The Nigerian Federal Government has finally approved the sum of N22.68bn for the payment of retirement benefits to former workers of liquidated Nigerian Airways Ltd, almost 15 years that the ex-workers were not paid their retirement benefits.
The amount which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari is about 50 per cent of the N45.3bn entitlements of the former workers of the company.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said this on Monday in Abuja during a press briefing held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance.
Apart from the N22.8bn for the former aviation workers, she said that the sum of N20bn was approved for the education sector.
She said, “Upon my resumption of office as the minister of finance,some pending fiscal issues in the aviation and education sectors were immediately brought to my attention.
“As such, I took it as a challenge to quickly address key issues regarding the settlement of existing claims in both of these sectors.
“Consequently, upon this, I am happy to inform you that Mr President has graciously approved the sum of N22.68bn and N20bn to aviation and education sectors respectively.”
The minister said the initial outstanding retirement benefits due to ex-workers of the Nigerian Airways based on their submission was N78bn.
She said after a verification exercise by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit and other relevant stakeholders in line with the condition of service of the liquidated Nigerian Airways Ltd, it was the sum of N45bn was agreed as the total retirement benefits to the affected staff.
“The ex-workers of Nigeria Airways Ltd in liquidation were not paid their retirement benefits for the past 15 years despite the liquidation.