Fidelis David in Akure
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), yesterday, lamented the effect of subsidy removal on average pensioner across the country, saying it has brought them pains, frustration, and hardship.
This is just as it called on the federal government not to renege on its promise to include pensioners in the N25,000 cash award announced to cushion the economic hardship of the petrol subsidy removal, to assuage the pains of its members.
National President of NUP, Godwin Abumisi, who spoke at the opening of National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, lamented that the petrol subsidy removal has further impoverished pensioners, urging the federal government to fulfill its promise due to their vulnerability.
“The Pensioners’ Day this year was celebrated on the 5th of October, 2023, in line with the declaration of the day as the Older Persons’ Day by the federal government. We addressed a world press conference and demanded the inclusion of pensioners in the N25,000 cash award announced by the federal government.
“Immediately after this, we met with the Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Betta Edu, and it is our hope that the list submitted will be treated with the needed zeal. This is why the theme of this year’s NEC meeting ‘Effect of Subsidy Removal on an Average Pensioner’ is very apt and explicit.
“Without mincing words, the subsidy removal has brought with it, pains, frustration and hardship to average Nigerians, including the pensioners. In the light of this, we wish to use this occasion to passionately appeal to both the Federal, State and Local Governments to do something very fast to assuage the pains of our members and other vulnerable Nigerians.”
While emphasising that its members had been struggling and battling for financial survival, Abumisi said if the palliatives were religiously implemented to the letter on record time devoid of the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks, it would go a long way to calm down frayed nerves of its members.
In his welcome address, the Ondo State Chairman of the NUP, Johnson Osunyemi, who pledged their total support and unfeigned loyalty to the National Headquarters, therefore, promised to always operate in accordance with the spirit and constitution of the union.
In his remark, Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), represented by his Special Adviser on Union Matters and Special Duties, Mr Dare Aragbaye, said, as part of his admission’s commitment to the welfarism of Pensioners, monthly pensions are being paid as at when due while government prioritise allocation of substantial amount of money for payment of gratuities.