Nigerian Airways retirees laud FG for payment of gratuities
Pensioners and retirees of the Nigeria Airways have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for fulfilling his promise to ensure they get their entitlement.
The retirees spoke at the mop up verification conducted in Lagos State by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Similar exercise was conducted simultaneously in Kano State. The exercise, which was conducted to register the remaining pensioners and retirees who were yet to be captured for payment, followed on earlier ones conducted in Lagos, Kano, and Enugu in 2018.Officials say the exercise would move to the United States, England and Canada to register those who have relocated to those countries later in September.
Akan Offiong, a former member of the Airways’ flight crew said of the exercise. “Before the Buhari government decided to pay us, people were dying as there was no money even to feed or take care of their health. The government has done well for the people.”
Offiong also praised the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, who decided to implement the presidential directive to pay the entitlement of the retirees and pensioners. “It is amazing that the minister, the gentle lady, came in, understood our problems and attended to it. That was why we decided to organize a thank you rally last February in Lagos to show appreciation.”
Speaking at the event, representative of the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance thanked the retirees for their patience and orderliness. He also assured them that the Federal Government would fulfill its responsibilities to them. He said the ongoing exercise would be the last, as it was only meant to take care of those that were left out of previous verification exercises.
Another beneficiary, Nzene, said the exercise was a culmination of years of lobbying and advocacy to get the government to fulfill its obligations to the retirees.
“We are grateful to the Buhari government for answering our prayers. It has been a long and tough battle to get our dues since the Airways was rested by the Obasanjo government,” he said. “Obasanjo also refused to pay us our entitlement and there was no headway until late President Yar’Adua set up a committee to look into the issue after we approached the National Assembly.”