Defunct Nigerian Airways Workers, Others To Get Benefits

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Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance on Tuesday said the federal government would pay terminal benefits owed former workers of the defunct Nigerian Airways. Adeosun also said the government is ready to offset inherited debts and outstanding payments to local contractors between 2006 and 2015. The minister stated this on Tuesday while appearing before Senate’s ad hoc committee on Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance. According to a statement issued by her Media Adviser, Oluyinka Akintunde, the debts, including the terminal benefits of the ex-Nigerian Airways workers would be repaid through promissory notes and bond issuance. Akintunde listed the debts to include those to pensioners, salary and promotion arrears to civil servants. He also listed debts to contractors and suppliers, who in turn owed banks and increase amount of non-performing loans. Others are unpaid electricity bills by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, funds owed exporters under the Export Expansion Grant Scheme and unpaid refunds to state governments in respect of projects undertaken on behalf of the federal government. Adeosun stated, “The Federal Government is working towards settling these inherited debts. The Small and Medium-scale Enterprises are the lifeline of our nation. “The Federal Government will be stimulating the economy by paying these legacy debts.” According to her, the federal government has approved the process, subject to the approval of the National Assembly. She refuted claims by the Nigerian Airways ex-workers that the president had approved a sum of N45 billion for the payment. Adeosun added, “There is no presidential approval and no appropriation yet for the payment of N45bn to the ex-workers.” Earlier, Mohammed Usman, who represented the Accountant General of the Federation, told the committee that the government had paid N34.2bn to clear promotion arrears of workers in the MDAs.  
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