By Chinedu Eze
The Nigeria Airways branch of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) at the weekend decried the delay of payment of N45 billion pension arrears owed them by the federal government.
Â Over one month after the money was approved as announced by the Federal Executive Council during the meeting of 20th September, 2017 and gave directive for immediate payment of N45 billion ex-workers/pensioners of the defunct Nigeria Airway Limited (NAL), nothing has been heard.
Â One of the beneficiaries and a former Director in the defunct airline, Dr. Steve Mahonwu, told THISDAY on Friday that pensioners held a meeting during the week where they expected concerned government official to give them update on the payment but the official did not come until the end of the meeting.
Â The pensioners said many of them had died and those in need of medication did not have the financial resources to seek the services of good hospitals.
Â The Chairman of the Pensioners Forum, Mr. Godwin Jibodu who identified many of the members that had lost their lives since government gave approval for the payment of the pension, however said that Mr. Ebenezer Akinbode, Mrs. Bose Odumiye and Mr. T BellgameÂ earlier mentioned to be among the deceased were still alive.
Â The pensioners said that immediate payment as prescribed by the government should mean not more than two weeks after the approval of the money.
Â In the official document signed by the Chairman, Mr. Segun Feyisetan and the Secretary General, Mr. Thomas Ojuderi, the NAL pensioners said that Presidential Initiative on Continuous Auditing (PICA) which was saddled with the responsibility of effecting this payment had not contacted the union about it since the announcement was formally made.
Â â€œBy now PICA (which is handling this payment) would have called the union to a meeting to work out the modalities of payment with a view to informing the beneficiaries the date of commencement of verification but it’s like everything is shrouded secrecy. No one knows what is happeningâ€, they said.