The House of Representatives has declared untrue claims by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress that the Federal Government gave N100m to members of the National Assembly as palliatives.
The National Assistant Secretary of the NLC, Christopher Onyeka, had made the allegation in a statement issued in Abuja.
Reacting to the allegation, the House Committee Chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Akin Rotimi, described the allegation as baseless and “devoid of factual accuracy.”
The statement read, “The House of Representatives notes with concern news reports across multiple newspaper, electronic, and online media, of a statement credited to the National Assistant General Secretary of NLC, Mr Christopher Onyeka.
“In the said statement, Mr Onyeka claimed that the executive arm had given N100m to National Assembly members as palliatives. This claim is baseless and devoid of any factual accuracy. Transparency and truth in public discourse are necessary for a functioning democracy. While we doubt that Mr Onyeka was actually conveying the official position of the NLC on this claim, it is nonetheless important to correct such misinformation.
“First, we state categorically that Mr Onyeka lied in his claim that National Assembly members were given N100m as palliatives. For the avoidance of doubt, at no time did members of the House of Representatives receive any money from the executive arm as palliatives. We, therefore, consider this statement as malicious, irresponsible and in bad faith.
“We consider it irresponsible and most unfortunate that Mr Onyeka would misrepresent facts in a bid to lend credence to otherwise valid demands of the NLC, while seeking to denigrate the National Assembly, and inciting the public against the institution.
According to the statement, the House of Representatives is demanding an immediate retraction and public apology from the NLC for spreading such information.
“Accordingly, the House of Representatives demands an immediate retraction of this lie and a public apology from the Nigeria Labour Congress. The NLC as a critical stakeholder in the development of Nigeria has a voice and it risks delegitimising that voice if it is found to include fables in its legitimate agitations.
The statement also noted that the 10th Assembly showed its dedication to the welfare of Nigerian workers and all citizens in less than 100 days.
“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 requisite legislative action on the executive arm of government’s request for approval of funds for palliatives for Nigerians.
“We have also consistently advocated for the executive to expedite these palliative measures to reach vulnerable Nigerians effectively and efficiently, as well as added our voices to the call for an immediate review of the minimum wage,” the statement furthered.
“We wish to invite the NLC to see the National Assembly as partners rather than adversaries. The 10th Assembly of the House of Representatives wishes to reassure Nigerians that we remain committed to advancing the wellbeing of our constituents.
The Assembly noted that they understand the difficulties faced by Nigerians due to the removal of the fuel subsidy and furthered that they will continue to urge the executive to take swift action to ease the burden on the people.
“We empathise with all Nigerians on account of the pains being experienced due to the impact of the removal of the fuel subsidy and will continue to compel the executive to expedite measures to alleviate the pains of Nigerians at this time, and more importantly work with all stakeholders to rebuild our country to ensure no Nigerian is left behind,” it said.
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