsible for the welfare of their aides.

In her response, the Conference Secretary, Mrs. Valeria Azinge, said there was no provision for personal aides of the delegates.

She informed the delegates that the Federal Government had monetised their  accommodation, transportation and sitting allowances.

“You will all receive your pay slips in two weeks intervals and we won’t disclose what is paid to you in the open. Each and every one of you is however free to divulge it, but that will not come from us,” Azinge said.

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