By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has explained the main reason for the delay in paying the N45 billion severance package of former workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways.
Executive Secretary of PTAD, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, while addressing members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), said the agency had not called for the verification of the pensioners because of the issue of two conflicting groups among them.
“We are trying to ensure that in anything we do, the process is very transparent. PTAD has not gone ahead to conduct verification for Nigeria Airways pensioners because we have the issue of two conflicting groups.
“We have some who want to be put on monthly pension payroll for life and another who wants an outright payment. So we are waiting on the Ministry of Aviation and Ministry of Finance to let us know the way forward.
“The word from PTAD today is that this Federal Government will pay them their due pensions. No one will be left behind. Just like Delta Steel that was privatised in 2005. They had lost all hope that they will ever be paid. But 13 years after, this administration has put them on monthly pension payroll, pending when the bulk of the arrears will be paid. So no one will be left behind. Nigeria airways pensioners will be paid when all the issues are settled,” she said.
Her comments followed the renewed threats last week by NUP to shut the airspace over non-payment of pension dues to pensioners of the defunct Nigeria Airways.
NUP President, Mr Abel Afolayan, had renewed the threat at the PTAD Stakeholders Forum 2018 with the theme, ‘Putting Pensioners First,’ stressing that pensioners must be paid before the establishment of a new national carrier in the country.
He said if they were not paid, the pensioners will resort to taking any action to shut the nation’s airspace.
While responding to the reason given by the PTAD scribe, Mr Afolayan said, “We are happy Nigeria is thinking of having another national airline. It is a good development. But Before establishing Nigeria Air, the staff of defunct Nigeria Airways, with all its senior staff must be paid all their pension dues. The foreigners have been paid.
“If they are not paid, whatever is done to make sure that Nigeria Airspace is shut will be done and it will not be my fault, but that of the federal government,” he stated.
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