Nigeria Airways: Pensioners give banks ultimatum to release 700m

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The Nigerian Union of Pensioners has given some banks in the country 7-days ultimatum to release N700 million withheld by the bank to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

The action of the banks to withhold the huge sum is creating tension between the banks and the Office of the Accountant General.

The N700 million represented the extra money that was mistakenly paid into the account of some of the former workers who were said to have been paid twice by the government.

The payment came after a verification exercise on the former workers of the defunct national carrier.

The N700 million overpayment, was part of the N22 billion approved by government as the final N45 billion severance entitlements approved for former workers of liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited.

However efforts made by the Accountant General and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP), representatives of the workers to make the banks refund the money to the Accountant General’s office have yielded no positive results.

While GTB, Keystone, Chartered, Unity and UBA banks have fully refunded the money  other banks are yet to comply with the agreement to refund.

The eight banks affected include: the First Bank which is said to be in possession of the lion share of 80 per cent of the money in question.

Other banks include: Diamond, Fidelity, Polaris, Zenith, Stanbic and Ecobank.

While the Office of the Accountant General was said to be unhappy with the banks, the union representatives of the former airline workers have given the banks one-week ultimatum which ends this week to return the money.

Former workers of Airways said should the banks fail to return the money this week; they will picket the banks first thing next Monday.

The refusal of the banks to refund the money is said to be slowing down the ongoing payment of the last batch of the former workers entitlements.

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