The convoy of the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, was on Tuesday night blocked by angry pensioners of the defunct Nigerian Airways.
The pensioners, who had arrived the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday morning for pension verification, claimed that they travelled to Abuja from various parts of the country on the invitation of the ministry for data capturing.
Some of them who spoke to our correspondent lamented the hardship they were subjected to since Sunday as they had to sleep in open space within and around the finance ministry premises.
The minister, who was rushing home to break her Ramadan fast after a meeting with heads of agencies under her ministry, was caught in the web of protest.
Among the government officials that came to see the finance minister at the time, the protesters sealed the ministry’s entrance gate include the Director General of Debt Management Office, Ms Patience Oniha; Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly ( Senate), Ita Enang.
The protesters barricaded the entrance to the main gate and prevented the minister from leaving the premises.
Speaking on behalf of the ex-employees of defunct Nigeria Airways, the Chairman, Nigeria Airways pensioners, Sam Nzene, said some of his colleagues were left out in the first tranche of 50 per cent paid last year due to non-capturing of their data.
While admitting that it was not the fault of the government, he said notice was sent out to pensioners that missed out during capturing to come for another round of the exercise on Monday, May 27, 2019.
He said, “My people have been here in the last three days sleeping outside and nobody is talking to them.
“No arrangement whatsoever is on the ground for the data capturing. The consultant in charge of verification, simply identified as Jibril, said he had not been paid.
“In fact, he said he needed logistics, and papers to work which we agreed to pay some money but he left and didn’t come back.”