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No payment of severance packages for Nigeria Airways, Nigeria Air can’t fly—Union

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The leading trade union of aviation workers’, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) has given the federal government an ultimatum over the immediate release of fund for the severance packages of Nigeria Airways ex-staff.

In a communiqué issued after its recent meeting in Abuja, the group made it clear that the Federal Government must pay the approved severance packages and entitlements of N45bn for the staff of the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways before the commencement of flight operations by the new national carrier, Nigeria Air.

Otherwise, ATSSSAN averred that it could not guarantee a safe haven for the impending national carrier if the benefits are not paid in full before the December 24th inaugural flight of the Nigeria Air.

ATSSSAN revealed further that “Out that no fewer than 960 of the slightly above 6, 000 staff of the airline at liquidation had died in pitiable circumstances since the carrier was shut in 2004 by the Federal Government”.

The communiqué, jointly signed by the President and Deputy General Secretary respectively, Mr. Ahmadu Ilitrus and Mr. Frances Akinjole, also decried that since the approval was made by President Muhammadu Buhari over a year ago, the government had not made efforts to ensure the sum was paid to beneficiaries while the x-workers continued to die in droves.

Part of the terms of the communiqué said “NEC-in-session lamented the failure of the Federal Government to settle the outstanding entitlements of ex-workers of Nigeria Airways several years after the airline was liquidated”.

“The NEC resolved that the issue of payment of the severance benefits of ex-Nigeria Airways workers must be resolved immediately in order to forestall brewing labour issues that could affect, in the negative, the prospects of the recently unveiled ‘Nigeria Air’ by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“The NEC commiserates with the families of the over 960 Nigeria Airways workers who died in very avoidable health conditions while waiting for their entitlement and wish the souls of the departed workers a peaceful rest and the family they left behind the gratitude to carry on the struggle,” ATSSSAN informed.

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