By Mustapha Usman
A former staff of the defunct Nigeria Airways, Abubakar Yusuf, has raised alarm over the N45 billion approved by the Federal Government to offset the entitlements of the staff of the former national carrier.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in December, last year, approved the payment of the former staff of the Nigeria Airways, and ordered that the payment be done before Christmas.
But up till now, the payment is yet to be actualised, situation that made the beneficiaries to cry out.
In a petition to the Federal Government, obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN in Kano state, Mr Yusuf alleged that some highly-placed government officials have formed a bogus union in the name of the bona-fide staff of the Nigeria Airways to sabotage the payment.
According to him, no staff union existed in Nigeria Airways since its liquidation, in that, no one had the right to hide under any guise to extort them of their legal money.
The former District Manager, Kano office of the Nigeria Airways, also alleged that the antics of the saboteurs had caused the delay in payment of the entitlements.
He noted that the situation had inflicted untold hardship on the ex-staffers who had been waiting for the payment for many years.
Narrating his ordeal, Mr Yusuf disclosed that he had spent 17 years without earning salary after he was allegedly unjustly suspended by the Federal Government.
The N45 out of N78 billion said to have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for payment of the Nigeria Airways Staff’s entitlement is their legitimate right.
“Any Government officials involved in the handling of this assignment has their approved salaries and due allowances.
“And any union being selfishly and wrongly patronized by some government officials did not legally exist legally when the Nigeria Airways operated as an Airline.
“By implication of Liquidation, therefore both Nigeria Airways and house unions no longer exist legally and will therefore have no economic share out of the money whatsoever,” the ex-staffer said.
Mr Yusuf further alleged that these government officials and the so called Nigeria Airways union are responsible for the delay for the payment.
He added that the delay is causing untold hardship and unmeasured death of the Nigeria Airways Staff.
“In fact, the situation of Nigeria Airways staff and their families is so pathetic to any human being having human thought.
“For instance, in view of the large family I have, apart from salt and pepper, there is no bag of any food stuff that could last for more than 2 weeks in my house.
“I have been living without salary for 17 years now, and without committing any offence.
“I received my last salary in December, 1999 just because I was wickedly and unjustifiably suspended and the Federal High Court delivered judgment in my favour.
“The Federal Ministry of Aviation is fully aware of the case but nothing has been done about it,” he lamented.
Mr Yusuf therefore called on President Buhari to direct the payment of their entitlements with exact date and the stoppage of any deduction from any union.