Sherif Oborevwori, Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly.
All is not well in the Delta State House of Assembly Service Commission (DTHSC) where palpable indignation, discontent, dejection and dissatisfaction has formed in the psyche of the workers who feel discriminated against, ill-treated, sidelined and unrecognized by the leadership of the State House of Assembly.
In a desperate move to redress the situation, the workers today gave a five-day ultimatum to the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori within which to take immediate steps to address issues of concern to the workers.
Workers in the HASC are demanding that the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oborevwori take urgent steps to ease the discrimination against the Commission and the staff working in the Commission by ensuring that the commission is part and parcel of the Financial Autonomy of the Legislature.
That he should eliminate and put an end to all policies and actions that tend to promote discrimination, inferiority complex and distinction between the staff of the Assembly and the Commission, within the same Legislative service.
This state of affairs was made known in a Press Release entitled “A Passionate Appeal to Redress Identified Anomalies in the Legislative Service,” issued by the workers of the Assembly Service Commission at an emergency meeting held today in the commission’s hall in Asaba.
In the resolution, the workers demanded of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff oborevwori to respond and take immediate steps as the head of the legislature to address the issues raised by the staff within one week to avoid downing tools avoid downing tools at the Commission.
Full text of the Press Release reads:
The staff of the Delta State House of assembly Service Commission held an emergency meeting Monday, Tuesday 7th October, 2019, and resolved as follows:
i. That despite the provisions of the House of Assembly Law 2013, Section 10, sub-section 1-11, and Section 19, sun-section 1-3, which makes all staff, whether working in the Assembly or the Commission, staff of the Commission, being the statutory body empowered by the Law to employ staff to service the legislative bureaucratic apparatus. It is now evident that either by omission or commission, there are now two services, the Assembly service and the Commission Service, a situation not envisaged by the law.
ii. There is a wide gulf of difference between the staff and the enabling working environment of the Assembly and the Commission, the two statutory organs of the Legislature.
iii. There is differential imprest regime operational and enjoyed by staff of coordinate status of the Assembly and the Commission.
iv. The unexpected exclusion of the Commission from the House of Assembly Fund management Law 2018, even though the Commission is part of the Legislature.
v. The unclear place of the Commission in the Financial Autonomy regime for the Legislature.
vi. That the cumulative effects of these observations have created acrimony, disaffection, frustration, ill feeling, demoralization, bad blood, low esteem and complaints. The totality of these issues, is epitomized by the feeling of staff viewing posting to the Commission as place to serve punishment for real or imagined offence and not a place to work.
At the meeting, it was resolved that the Rt. Hon. Speaker should without delay urgently correct and address these anomalies to forestall breakdown of law and order.
i. Take steps to ensure the Commission is part and parcel of the financial autonomy of the Legislature.
ii. That the 2020 budget of the Commission be subsumed into the budget of the Assembly to form one line 2020 Budget of the Legislature in line with best practices.
iii. The relocation of the Commission’s office to more secure and befitting environment.
iv. Harmonization of the imprest accruable to all staff of coordinate status whether in the Assembly or Commission.
v. To eliminate and put an end to all policies and actions that tend to promote discrimination, inferiority complex and distinction between the staff of the Assembly and the Commission, within the same Legislative service.
vi. A clear policy statement affirming that the Commission is part of the Legislature and therefore covered by the relevant institutional laws, policies and benefits as it affects the Legislature.
The meeting resolved and demanded that the Rt. Hon. Speaker respond and take immediate steps as the Head of the Legislature to address the issues raised within one week to avoid downing tools at the Commission.
The meeting resolved and noted that the Rt. Hon. Speaker has the capacity and the ability to reposition the legislature, the Service and the Coordinate organs of the Legislature, the assembly and the Commission to attain an enviable height in the community of Assemblies and Commissions in Nigeria, and he is therefore, humbly urged to do the needful for posterity and write his name in the sands of time.