Ex-Nigeria Airways Workers to be Paid Soon—Minister Assures

December 22, 2017
Ex-Nigeria Airways Workers to be Paid Soon—Minister Assures

By Dipo Olowookere

Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, has assured former workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways that their N45 billion severance package approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September 2017 would soon be paid by Federal Government.

Since the money was approved by FEC over three months ago, the beneficiaries were yet to be paid, causing various tensions among them.

Some of them have even lost their lives due to heartbreaks and delay in the payment of the severance package.

This week, some of the former workers of the nation’s national carrier staged a protest in Abuja, calling on the government to pay them their entitlements without delay.

But while reacting to enquiries made by some concerned Nigerians on the matter, the Minister said government was waiting for approval of the National Assembly before paying the former aviation workers.

According to him, he has done his best and that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has already gone to the parliament to receive an approval to pay-out the money.

“I Have done my bit on WT. The Minister Finance has sent it to NASS. It is due process sir. 16 years they did nothing. I think we’ve tried,” Mr Sirika said on his Twitter page.

Speaking further, the Minister said, “Keep faith, we sincerely feel your pains. Trust me we will do the best on this matter. I am sure it will be soon. Bear with us.”

Nigeria Airways was founded by the Federal Government in 1958 after the dissolution of West African Airways Corporation (WAAC).

It held the name WAAC Nigeria until 1971, when it was rebranded to the name it had until it ceased operations in 2003.

The Nigerian government owned a majority of the airline (51%) until 1961, when it boosted its participation in the company to 100% and made it the country’s flag carrier.

At the time of dissolution, the airline’s headquarters were at Airways House in Abuja. Operations were concentrated at Murtala Muhammed International Airport and served both domestic and international destinations mainly concentrated in West Africa; the network also had points in Europe, North America and Saudi Arabia.

The airline was managed by a number of foreign companies, including British Airways, the Dutch company KLM and South African Airways.

Nigeria Airways had its heyday in the early 1980s, just before the departure of a KLM team that had been hired to make the airline efficient and profitable. At that time, its fleet consisted of about 30 aircraft, but the carrier was two years behind with its accounts to the extent that aircraft were acquired for cash.

Ex-Nigeria Airways Workers to be Paid Soon—Minister Assures

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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