The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) on Tuesday protested the non-payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances.
The protesters are insisting that the lawmakers will not hold their usual sittings until they are paid their entitlements.
The members of the national assembly that had arrived for sitting before the protest began were forced to either retire to their offices or leave the premises while others were turned back at the main entrance.
At the weekend, the workers threatened to picket the premises of the national assembly if the management does nothing to address their grievances.
Subsequently, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, national assembly clerk, asked them to shelve their protest. He said their concerns are being addressed.
But the workers came out in their numbers and took over the lobby from which the lower and upper legislative chambers could be accessed.
They held banners and placards which read: ‘Omolori must go now’, ‘Pass our conditions of service now’ and ‘Probe NASS MGT Now’, among others.
One of the workers who spoke to journalists, but did not give his name, said some of them could not feed their families.
“They don’t want to give us our right. He (Sani-Omolori) said promotion is a privilege in the letter that he wrote yesterday,” he said.
“Number two, he said the CONLESS that has been passed since 2010 that we have no right to assess it because the budget is not flowing, that there is no budget allocation and this is a place were budget is appropriated.
“And Omolori, our clerk of the national assembly, said we have no right to assess our promotion, that there is no vacancy.
“The staff of the national assembly are suffering. We can’t pay school fees, we can pay house rent, we can’t even transport ourselves to this place.”
It’s unclear if the lawmakers will sit because the aggrieved workers are preventing them from going into both chambers.
Omolori is yet to address the protesters. TheCable has not been able to get his reaction to the issue.