N22bn entitlements: Nigeria Airways pensioners set for fresh verification

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Ex-workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) are getting set for a fresh verification following the Federal Government’s approval of N22.6 billion for the payment of their entitlements.

Mr Godwin Jibodu, the Chairman, Nigeria Airways Elders Forum, confirmed the development on Wednesday at a meeting of the pensioners of the former national carrier at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

The airline, which started flight operations in August 1958, was liquidated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government in May 2003 with the workers yet to be fully paid their entitlements.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had on Sept. 24 announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of the funds for the part-payment of the ex-workers being owed N45 billion.

Jibodu said that the approval of the payment was greeted with joy by the ex-workers who expressed their gratitude to the president and the minister at the meeting.

“The purpose of the meeting is to brief the workers about what the minister said and that the verification will begin very soon.

“Everybody should prepare his or her documents for the verification,” he said.

According to him, no date has been given for the commencement of the verification, but the committee, which will arrange the exercise, will start work on Sept. 27.

“The committee is made up of people from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transportation, Office of the Accountant-General and ex-workers of Nigeria Airways.

“So, we have told our members to prepare all their documents. Letter of appointment, letter of retirement and their identity card,” Jibodu said.

He expressed optimism that the verification would be hitch-free and concluded within the shortest possible time so that the pensioners could receive their entitlements after waiting for over 14 years.

The pensioners were jubilating, singing and praising Buhari and Ahmed for finally bringing succour to them following the approval of the payment.