‘All National Conference delegates will earn equal allowances’ … accommodation, transport, sitting allowance monetised

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Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 22, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 22, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE

All delegates to the National Conference will earn equal allowances, the Assistant Secretary, Administration and Finance, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has said.
Yakubu also told the delegates at their inaugural meeting on Tuesday that the secretariat would not disclose the amount that would be paid to each of the delegates. According to him, the payment covers accommodation, transportation and sitting allowances, adding that they would be notified by their banks.
“Everything (allowances) has been monetised. Every delegate will be paid through e-payment and will be alerted by their banks. The payment covers accommodation, transport and sitting allowances and will be paid every two weeks.We will not disclose it but the delegates are free to do so when they receive their payment slips. The allowances paid are the same for everybody,” he said.
He said that the federal government’s policy did not allow payment in physical cash except through e-payment and that every delegate would be notified by their individual banks.

But the secretary to the conference, Dr Valerie Azinge, told delegates that no provision was made for aides for the delegates as they were expected to pay their aides. She, however, said facilities would be provided for the physically-challenged and the elderly, where necessary.
Some of the delegates complained about facilities at the NJI, which they said, were not very conducive for the national conference proceedings.
Azinge, however appealed to them to make do with the facilities at the National Judicial Institute (NJI), the official venue of the conference, saying that is the best facility they could get in Abuja. She explained that the International Conference Centre (ICC) was currently being occupied by the ECOWAS Parliament and that the centre had a standing rule with ECOWAS.
She said other issues which are also noted not to be included in the President’s speech would be expected to form part of the agenda for inclusion when the conference reconvenes. Azinge said that the speech would form part of the major business of the conference within the next two weeks before it breaks into committees.
According to her, the presiding and principal officers have set out clear cut plans to achieve the purpose of the conference. She, however, said that before the sitting commences on Monday, the rules of proceedings would be presented to the house to endorse, reject or make amendments.
After Tuesday’s proceedings the delegates are expected to reconvene on Monday to deliberate on Mr. President’s inaugural speech.

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