More Nigeria Airways’ ex-workers get five-year salary arrears
• Urge FG on N22.68 billion balance
No fewer than 2000 ex-workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited have, as at yesterday, received confirmation of Federal Government’s payment of their salary arrears covering about five years and 30 per cent pay rise.
The beneficiaries were members of the first and second batch of the payment schedule following the conclusion of verification and reconciliation exercises in Lagos, Enugu and Kano at the weekend.
The Guardian learnt the third batch of another 1000 ex-workers was yesterday cleared and due to start receiving alerts of payment from their various banks today.
President Muhammadu Buhari in September approved the sum of N22.68 billion for the payment of salary and gratuities of about 6000 ex-workers of the then national carrier. The grant was a part payment of the sum of N45 billion the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved over a year ago.
Following the completion of about two weeks of verification and reconciliation, the office of the Accountant General started issuing the payment on Monday.
Publicity Secretary of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Nigeria Airways branch, Tom Ojuderi, told The Guardian that some of their members in places like Minna, Kano and Lagos had confirmed receiving the payment.
“It is really a joyous moment for those that have received alert and we are hopeful that it will soon go round.
“We have to thank the president for keeping his promise with the payment of this 50 per cent. And also thank the Minister of Finance for facilitating and making the payments possible. We hold them in very high esteem and counting on them to ensure the full payment,” Ojuderi said.
The scribe urged FG to make the payments come full circle by paying the balance of N22.68 per cent much earlier than six months the minister had promised.
One of the recipients in Lagos, in her 60s, was full of gratitude. She said: “This money is a great relief. At least I can properly treat myself and live well again. Honestly, I didn’t belief this day could come in my life-time. It means we will not have to die in vain. There is hope for this country after all,” she said.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September 2017 okayed the sum of N45 billion for the payment of about 5909 workers’ entitlement. The defunct airlines was liquidated by the Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in 2004 over maladministration, huge debt and inefficient services.
Though late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration gave a five-year pension pay to some of the workers in 2008, but several others have not received any benefit since 2004.
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