Some workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos over delayed payment of entitlements estimated at over N78 billion.
Our correspondent reports that the protest, which started about 8.00 a.m., worsened the vehicular gridlock around the airport for over two hours.
The aggrieved workers of the defunct national carrier, which was liquidated by President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime in 2005, carried placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: “Pls, pay our severance benefits in full”, “We need our pay-off, not monthly pension”, and “Mr President, we prayed for your recovery every Friday since May 2017″, among others.
Addressing journalists, Mr Sam Nzene, the Chairman, Nigeria Airways Chapter of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, said it was unfortunate that the former workers were yet to receive their entitlements in spite of the President’s approval.
“We understand the funds are ready because bond was floated and the bond has since matured in June, but up till now, what we are saying is that nobody has called us for negotiations on the next line of action.
“By now, we should be working with the unit that has been mandated to pay us, but up till now they are doing the payment in secret.
“They do not want us to know. Even the aviation ministry is not so much in the know of what they are doing, so we want the President to please call those concerned to order.
“We are not seriously quarreling that we have not been paid, but that the union should be aware of what they are doing, so that we can equally tell our members to remain calm that we will get our money.”
According to him, the union has written several letters and made attempts to see the officers in the unidentified unit.
“Since the approval came, nobody has told us what has been approved, but as long as we are concerned, our money is N78 billion; 5,909 workers and pensioners are to benefit,” he said.