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FACTIONS UNITES TO MAKE ME NASLAF CHAIRMAN, AGENDA INTACT – INTERVIEW WITH SAM MELAYE

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FACTIONS UNITES TO MAKE ME NASLAF CHAIRMAN, AGENDA INTACT – INTERVIEW WITH SAM MELAYE nassnewsng.com, Adeboye Omoboye

The Chairman of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF) Hon Sam Melaye is a complete gentle man, he was recently sworn in as the Chairman of NASSLAF following two years of disruption of the activities of the Forum in the aftermath of squabbles emanating from a keenly contested election in 2016.
In this interview he speaks on plans by his administration to bring some new innovations into the activities of legislative aides in the country, to enable members of the forum give the needed support to their various principals.

Excerpts of the Interview…….

Interview:
What new thinking do you wish to bring to the activities of NASSLAF in the next one year of your tenure

Sam MELAYE .

You are all aware that we had some

issues that lasted for two years, that had brought us some set back but as God would have it, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori actually intervened in company of members of his management team and so the issue was finally resolved last week. So we are officially recognized and inaugurated. The other faction, talking about the Darlington faction, we met last week, the group was actually led by Darlington himself and we have resolved that we will work together, we are fully re-united now there is no faction at all. Most of our agenda are still intact, I am aware that this morning we have gone to tidy up the office, the bus as we speak is undergoing servicing and we hope next week we should start conveying our members from the gate to the National Assembly. I am aware too, I just spoke to the Director of National Institute of Legislative Studies, NILS through our representative in the National Assembly and we intend to kick start our programs from next month with a seminar with the management in order to have ways to strengthen our relationships with our principals. That’s the major reasons why we are here. We are fully committed to seeing that our principals succeed in the discharge of their responsibilities. One of the cardinal objective of the Forum is the welfare of the members, infact that is sensitive or even the nucleus of this forum, we are also committed to the training and re-training of our members in the last two years of our setbacks we never had any training, they claimed that it was not included in the budget, I have set up a budget committee now to look into the budget and recognize areas where training of members can be properly captured , so that we don’t have a repeat of what we had last year, we had it very rough we couldn’t even access our Duty Travel Allowances, DTA, till this year, as a matter of fact the whole of last year we couldn’t get our DTA’s. But I can assure you because there is a committee already in place we are working very assiduously to ensure that all these issues talking about training, DTA and others become statutory and legitimate for us to access some of these benefits. We intend also this year to go on “Overseas Training”, it has never happened before we are liaising with management, there is nothing wrong if a committee is going on oversight functions abroad, such functions should not cover our ‘Principals’ alone, I have also discussed with one of the Principal Officer , just yesterday (Wednesday) we don’t see anything wrong with the CNA notifying the chairman of NASSLAF to provide one or two members of the forum to travel with lawmakers abroad to gain some more experience, that has never happened before, we want to see it happen this year. We are also talking about theInteractive Foreign Programs with some of these legislative aides abroad, I am aware that at the level of parliamentary assistance in the United Kingdom, they don’t refer to them abroad as aides like we have here, because of that feeling that we are aides we have been limited to the level we’ve found ourselves today, the system in the UK is different from what is obtained here. So we want to see how we can possibly interact with them learn from their experiences and get to transfer that knowledge to our colleagues here on how they practice as legislative assistants in their domain. We are also talking with Minister of the FCT, we feel that also some of our members should equally benefit parcels of lands, so that some of us can retire well. To say the least we have so much on our hands under one year of our tenure and we are set at covering some of these goals. Finally we have discovered that theSergeant At Arms do not regard some of our members, I have spoken with the Outgoing Sergeant at Arms, Mr Ndayako, we met this morning at the office of the CNA and I told him ‘‘gone are the days when your men will harass our members”, that will not happen again because some of our members are referred to as bag carriers for lawmakers. I want to say that among us are Senators, former members of the House of Representatives, even Doctors and Professors we shouldn’t in any way be limited to bag carriers. We are out to let everyone know that the era when our members are humiliated is no more. Moreso, we have set up some committees including Sport committee so that some mornings we can unwind, do road walks as part of efforts to strengthen our health status in order to help maintain a good workforce. We have so much in stock. I can assure you from Monday 12th February, 2018 you will begin to see some air of change blowing around the National Assembly.
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