The Labour body alleged that all 469 members of the National Assembly had received N100 million each as palliative from the Executive arm.
The House of Representatives has described as outright lies, a claim by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), that the Executive Arm of Government gave each member of the House of Representatives N100 million as palliatives.
Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Akin Rotimi (APC, Ekiti) described the statement by the NLC as malicious, irresponsible, and in bad faith, while demanding a retraction of the statement by Congress.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Rep Rotimi asserted that no member of the Green Chamber received any money from the Executive as palliative.
The lawmaker also recounted efforts by the House at ensuring that the Executive arm’s timely provision of palliatives for Nigerians, adding that the House has added its voice to the call for the review of the minimum wage.
The statement reads: “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 the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Christopher Onyeka.
“In the said statement, Mr. Onyeka claimed that the Executive arm had given N100m each 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 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.
“Accordingly, the House of Representatives demands an immediate retraction of this lie and a public apology from the Nigeria Labour Congress.”
The statement continued, “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.
“Second, 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.
“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 well-being of our constituents.
“We empathize 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,” the chairman assured.