Ahead of fresh election for executives of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum ( NASSLAF), many Aides to some of the serving federal lawmakers have expressed interest.
One of the interested legislative aide eying the Chairmanship position of the body , is the Senior Legislative Aide to Senator Theodore Orji ( PDP Abia Central), Barrister Emeka Nwala .
Nwala at a press briefing on Wednesday at the premises of the National Assembly , describes aides of lawmakers as their engine room that drives their robust legislative activities.
According to him, in repositioning the entire membership of NASSLAF under his leadership for better performance, it will collaborate with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies ( NILDS) , for capacity building trainings from time to time .
” We shall also interface with management to ensure that the welfare of aides as well as their trainings , are given priority attention ” , he said .
He recalled how the forum overcame its teething problems in the 6th National Assembly, but got deteriorated in the 7th and 8th Assembly to the extent that allowances of aides became a non issue.
“The need to place all members of NASSLAF under one umbrella has long been canvassed and encapsulated in a formal body which kick started and achieved a lot on grounds in the 6th National Assembly.
“We in the executive rallied the support of all members within NASS complex and at the Constitutuencies to present cohesive and logical request to NASS management for consideration and implementation resulting in what members enjoyed in the 6th and part of 7th Assembly”, he explained.
He decried delayed salaries and allowances of aides, stressing that it was affecting their productivity, but commended the present leadership for their intervention in payment of severance packages of the 8th National Assembly legislative aides.
“I keenly watched the succeeding administrations of the 7th and 8th Assemblies and make bold to say that a lot went wrong and we all as members were the ultimate lovers.
“Salaries were delayed, allowances were deprived and denied, training became stories and non-issues as the main motive was sniffles. To worsen matters, Congress was muscled to lose its cohesion and voice.
” All these , will surely be things of the past if mandated to head the body by majority of the other legislative aides during the forth coming election”, he said.