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2 ex-Nigerian Airways workers die on queue

2 ex-Nigerian Airways workers die on queue

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Louis Ibah

Inadequate verification forms from the Ministry of Finance, Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) department has stalled the on-going verification and data capturing exercise of former workers of defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways.   

The exercise is holding at the Sky Catering Services at the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos and sources told Saturday Sun that two retirees who had slumped while on the queue to get their documents verified were later pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital.

On Monday, officials of PICA had said that at least 500 retirees would be verified and captured daily for final disbursement of their entitlement, but five days after the commencement of the exercise, out of the 3,000 slated for the exercise, only 400 had been verified and gone through the data capturing.

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“The stress associated with this exercise led to two retirees of the former national carrier slumping on Thursday at this venue and later dying in the hospitals where they were taken,” a source said. “The remains of the dead were deposited at the mortuary.”

Saturday Sun learnt that the verification forms had been exhausted as early as 10am yesterday while those slated for screening by the officials were stranded and had no clue on when the forms would be made available. At the verification centre, Capt. Julius Orimoloye, 87, the first black pilot to fly Nigeria Airways, decried the poor arrangement put in place by the verification team.

Said Orimoloye, “I came here from Akure, Ondo State Capital today (Friday), but all I see is chaos. I can’t comment on a chaotic situation. I have not done anything. I was billed for Friday, which is today. The last exercise of 10 years ago, they billed me for Monday and I came down on a Monday, only to meet everybody else here.

“Those who were billed for Tuesday and Friday, were entering the place before me, but despite the confusion then, I was attended to within three hours. Now, I have been here since 9am, but nothing is happening.”

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Recall that The Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance had said recently that half of the N45billion, representing N22.5 billion would be disbursed to the former workers soon while the balance of
N22.5billion would also be disbursed to them at a later date.

Deputy Director, PICA, Ministry of Finance, Mr. John Waitono, who is coordinating the exercise in Lagos had exuded confidence on Monday that the exercise would be concluded as planned.

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