Ex-laborers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO), have given the administration and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), a fourteen day final proposal to clarify the status of their N1.13 billion or face legitimate activity.
The bothered ex-laborers numbering more than 700 have drawn in the administrations of basic liberties legal counselor, Joe Nwokedi, to request the installment of their terminal and severance benefits. What’s more, excepting a round-table gathering between the ex-specialists, NAHCO and BPE in about fourteen days, Nwokedi will likewise be taking the issue up with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), for intercession.
The Guardian as of late announced the go head to head between the NAHCO the board and their previous laborers over a N1.13 billion-worth severance bundle paid to the laborers after the organization was privatized in 2005. While the administration asserted that the entirety was an advance and due for reimbursement by the public authority, the laborers said NAHCO had no real case to their advantages.
The workers said the contentious N1.13 billion pending at the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) remains their severance benefits and not NAHCO’s refund. And to challenge NAHCO management’s request that the bounty be paid as a “gratuity refund”, the ex-staffers have resolved to head to the law court.
Counsel to the workers, Joe Nwokedi, told journalists that all plans to resolve the issue had been frustrated by both NAHCO and BPE, accusing them of plans to divert what belongs to the workers.
Nwokedi said the lack of cooperation on the part of the aviation ground handling firm and BPE had left them with no choice than to seek redress in court.
He noted that his office looked at the claims of the workers and realised that “there was grand design not to pay the workers their severance package after working meritoriously for the company before it was privatised”.
“When this matter came up, we looked at it, studied it and discovered that there was injustice done to the former workers. There are so many issues that were hazy that they could not clarify. There were so many areas that needed so many answers. Those answers were not provided. The answers were not satisfactory. We have actually gone to PTAD on the money that our clients are supposed to have been paid.
“As a matter of fact, they made it so clear to us that the money they are paying us is not from them, which is N1.13 billion that was mapped out for them as their severance package after several years of diligent service at NAHCO. The question now is where is this money?
“They could not answer the question as to the whereabouts of N1.13 billion. It was on record that it was mapped out for the severance package of our clients. That now led us to BPE because they mentioned BPE and in the course of our deliberations with them, they availed us with documents from BPE directing them as to when NAHCO was privatised,” he said.
Alademoni lamented that PTAD had also stopped paying the meagre earnings to the ex-workers in the last four weeks, “which further gives credence to our fears that something is not right.”
The group, numbering over 700 persons, led by their National Coordinator, Funso Ojubanire and Alademoni, were disengaged from service of NAHCO and retired when the company was privatised.
Majority of the ex-workers had put in up to between 15 and 20 years prior to the company’s privatisation, saying they were entitled to huge remuneration as payment for their terminal benefits.
They claimed to have suffered severe setbacks when PTAD allegedly short-changed and eventually underpaid them after 15 years of long wait in anticipation of the payment of their terminal benefits, which is “legally and lawfully” due to them as ex-workers of NAHCO Ltd.