The Senate on Tuesday approved the payment of N45 billion severance package to former employees of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited.
The former national carrier of the nation was liquidated by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003 as a result of mismanagement.
But since the company was liquidated, former workers of the airline have not been paid their full entitlements unlike their colleagues of foreign nationals, who worked with Nigeria Airways and were paid their 25 years package after the firm stopped operating.
The Nigerian nationals who worked with the company were first paid for five years by the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
But since then, they have been begging federal government to clear the remaining 20 years.
However, in the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, there were reports that the pensioners would be paid 10 years of the remaining 20 years, but when this present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came in, he set up a committee, which agreed to pay for only five years.
On September 20, 2017, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the payment of N45 billion to the former workers of Nigeria Airways.
It was then believed that the pensioners would receive their pay before the end of the year, but this was never so.
After so many threats by the pensioners and aviation workers earlier this year, it was later learnt that the money would only be paid after the National Assembly approves the issuance of promissory notes and bond programme planned by the government to raise money for the payment.
Some weeks ago, the parliament finally considered the request of the executive and then set up an adhoc committee to look into it.
Business Post reports that at the plenary yesterday, Senator Francis Alimikhena urged his colleagues to consider the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the promissory note programme and a bond issuance to settle inherited local debts and contractual obligations on refund to state governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government. This was seconded by Senator James Manager.
During the session, the lawmakers argued that the payment of the severance package to the ex-Nigeria Airways workers was long overdue.
As a result, they resolved to approve the request by the federal government to raise promissory notes and bonds to pay them.