Adeosun Denies Approval Of N45bn For Ex-Nigeria Airways Staff

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has denied presidential approval of N45 billion payment of terminal benefits for ex-workers of defunct Nigeria Airways Limited.

Adeosun made the disclosure on Tuesday when she appeared before the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance at the National Assembly.

The minister was reacting to reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the said sum as terminal benefits for the ex-workers.

But speaking yesterday, Adeosun, who admitted that the outstanding benefits have been agreed upon by the government, noted that no approval has been made as regards payment, as it is yet to be appropriated.

She said: “There has been a misconception in the media that the President had approved the payment of N45 billion terminal benefits to the ex-workers of Nigeria Airways. I should make it clear that there is no presidential approval and no appropriation yet for the payment.

“The terminal benefits of ex-Nigeria Airways workers are also part of the outstanding inherited debts. These benefits have been reconciled & agreed at N45 billion, following verification. But we don’t have Presidential approval yet for the payment. It also has to be appropriated.”

The government had in March stated that the money had been provided and that it was willing to pay but would follow laid-down rules.

“The money has been provided and we are willing to pay, but we have to legalise it by going through the National Assembly to approve and stamp it. It is the requirement of the law and this government will always do things in accordance with the law. So, we will pay the workers,” Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had said.

The development follows a joint statement by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, National Union of Air Transport Employees and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria, that it was insensitive of the Ministry of Finance to refuse to pay the workers more than 10 months after the approval of the Federal Executive Council.

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