N45b Pension Arrears:  Please don’t let these ones die without their benefits

N45b Pension Arrears:  Please don’t let these ones die without their benefits

Workers in the aviation sector have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike if the federal government fails to address issues bordering on pensions and gratuities of its’ ex- workers, according the aviation union the federal government is owing their colleagues not in active service the tune of N45b which include pension and gratuities.

Those affected are about 6000 former workers of the Nigeria Airways, the union involve in pursuant of this funds include; National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), the National Union of Air Transport Employees’ (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), however acknowledged that President Muhammad Buhari has long approved the payment of the said funds.

According to the Union in a letter to the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said they will not wait until all their former colleagues die before ensuring they get their entitlements.

The Minister of Finance Kemi Adesoun had however come under serious criticisms that she had been the one delaying the payment despite the President approval long ago to effect same.

President of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye, confirmed that the strike has been scheduled for next week without further warning. Expected to join the action are, the (NLC) Nigeria Labor Congress, (TUC) Trade Union Congress and (UTC) United Labor Congress.

According to the petition: “It is disheartening that the Minister of Finance has unconsciously and negatively do not prioritized the President’s directive on this matter. She has equally in a most uncaring manner, refused to heed all entreaties by the hapless ex-workers.

“Not even the cries of the growing list of the avoidable deaths and other afflictions created by their excruciating conditions of the existence had pinched the minister. Our previous letters to the minister has failed to move her just as earlier letter from the NLC on the matter.

“As we can no longer watch all the ex-staff of Nigeria Airways die before entitlements are paid, we are therefore compelled to force Adesoun to come to terms with reality of the situation and be rid of her gross insensitivity.

“In view of the above, we are sad to inform you that all workers in the Aviation sector will commence an indefinite industrial action in 14 days should the ex-Nigeria Airways workers fail to receive their entitlements as graciously approved. We have also commenced the mobilization of NLC, TUC, and ULC towards assuring wider support for this objective.”

It cited that the Federal government at a Federal Executive Council meeting September 2017 approved the sum of N45b Pension Arrears out of the accrued N78b, to settle for pension and gratuities of over 6000 ex-Aviation workers since its liquidation in 2004.

It’s therefore pertinent for Minister of finance to work assiduously towards releasing these funds, as it has been on record that over 700 Ex-workers of the defunct aviation have died without having their benefits. Lets’ not live like men without souls.

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