*Protest takes place London, Abuja Lagos.
Nigerian Union of Pensioners NUP ex – Nigeria Airways branch will Wednesday protest the non payment of their severance benefits after over fifteen years of liquidation of the airline by the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo.
Daily Times investigation revealed that the ex – workers, will carry out the exercise in Lagos, Abuja and London to press home their demand for government to meet their demand.
A source told correspondent that that the government was insincere about its plan to pay them haven met all their requirements.
Former workers and pensioners of the liquidated national carrier, numbering 200 had two months ago staged a protest along the Lagos Airport Road over failure of government to pay their severance benefits running into N78 billion.
The protesting workers and pensioners blocked the busy airport road occasioning traffic gridlock.
According to one of the coordinators of the protest, the protest is
part of efforts to draw government attention to their plight as many of them have died, others homeless after government liquidated the airline in 2003.
According to National chairman, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Nigeria Airways, Comrade Sam Nzene recently told our correspondent that former workers and pensioners were kept in the dark over delay in payment of their entitlements.
He said Buhari and the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika were been kept in the dark over modalities for the payment.
The former Airways workers and pensioners recently marched from the premises of Skypower Catering Limited, opposite the Air Force base to the entrance into the domestic wing of the general aviation terminal, displaying placards.
Thousands of former workers of the liquidated airways have died while waiting for their pension and severance benefits in full.
“Our members are dying daily minister of finance come to our aid. Some of our members are homeless.” One of the ex – workers said.
The Federal Executive Council meeting had 20th September, 2017 announced the immediate payment of N45 billion ex-workers/pensioners of the defunct Nigeria Airway Limited (NAL).
According to the pensioners, it is now almost three months since the approval for payment was announced and no progress has been made.
Going by general understanding, the pensioners said that immediate payment as prescribed by the government should mean not more than two weeks.
In the official document earlier signed by the Chairman, Comrade Segun Feyisetan and the Secretary General, Comrade Thomas Ojuderi, the NAL pensioners said that Presidential Initiative on Continuous Auditing (PICA) which was saddled with the responsibility of effecting this payment has not contacted the union about this payment since the announcement was formally made.
“By now PICA (which is handling this payment) would have called the union to a meeting to work out the modalities of payment with a view to informing the beneficiaries the date of commencement of verification but it’s like everything is shrouded secrecy. No one knows what is happening”, they said.
“PICA should let us know what is happening to our approved payment because we are losing our members on a daily basis due to lack of finance to take care of their welfare. lnfact, very recently we just lost Alh. B. lzgu, Alh. Dairu Musa, Alh. Baba Gana Bukar, Alh. Musa Otoro, Capt. Akinyosade, Capt. Akintaju, Dr. Aka, Mr. Kenneth Onyechere and Engr. K.C. Amah to mention just a few. PICA cannot carry out this exercise alone, they need the union to work with as the link between the beneficiaries and Government”.
According to the pensioners, this payment involves ten different countries of the world, not just Nigeria and these beneficiaries are equally waiting for this approved payment. We are calling on and appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene on this issue and order release of this payment to the beneficiaries. we are equally calling on the Honorable Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, to please continue his good work and see to the full payment of our entitlements”, the pensioners stated.