LAGOS, NIGERIA (INDEPENDENT) – As the Federal Government is still dilly-dallying about the payment of N45bn as final severance packages to the ex-workers of the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways, one of the major staff of the airline last week in Kano State passed on after unable to pay medical bills.
Alhaji Bello Da’U, former Company Secretary and Legal Advisor to the airline, it was gathered, died in a hospital in Kano on July 28, 2018, thereby bringing the total number of deaths recorded among the staff of the airline to 845 since the carrier was liquidated in 2004.
At liquidation 14 years ago, the total number of members of staff of the airline stood at 6,731, but the number had plunged to 5,886 due to continue deaths recorded among the former staff of the airline.
Majority of the deceased died as a result of their inability to procure even N2,000 drugs while some of them became destitute while waiting for the Federal Government to pay them their severance packages as promised on liquidation.
A family source to the deceased told our correspondent over the weekend that Da’U was only sick for a few days and taken to the hospital, but the family members could not raise his medical bill, which led to his abandonment and eventual death in the hospital.
The news about his death was broken to Da’U’s ex-colleagues by his son, Mr. Bashir Bello Da’U.
A source close to the family also told our correspondent that Da’U before his death had hoped to collect his severance benefits before his death when the government promised that the sum would be paid before the end of 2017, but the failure of the government to fulfill its earlier promise led to his ailment and eventual death.
Since the payment was announced and approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) last September, no fewer than 200 staff of the former national carrier had passed on.