Jubilation as FG Okays N45b for Former Nigerian Airways Workers

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Some former workers of the defunct Nigerian Airways are in jubilation mood and the reason is not far-fetched.

On Wednesday, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, told newsmen that government has approved N45 billion for the payment of their entitlements.

Nigerian Airways was liquidated in 2003 by the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration and in 2006, an Inter-Ministerial Committee was set up by the Federal Government.

The panel later recommended the sum of N78 billion as the total severance package for 10 years for the workers, including pension arrears for the period after the physical verification of about 6,000 beneficiaries.

However, the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) later set up by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in its recommendation slashed the sum to just N43 billion, a 45 percent reduction, a move that did not go down well with the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, who insisted that the earlier approved sum of N78 billion must be paid to the beneficiaries.

It was earlier thought that the N78 billion would be paid to the former workers, but the latest development has indicated that they will only receive N45 billion.

The Minister, yesterday, disclosed that at the FEC meeting on Wednesday presided over the Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, would give N45 billion to the ex-workers of the defunct Nigerian Airways as their severance package.

Business Post gathered that this news has been welcomed by most former employees of the defunct national carrier.

Some of the workers who spoke with our correspondent in Lagos expressed their joy over the development.

“We are very happy about this news, it is one of the best we have heard in recent times,” most of them echoed.

Business Post has reliably gathered that some of the former workers would be meeting on Friday, where the issue would be further discussed.

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