Zainab Ahmed

The federal government has approved the release of N22.6 billion balance to pensioners of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited.

Permanent Secretary Special Duties in the ministry of finance, Dr. Mohammed K. Dikwa, made this disclosure while calming the restive pensioners who forced the minister to remain in her office to effect the payment of their entitlements.

Dikwa said communication lapses between his office, the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) and pensioners led to the embarrassment suffered by the minister and others caught in the pensioners protest.

Though the verification and data capturing of the NAL pensioners was supposed to start by 10am and terminate by 2pm the exercise eventually started by 2pm after some grumbling from the pensioners.

The pensioners were worried that the late start of the data capturing exercise might lead to some of them not being captured on Wednesday meaning that some of them might spend another day in Abuja.

The exercise was however peaceful. Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Nigeria Airways branch, Comrade Sam Nzene, who spoke with journalists, alleged that the consultant who was to conduct the screening disappeared claiming that his contract had not been regularised and that government was owing him.

On Tuesday before handing over, Zainab Ahmed held two meetings first with directors and heads of parastatals under her ministry and later with her Special Advisers and Assistants where she thanked them for supporting her.

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