Defunct Nigerian Airways’ Workers Protest Unpaid N78 Billion in Entitlements

Some workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, staged a peaceful protest at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos over delayed payment of entitlements estimated at over 78 billion Naira.

The protest, which started about 8.00 a.m., worsened the vehicular gridlock around the airport for over two hours.

The aggrieved workers of the defunct national carrier, which was liquidated by President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime in 2005, carried placards with various inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read: “Pls, pay our severance benefits in full”, “We need our payoff, not monthly pension”, and “Mr. President, we prayed for your recovery every Friday since May 2017?, among others.

Addressing journalists, Mr. Sam Nzene, the Chairman, Nigeria Airways Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, said it was unfortunate that the former workers were yet to receive their entitlements in spite of the President’s approval.

“We understand the funds are ready because the bond was floated and it has since matured in June, but till now, what we are saying is that nobody has called us for negotiations on the next line of action.

“By now, we should be working with the unit that has been mandated to pay us, but till now, they are doing the payment in secret.

“They do not want us to know. Even the aviation ministry is not so much in the know of what they are doing, so we want the President to please call those concerned to order.

“We are not seriously quarreling that we have not been paid, but that the union should be aware of what they are doing so that we can equally tell our members to remain calm that we will get our money.”

According to him, the union has written several letters and made attempts to see the officers in the unidentified unit.

“Since the approval came, nobody has told us what has been approved, but as long as we are concerned, our money is N78 billion; 5,909 workers and pensioners are to benefit,” he said.

(NAN)

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