Nigeria Airways pensioners urge Jonathan to pay N70bn pension arrears

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By SundiataPOST, Abuja

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

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

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

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

He the government to pay the retired workers the outstanding pension arrears. He said that the government owed the pensioners N70 as at January.

“We made several attempts in the past to seek audience with President 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.

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

“NAL pensioners were  responsible for the airline’s liquidation,” he said.

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

 “Why is 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 been paid gratuity.