A former staff of the defunct Nigeria Airways, Alhaji 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 he wrote to the Federal Government, and obtained by The Nation in Kano , yesterday, Yusuf alleged that some highly-placed government officials have formed a bogus union in the name of the bonafied staff of the Nigeria Airways to sabotage the payment.
According to him, no staff union existed in Nigeria Airways since its liquidation, noting that no one had the right to hide under the guise of any union to extort them of their legal money.
The former District Manager of Nigeria Airways, Kano office, also alleged that it was the antics of the saboteurs that caused the delay in payment of the entitlements, noting that the situation had inflicted untold hardship on the staff, who had been waiting for the payment for many years.
Narrating his ordeal, Yusuf disclosed that he had spent 17 years without earning salary after he was allegedly suspended by the Federal , adding that after he filed a lawsuit, the Federal High Court delivered judgement in his favour.
“In the first instance, the N45 out of N78 billion said to have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for payment of the Nigeria Airways Staff 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 being patronized by some government officials exists legally only when the Nigeria Airways exists as an Airline. By implication of Liquidation, therefore both Nigeria Airways and house unions do no longer exist legally.Therefore have no right to have an economic share out of the money whatsoever.
“It is the selfish personal economic interest of some highly placed government officials here and there and the so called Nigeria Airways union that are responsible for the delay, 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, but having living for 17 years without salary, and without committing any offence. I received my last salary in December, 1999. Just Because I was wickedly suspended unjustifiably but the Federal High Court delivered judgment in my favor the case which federal Ministry of Aviation is fully aware,” he alleged
He called on president Buhari to direct the payment of their entitlements with exact date, urging the President to direct the stoppage of any deduction from any union.