Nigeria Airways retirees okay N45b for pension arrears
Retired workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways have agreed to the N45 billion approved by the Federal Government to settle their pension arrears.The workers, under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), and Aviation Union Grand Alliance (AUGA) disclosed their readiness at the weekend after their meeting.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Airways branch of NUT, Sam Nzene, told The Guardian that the retirees agreed to accept the sum to assist their suffering and sick members.
According to him, the amount fell short of the N78.3billion earlier projected, adding that the amount was necessary to settle the almost 12 years arrears of their members.
The retirees, totaling about 6000, had been abandoned since the airline was liquidated in 2004 without receiving their severance packages. The Muhammadu Buhari-led government agreed to pay the arrears and approved N45billion out of the N78.3 billion earlier estimated by an inter-ministerial committee, the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
Nzene disclosed that they have also decided to write to the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on their consensus, as well as visit the PICA to facilitate the payment.
He said the moves were necessary since they were yet to hear from the relevant authorities, after the approval was granted at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting three weeks ago.
He said: “Our members have been suffering, many are terminally ill because of long time of neglect. Also, the majority of them are hypertensive, diabetic, while some have heart problem, prostrate cancer, renal disease and eye problems.”
A member of the group, Henry Iwelunmo, said the approved amount was a welcome development, while he hoped that successive government would pay the balance of the initial N78.3 billion.
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