Monday, December 17, 2018 4:18 pm
Business activities at the National Assembly complex was paralysed on Monday as members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) commenced a 4-day warning strike.
PASAN, through a Dec. 14 statement by its Chairman, Mr Musa Muhammad, had issued the notice for the warning strike, expected to run till Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workers are demanding for payment of their outstanding salary arrears, allowances and other welfare packages.
Banks, travel agencies, restaurants, and other businesses in the vicinity were closed.
Also, all other gates leading in and out of the complex were closed down except the main entrance which was opened to very few vehicles after screening by the striking workers.
At about 12:30pm when a NAN correspondent gained entrance into the premises, all the banks, including First Bank, ECOBANK, Guarantee First Bank, Zenith Bank, among others did not open for business.
Also, the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were not working as electricity in the complex was paralysed.
Some of the banking customers however left in disappointment.
One of the customers, Mr Shehu Ibrahim, who spoke with NAN, said he had planned to do some transactions with the First Bank.
Besides, some food vendors at the Ghitto Company site, a few metres away from the NASS complex, also lamented poor patronage.
For Mrs Irene Felix, the industrial action was an ugly development.
“Only six people have so far come to eat in my shop since morning due to the strike if not, I would have been planning to prepare another food by now,” she said.
NAN however reports that at about 2:30pm, the union members were still gathered at the main entrance, restricting access to the complex amidst solidarity songs under the watchful eyes of security, safety and emergency personnel.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari is due to present the 2019 Appropriate Bill to a joint session of NASS on Wednesday.
However, all efforts by NAN to get Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori, the Clark of the National Assembly Commission’s reaction, was unsuccessful as his office at the second floor of the complex was also locked.