ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to settle the outstanding severance package for former Nigeria Airways employees, as part of fulfilling its commitment.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, on the sideline of a stakeholders forum in Lagos, confirming the government’s intention to clear the last tranche of monies owed to the ex-workers.
The payment initiative was initiated by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, PICA, in 2019. Approximately N5 billion has been allocated for this purpose, benefiting around 1,000 former Nigeria Airways employees.
Though Keyamo did not disclose the specific financial details, he assured that the Federal Government of Nigeria has taken the matter seriously, and the ex-workers will soon receive the remaining portion of their severance pay.
Recall that the Nigerian Airways ceased its operations in 2003 following years of continuous struggles and aircraft fleet depletion.
The one-time final payment to ex-employees, both domestic and overseas, had been pending until 2018 when the Federal Government of Nigeria, under former President Muhammadu Buhari, approved N22.68 billion for retirement benefits, representing approximately 50 percent of the total N45.3 billion entitlements for the former employees.
Originally, the ex-workers had submitted a claim of N78 billion as their retirement entitlement. This amount however, was revised following a verification exercise conducted by PICA and other stakeholders, aligning with the liquidated Nigerian Airways Ltd.’s service conditions.
The agreed sum of N45 billion was then designated as the total retirement benefits for the affected staff. Due to financial constraints, the payments were disbursed in two phases, with the first batch receiving their payments in 2019.