Home Aviation Personnel Government Promises and Prayers: Nigeria Airways’ Ex-Employees Await Financial Closure

Government Promises and Prayers: Nigeria Airways’ Ex-Employees Await Financial Closure

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Former NAL workers and one of NAL aircraft

Former employees and retirees of the now-defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) are enduring the hardships of the current economy, longing for the settlement of their outstanding severance benefits. 

Gathered at their regular Friday prayer sessions at the Sky Power Catering Service compound in Lagos airport over the weekend, they fervently beseech divine intervention to soften the hearts of leaders and fulfill their financial dues.

The prayer congregation, albeit dwindling in numbers, reflects the harsh realities faced by many; some have passed away, others are incapacitated by illness, and financial constraints hinder attendance. 

Despite their frailty, the elderly attendees, with trembling voices and weakened frames, lift their praises to the heavens, clinging to faith that their pleas will be heard.

Coordinator Mr. Nwordu Alphonsus underscores the purpose of these gatherings: to implore divine strength for their members and union representatives engaged in negotiations with the government. 

There’s hope in whispers that President Bola Tinubu’s administration shows interest in their plight, signaling potential progress in resolving their long-standing grievance.

Since NAL’s liquidation in 2007, they have received partial payments, first under President Musa Shehu Yar’dua and later under President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018. 

Yet, the situation remains dire, leaving former employees like Mr. Anthony Ogbaji lamenting the injustice of entering old age without reaping the full fruits of their labor.

Undeterred, they vow to persist in prayer, trusting that divine intervention will eventually bring relief. 

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, in a stakeholders meeting late last year, assures that the government is actively pursuing the settlement of their dues, hinting at imminent progress in the long-awaited resolution.

Investigations reveal that the Federal Government has allocated approximately N5 billion to settle the outstanding claims of around 1,000 ex-staff.

Former President Buhari’s approval of N22.68 billion in 2018 marked a significant step, covering roughly half of the total entitlements. 

Despite the trimmed-down figure following verification exercises, the saga continues, fueled by hopes pinned on government promises and divine intervention to alleviate the plight of Nigeria Airways’ former workforce.

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