About a week after former staff of the moribund Nigeria Airways took to the streets of Abuja to protest their abandonment, a reprieve has come their way.The Federal Government has released half of the retirement benefits they asked for.
N22.68 billion has been released to settle part of their retirement benefits while an additional N20 billion has been approved for publoc universities.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said in Abuja on Monday that a verification will be conducted before the former Airways stàff are paid, while the university funding will go through appropriate channels.
University teachers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Unioun of Universities (ASUU) have been spoiling for a fight with government over non-release of agreed funds.
Said Ahmed on Airways staff: “As you are aware, the ex-workers of Nigeria Airways Limited in liquidation were not paid their retirement benefits for the past 15 years despite the liquidation.
“As a result of the delays in settlement of these benefits, many ex-workers have been thrown out of their houses, their children have been unable to attend school, and others have lost their businesses, fallen ill or indeed, passed on. This unfortunate situation cannot be allowed to continue under a responsible administration.
“It is on this basis that Mr President has approved the immediate release of N22.68 billion being 50 per cent of N45.3 billion total entitlements of the ex-workers of the Nigeria Airways Limited in liquidation”..