EX-Nigeria Airways’ workers to get final severance package, Minister assures

  • N5b package ready


The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo on Saturday disclosed that the Federal Government was already making arrangements to offset the last tranche of monies owed workers of defunct Nigeria Airways.

The Minister who made the disclosure at the stakeholders forum held in Lagos did not go into details and how much is left to be settled said the government had taken the matter up and the ex-workers would start getting the balance of their severance pay.

The payment exercise was flagged off four years ago by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).

Findings by Aviation Metric revealed that the exercise had achieved about 95 percent success, with a source saying nearly all the ex-employees verified and captured during the verification exercise had been paid.

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To this end, the Federal Government has set aside about N5 billion to clear off the final batch of ex-Nigeria Airways employees, whose number is put at about  1, 000

A reliable source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told this medium that the consulting firm hired by PICA for the exercise, Synchro Digital Consulting Nigeria Limited, was told in April this year to prepare the final handover report for onward submission to the former Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed,.

“The consultant was supposed to have completed the exercise before now. On two occasions, the Minister told them (Consultant) to hold on, perhaps for any ex-employees that may show up. They are rounding up now. Between now and next month, the consultant should be able to present the final report to the Minister or permanent secretary,” the source said in May this year.

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Nigerian Airways ceased operation in 2003 after years of perpetual failure amid the depletion of aircraft in the fleet. The government had been dilly-dallying on the one-off final payment to ex – employees at home and overseas until 2018.

In 2018, the Federal Government approved the sum of N22.68 billion for the payment of retirement benefits to former workers of liquidated Nigerian Airways Ltd.

The amount approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari was about 50 percent of the N45.3 billion total entitlements of the former workers of the company.

An outstanding retirement benefit in the sum of N78 billion was initially submitted to the government as the entitlement for ex-workers of Nigerian Airways.

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The sum was pruned down after a verification exercise conducted by PICA and other relevant stakeholders in line with the condition of service of the liquidated Nigerian Airways Ltd. The sum of N45 billion was agreed as the total retirement benefits to the affected staff.

The payments were carried out in two phases essentially due to a paucity of funds. The first batch’s payment was effected in 2019.

Wole Shadare