The minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the commitment to the well-being of Nigerians led President Muhammadu Buhari to end the 14 year wait and suffering of the 5996 former staffers of Nigeria Airways who have started receiving payment of their pension arrears and other benefits from the federal government.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed who said this in his speech at the rally organised by the ex-workers of Nigerian Airways in Lagos on Friday to support the re-election of President Buhari, noted that since the liquidation of Nigerian Airways, successive administration have failed to settle the ex-staffers, leading to untold suffering and loss of human dignity by affected people.
The minister assured that the next of kin of more than 800 deceased ex staffers of Nigeria Airways will also receive the entitlements due to them.
It is not just former staffers of Nigerian Airways who have benefited from the People oriented policy of this administration. Former Biafran Police, former workers of Aladja Delta Steel Company and former NITEL workers have also seen their years of suffering and neglect come to an end, thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister said.
While thanking the ex-workers for the show of appreciation to the President for what he has done for them, the minister said their show of appreciation and support for the President could not have come at a better time the country is a few days away from the presidential elections.
Lai Mohammed stated further that under the Social Investment Programme, the government has recorded conditional cash transfer that has benefited 300,000 families, the home grown school feeding system under which 9.3 million school children are being fed daily, the N-Power that has employed 500,000 unemployed graduates, the government enterprise and empowerment programme and Tradermoni that has covered 1.2 million people.
In his opening remarks earlier, the coordinator of the ex-Nigeria Airways workers, Comrade Lookman Animashaun said the rally and support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election is a way of saying thank you to the President for paying them their entitlements after previous administrations have failed to pay.
He said the ex-Airways workers are doing the rally willingly without being sponsored as a way to show appreciation to the President.
Animashaun added that the President when re-elected will pay the balance of the remaining 50 percent.
Animashaun used the occasion to express appreciation to the minister of state for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, the minister of finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed and the two permanent secretaries in the two ministries for carrying the directive of the President to the letters.
The rally which kicked off from the Skypower Catering and moved through the Local Airport and back at the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) Secretariat opposite local airport runway attracted hundreds of the ex workers adorning Face caps and T shirts which reads PMB did it.
At the event, there were goodwill messages from minister of state for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who was represented by the managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), the President of ATSSSAN, comrade Ilitrus Ahmadu and others.