FG sets to pay ex- Airways staff final tranche of N22.6 bn

The Federal Government is wrapping up plans to offset remaining (final)  50 percent amounting  N22.6 billion  to ex- employees of defunct Nigeria Airways, New Telegraph reliably gathered over the weekend.

Findings showed Minister of finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed is working round the clock in ensuring prompt payment of balance without further delay.

The last tranche was to have been cleared last year going by government’s initial commitment as of the time, 2018 when the first amount of N22.6 billion was paid.

Some representatives of ex-workers of Nigeria Airways acting on behalf,  and in the interest of affected ex-workers were sighted during their several visits to the ministry of finance budget and national  planning  Abuja Office last week in apparent follow up on the payment.

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Chairman, Nigeria Airways pensioners, Sam Nzene confirmed prospect of payment to Woleshadarenews over the weekend at the premises of the ministry.

“The Minister is active, very active on payment plan. Infact arrangement to offset the balance is at the conclusive end stage. It’s a matter of weeks, not months any longer. Recall the payment- I mean the balance of 50 percent ought to have been paid since last year. But you know so many other things cropped up, and the biggest of them all, covid-19 set in. The minister is working assiduously to making sure the payment comes to us without further delay”, Nzene confirmed.

Contacted for official position, Special Assistant (Media) to the minister, Mallam Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi who didn’t deny the claim, promised to furnish our reporter with details.

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Years after its liquidation, ex – workers of defunct national carrier underwent intensive audit conducted by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) headed by retired permanent Secretariat Mohammed Dikwa, who was a Director in budget ministry at the time.

 

One of Nigeria Airways aircraft

 

 

This was after Europe based ex- employees had been paid, leaving  only  retired Nigeria based ex- staff whose payment process began 2018  .

The government approved payment of 50 per cent entitlements to ex- staff who have successfully completed the verification exercise.

The sum of N22.6 billion was approved as 50 percent with a promise to liquidate the balance in 2019.

A  capturing  exercise was  conducted by PICA in Lagos, Kano and Enugu ahead of the disbursement of the N22.6 billion approved as part payment of their entitlements.

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The total package of retirement benefits of the ex- workers is put at  N43 billion.

Zainab Ahmed had during a Federal Excutive Council (FEC) meeting 2018 explained that, though the formal approval given for payment of the entitlements was N45 billion, due to paucity of funds, President Muhammadu Buhari only gave approval for the initial payment of 50 per cent (N22.6 billion).

“We hope in 2019, to pay the balance,” she said.

Wole Shadare