By Lawani Mikairu
Two retirees have slumped and died while on queue at the Lagos venue of the ongoing verification and data capturing exercise of the ex-workers of the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways at the Sky Catering Services, Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, yesterday.
File photo: A cross section of pensioners
According to an eyewitness, who refused to be named, the deceased were elderly persons who came to the centre on wheelchairs and actually had medical issues but had to be physically present to undergo the exercise. Their bodies were immediately taken away from the centre by an ambulance to an unknown destination.
Meanwhile, the exercise was stalled yesterday due to inadequate verification forms from officials of the Ministry of Finance, Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, PICA, department.
As early as 10 am yesterday, the verification forms had been exhausted and those already on the queue for screening could not get the forms and were not told when it would be made available. About 3, 000 retirees were slated for verification at the Lagos centre by the officials of PICA. As at time of writing this report, only 400 had been verified and gone through the data capturing.
Some of the retirees expressed their frustration at the slow pace of the exercise. One of the affected ex-workers, Captain Julius Orimoloye, the first black pilot in Africa who is now 87, decried the sordid arrangement.
Orimoloye said: “It has been very terrible, worse than before. We were here last in 2008 and the exercise was much better than this, but have we made progress? The answer is no. There are lots that should have been done, but things are now worse.