The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika has promised to ensure the payment of the N45billion entitlements of ex-workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL).
The said the delay in payment was because the Senate is yet to approve it.
The minister while urging them to be patient noted that the Senate has promised to approve it after the Easter break.
Sirika who spoke yesterday in Abuja at Aviation Stakeholders Forum, assured that the payment would be done within two weeks after the Senate approves it.
Labour unions in the aviation industry had threatened to ground flight operations all over the country to draw government’s attention to the plight of ex-workers of the defunct national carrier.
The union gave the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum which began on March 19 for it to make the payment or they down tools.
Responding to their demands, Sirika said: “Because of the law and because we did everything transparently and in accordance with the law, we put out a request to the National Assembly to allow us to pay them.
“It has passed the House of Representatives but it is remaining the Senate. The Senate promised to pass it when they come back from Easter and once they pass it, we will pay. Nigeria Airways, we will pay you and we thank you for your patience.”
On their threat to ground flight operations, the minister said: “If you shut down operations, it will affect a lot of things. In this hard time for Nigeria, I got N45billion for you and we are just waiting for the National Assembly because the house of Representatives have done it, remaining the Senate and once they do it, within two weeks, we will pay.
“So, you don’t need to close the airspace because it can cause serious economic damage to the country, and also cause serious security risk.
“We are sick and tired of talks on closing of the airspace. So please let your protest and downing of tools be in accordance with the law because it is an industry you want to develop also.
“Press your demands some other ways. I have gone to sister agencies and MDAs, I have gone to several places just to press your demands on people, individuals, entrepreneurs and others just to make case for you.”