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30 Mar 2018

Nigeria Airways’ Ex-workers Will Get N45bn Severance After Easter - FG

The N45bn severance package of former workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited will be paid after the Easter holiday as soon as the Senate resumes sitting and approves the fund, the Federal Government has said.
The government stated that the money had been provided and that it was willing to pay but would follow laid-down rules.

This is coming as the government also named 16 firms that had been contracted as transaction advisers for the development of strategic aviation projects captured in the road map for the sector.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 4th Aviation Stakeholders’ Forum in Abuja, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said the Federal Government would not want workers of the liquidated national carrier to die without getting their severance package.

On Monday, The PUNCH had reported a threat by aviation unions to embark on a nationwide strike in the next 14 days if the Federal Government failed to pay the N45bn severance package of the former workers of the liquidated carrier.

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, National Union of Air Transport Employees and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria stated that it was insensitive of the Ministry of Finance to refuse to pay the workers more than 10 months after the approval of the Federal Executive Council.

Reacting to this, Sirika said, “Every expenditure of government needs a legislative stamp, including that for Nigeria Airways pensioners. The House of Representatives has already dealt with the matter and passed it. So, once they pass it at the Senate, which is after Easter, we will go ahead and pay.

“The money has been provided and we are willing to pay, but we have to legalise it by going through the National Assembly to approve and stamp it. It is the requirement of the law and this government will always do things in accordance with the law. So, we will pay the workers.”

During the event proper, the minister told delegates that 16 transaction advisers had been appointed for the six projects in the aviation road map in line with the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission’s guidelines and the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

For the concession of the Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt airport terminals, Sirika stated that the consortium comprised of five firms with vast experience and expertise in airport management, public-private project legal advice, finance, project and construction management, environmental and social services.

He listed the transaction advisers for the concession of the four airports, namely, the United Kingdom-based firm, Infrata; an international law firm based in London, Dentons; and an economic company headquartered in Rotterdam, Rebel.

Others are an engineering consultancy outfit known as WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff; and a project coordination company, Proserve.

For the transaction advisers on the establishment of a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre and aviation leasing company, five firms were contracted and they are Arup UK, Catamaran Nigeria Limited, RDC Aviation Economics UK, Aubert Business Consulting UK and Olawoyin & Olawoyin.

Three transaction advisers were contracted for the development of an aerotropolis and cargo/agro allied terminals. They are the Infrastructure Bank Plc, PWO GIBB and Abdulai Taiwo and Co.

On the establishment of a national carrier, three companies were selected. They are Airline Management Group Limited of the UK, Avia Solutions Limited and Tianerro FZE.

Sirika said, “The transaction advisers have all commenced work and are liaising with the project delivery team.  All the transaction advisers except the one for the national carrier were engaged in May 2017 and have a nine-month contract duration.

“The deliverables by the transaction advisers include to outline business case for adopting PPP methodology, development of a well-structured PPP procurement process to select a PPP partner, prepare the full business case, as well as support the ministry to obtain FBC compliance certificate from the ICRC, FEC approval and progress transaction up to financial closure.

 “The outline business case shall on completion and due approval by relevant authorities be presented to interested investors.”

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