13th September, 2023
By Femi Ogunshola
The House of Representatives has rejected a remark made by Mr. Christopher Onyeka, National Assistant General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), that each member received N100 million as a palliative.
Rep. Akin Rotimi, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, made the announcement in Abuja on Wednesday.
Onyeka said that the executive arm provided N100 million in palliatives to National Assembly (NASS) members.
Rotimi dismissed the accusation as unfounded and lacking in factual accuracy, noting that transparency and truth in public dialogue were essential for a healthy democracy.
He questioned if Onyeka was representing the NLC’s official position on the issue but emphasised the importance of correcting such disinformation.
“We state categorically that Onyeka lied in his claim that National Assembly members were given N100m as palliatives.
He said at no time did members receive any money from the executive arm as palliatives, adding that the statement should be considered malicious, irresponsible, and in bad faith.
He said it was most unfortunate that Onyeka would misrepresent facts in a bid to lend credence to otherwise valid demands of the NLC while seeking to denigrate NASS, and incite the public against the institution.
According to him, the House of Representatives demands an immediate retraction of this lie and a public apology from the NLC.
“The NLC, as a critical stakeholder in the development of Nigeria, has a voice, and it risks delegitimizing that voice if it is found to include fables in its legitimate agitations.
“We wish to remind the NLC and indeed all Nigerians that in less than 100 days in the tenure of the 10th Assembly, we have demonstrated our commitment to the welfare of Nigerian workers and all Nigerians.
“In addition to other measures, the House of Representatives speedily carried out the requisite legislative action on the executive arm of government’s request for approval of funds for palliatives for Nigerians, ” he said.
He said the House had consistently advocated for the executive to expedite palliative measures to reach vulnerable Nigerians effectively and efficiently.
He said the House had also added its voice to the call for an immediate review of the minimum wage, while urging the NLC to see NASS as partners rather than adversaries.
He said the House remained committed to advancing the wellbeing of Nigerians while empathising with them on account of the pains being experienced due to the impact of the removal of fuel subsidies.