Pensioners of the defunct Nigeria Airways right now have cause to smile as the Federal Government has authorized the Ministry of Finance to pay the sum of N45 billion as arrears of their pension and gratuities. Minister of Aviation Alhaji Hadi Sirika made this known at a press briefing held at the end of yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
I am happy to announce that Mr. President has approved N45 billion which has been confirmed to be the entitlements of this workers and the Ministry of Finance has been instructed to pay. The Ministry of Finance has written to me last week that they have received instructions to pay these workers and therefore they are going about setting up all the modalities to pay.
How the government benefits from this
News of the payment could not have come at a more opportune time for the government as it battles with the unions over the concession of the nation’s airports. Unions in the aviation sector have kicked against the concession, and threatened to go on strike, on the basis of not been consulted. Fears of being retrenched or not getting their benefits will also be allayed.
Nigeria Airways was founded on the 23rd of August 1958 as the West African Airways Corporation Nigeria Limited (WAAC). The government initially held 51% of the airline, then bought over the stakes held by Elder Dempster Airlines and BOAC, thus making the airline the flagship carrier of the country. The airline however ceased operations in 2003, and was liquidated in 2004. The Airline was succeeded by Virgin Nigeria which was a joint venture partnership between the Nigerian government and Virgin Atlantic.