Seven pensioners of Nigeria Airways died in the past one week, according to Godwin Jibodu, chairman of the Nigeria Airways elders forum.
Jibodu disclosed this while speaking with journalists yesterday.
He identified the deceased as Asuquo, Akintaju, M. K. Amah, Bose Oladumiye, Onyebuchi Anunobi, Adebayo Awoyinka, T. Bellgam and Ebenezer Akinbode.
While expressing his sadness over the incident, Jibodu said the country should not forget the contributions of Nigeria Airways to national development.
He lamented that the pensioners were wallowing in abject poverty after serving the nation “meritoriously”.
“We lost seven colleagues within the last one week because they could not afford proper treatment for their ailments,” he said.
“This is very sad because the government has approved N45 billion since June for payment of our pensions and gratuities.
“We are appealing to Nigeria as a nation not to forget the contributions of Nigeria Airways to national development.
“Nigeria Airways was a partner to the government and till date has helped in building the capacity of workers in the aviation sector. There is so much silence and we don’t know who is delaying the payment and it is very unfortunate.”
In May 2003, former President Olusegun Obasanjo liquidated the airline which commenced operations in August 1958.
The entitlements of the former workers were put at about N78 billion.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved N45 billion for the workers but the money is yet to be disbursed.
Nigeria Airways was a flagship company in the 1970s and early 1980s but poor management, government interference and other problems led to the collapse of the airline.