•••calls on FG to fulfill N25,000 cash award
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) on Wednesday lamented that the petrol subsidy removal has further impoverished pensioners, urging the federal government to fulfill its promise due to their vulnerability.
This is just as the retirees, called on the federal government not to renege on its promise to include pensioners in the N25,000 cash award announced to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal on Nigerians.
The National President of NUP, Godwin Abumisi, who stated this at the opening of National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting of the union held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said the removal of the fuel subsidy has brought the retirees pains, frustration, and hardship.
His words: “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 emphasizing that its members have been struggling and battling for survival, Abumisi said if the palliatives are religiously implemented it will go a long way to calm down frayed nerves of its members.
Remarking, the Ondo State Chairman of the NUP, Johnson Osunyemi, thanked the National Headquarters of the union for granting Ondo State to host this year’s edition of the prestigious National Executive Council Meeting.
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.
He also hailed Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for giving priority to the welfarism of pensioners in the state.
“Distinguished pensioners, although we still tremble under the cumbersome yoke of unpaid gratuities, we have decided to celebrate our Governor today because he paid all the arrears of pensions he inherited from his predecessor. Equally, he has implemented all the increase in our pensions.
“Incidentally, and sadly too, his promises to ease the problems of pensioners are being encumbered by ill-health. As a parting request by the host council to our guests, we appeal to you to kindly join us in praying for the quick recovery of our kind and God-fearing Governor,” he said.
On his remark, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, represented by his Special Adviser on Union Matters and Special Duties, Dare Aragbaye said the state government has been committed to welfare of the pensioners.
He also added that the monthly pensions of the retirees are being paid as at when due while government prioritize allocation of substantial amount of money for the gratuities.
BusinessDay reports that an Award of Excellence was given to Governor Akeredolu for all he had done for pensioners in Ondo state.