Ex-employees of the liquidated Nigerian Airways are to receive their entitlements amounting to about N45 billion, Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has said.
The Minister who gave the hint on Tuesday also said that the Federal Government would settle other debts and contractual obligations to local contractors between 2006 and 2015.
Adeosun stated this while appearing before the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Senate on “Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance.”
She told the committee chaired by the Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena, that the debts owed to various classes of contractors, including the terminal benefits of ex-Nigerian Airways workers, would be paid through promissory notes and bonds issuance.
The minister admitted that the unpaid Federal Government obligations constituted a drag on economic activity across many sectors.
The unpaid obligations include those of pensioners as well as salary and promotion arrears to civil servants; obligations to contractors and suppliers who in turn, owe banks thereby increasing the non-performing loans in the banking system, and unpaid electricity bills by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Other obligations are exporters owed funds under the Export Expansion Grant Scheme and unpaid refunds due to State Governments in respect of projects undertaken on behalf of the Federal Government.
According to the Minister, the Federal Government, has approved the issuance of promissory notes and bonds to settle its contractual obligations subject to the approval of the National Assembly.
The Minister, however, debunked claims by the ex-workers that there was a presidential approval for the payment of their terminal benefits.
“There is no presidential approval and no appropriation yet for the payment of N45 billion to the ex-workers,” she said.
Similarly, a representative of the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Usman, told the committee that the government paid N34.2 billion to clear the promotion arrears to workers in the MDAs.