xCaptain Dele Ore, a former Director of Operations, Nigeria Airways, on Thursday said the liquidation of the defunct national carrier by the Federal Government was based on wrong advice.
Ore made the remark in Lagos while speaking with newsmen after the unveiling of his book, titled: “The Learned Commander,” to mark his 75th birthday.
He expressed sadness over the liquidation of the airline in 2004 by President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government without paying the workers their severance packages.
Ore said: “Nigeria Airways was all I knew in my entire life.
“In fact, someone boasted that once they remove an aeroplane from me, I will be empty.
“I retired shortly before the airline was liquidated by the Federal Government.
“The government was ill-advised.
“It was a costly mistake.
“To liquidate the airline and not settling the staff was another crime against the staff.
“However, former President Umaru Yar’Adua did a bit by paying the five years severance packages but (Goodluck) Jonathan who was his vice, when he took over did not do anything for the workers.”
Ore, however, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for paying a part of the severance package, but lamented that he and a few others who retired before the airline was liquidated were still not properly paid their dues.
He said: “What the government paid recently was just the tip of the iceberg.
“I, for one, I have not been settled.
“I only received a part of what I am entitled to.
“I, however say kudos to the President (Buhari) but more still need to be done.
“This has allowed me to launch my book, which I have been writing in the past eight years.
“This is my ninth book.
“The book will be launched properly on March 28.”
Ore, a former President of the Aviation Round Table, added that the government’s plan to float another national carrier (Nigeria Air) would be difficult until ex-workers of Nigeria Airways were completely settled.
NAN reports that Buhari had in October 2018 approved the payment of N22.6 billion to former workers of the defunct national carrier as part payment of their entitlements.
The funds were disbursed to the beneficiaries after verification exercise conducted by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit in Lagos, Kano and Enugu.