The three unions in the aviation sector have issued a 14-day ultimatum to the federal government to pay pensions and entitlements of 6,000 workers of the defunct Nigerian Airways Limited.

The unions decried the delay in payment of N45 billion approved by the federal government for the ex-workers. The unions are National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN).

The ultimatum was issued in a joint petition dated March 19 and signed by Ocheme Aba for NAAPE, Frances Akinjole, ATSSSAN, and Olayinka Abioye for NUATE. It was addressed to the minister of state for aviation, Hadi Sirika.

It was also forwarded to the ministers of labour and employment, and finance.
The unions said it was unfortunate that government still owed the Nigerian Airways workers more than 10 months after the payment was approved by the Federal Executive Council.

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According to the unions, while Sirika has made efforts to ensure that the workers were paid, the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, was frustrating the payment.

The unions said, “Our previous letters to the minister have failed to move her just as earlier letter from the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on the matter.

“In view of the above, we are sad to inform you that workers in the sector will commence an indefinite strike in 14 days, should the ex-workers fail to receive their entitlements.”

The unions stated that they had commenced the mobilisation of the NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United Labour Congress (ULC) in a bid to gather wider support for the action.