Nigeria Airways pensioners urge Jonathan to pay 70bn pension arrears


jonathan1Retired workers of the defunct Nigerian Airways Ltd. (NAL)  on Tuesday  appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to use his good offices to pay them N70 billion pension arrears.

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The retirees made the appeal during a meeting at the secretariat of the Airport Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.


The pensioners’ leader, Mr Ibraheem Hussein, said that many of their colleagues had died, some  hospitalised and others weak and frail because of their struggle for payment of their pensions.


He noted that since the liquidation of NAL on May 21, 2003, the Federal Government had only paid the retirees five years pension arrears out of 25 years pension arrears.


He urged the government to pay the retired workers the outstanding pension arrears.


He said that the government owed the pensioners N70 billion as at January.


“We made several attempts in the past to seek audience with President Goodluck Jonathan; we wrote two correspondences through the aviation workers’ unions and the Trade Union Congress (TUC),” he said.


According to him, there were 5,700 NAL pensioners and workers at the time of its liquidation, but regretted that many of them had died.


Hussein noted that NAL was rated Number Four in the aviation world and had the best pilots and engineers.


Another NAL retiree, Mr Andrew Inalegwu, said that the treatment being meted out to the pensioners was improper.


“NAL pensioners were not responsible for the airline’s liquidation,” he said.


He claimed that NAL employees who served in New York, Rome, London and other West African countries had been paid 25 years pension arrears.


“Why is it that those who worked in Nigeria were paid five years pension arrears?’’ he asked.


Mrs Josephine Iwasomi, a retired communicator in  NAL, said that she had not been paid gratuity.


“I don’t have money to feed or sponsor my children’s university education; I had to borrow,” she said.


She said that many of the retirees had become beggars and lost their dignity.


Mrs Nike Abioje asked, “How long will this continue?’’


Alhaji Yisa Sunmonu, Alhaji Ibraheem Mohammed and Mr Ojewumi Yisa, also appealed to the Federal Government to pay the arrears of pension to reduce death among the retired workers.(NAN)


Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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