PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N22.6 billion for former staff and pensioners of the defunct Nigeria Airways.
The Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Mohammed Dikwa disclosed this in Abuja yesterday night.
He said the amount represented the second tranche (50 per cent) of the entitlements of former Airways staff, pension benefits of retirees, as well as payments to families of deceased workers.
The first tranche had been released in October, 2018 and payment made to verified beneficiaries, who were screened across the country.
Dikwa disclosed this while addressing some former Airways staff, who protested their exclusion from the exercise at the ministry.
He told the protesters that their action was unnecessary given the fact that adequate arrangements had been made to screen them.
He was unhappy that the protesters blocked the gate of the ministry when former Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who ensured they were paid their entitlements after a long period of neglect by past administrations, was leaving the office.
The protesters were angry that after the Presidential Initiative for Continuous Audit, PICA, had invited them to Abuja for verification and that they had not been attended to by Tuesday evening and were afraid that yesterday’s public holiday would make it impossible until Thursday.
Spokesman of the group, Comrade Sam Nzene told newsmen that the protesters were angry because some of them had spent two days in Abuja, without being addressed by officials of the ministry.
Nzene, who is the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Nigeria Airways Branch, said that the consultant claimed that government was owing him for the past exercise and therefore was not ready to provide further services until he was paid.
The verification exercise which commenced on Tuesday night was still on-going, yesterday, as at the time of filing this report at about 5.39 pm.