President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of N45 billion to pay the entitlements of former Nigerian Airways workers.
The defunct national carrier was liquidated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime in 2005, and the workers had been embarking on protests nationwide over their unpaid entitlements.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, told State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), that N45 billion had been approved for the settlement of the ex-workers’ entitlements.
“Governments, in the past, decided just to liquidate Nigerian Airways without tending to the issue of the entitlements of the workers and they have been struggling to get that paid and we came in government and we took it very seriously.
“I’m happy to announce that Mr President has approved N45 billion which has been confirmed to be the entitlements of these workers and Ministry of Finance has been instructed to pay and the ministry has written to me last week, to say that they have received the instruction to pay these workers, and therefore, they are setting up the modalities to pay.
“You should know it won’t pay through my ministry before somebody will say I take some of it. It will be paid by finance through a process, and that process will commence very soon,’’ he said.
The Minister disclosed that the Council approved the procurement of operational vehicles for Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Sirika also revealed that he briefed the council on the certifications of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), noting that both certificates were huge achievements toward security and safety in the aviation sector.
He noted that the airport was the first international Airport in Nigeria to meet the requirement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and NCAA regulations.