Retirees under the umbrella body of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) have decried the continued hardship in the country following the removal of fuel subsidies by President Bola Tinubu.
At a meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the retirees faulted the removal of subsidy on May 29 by Mr Tinubu, saying it occasioned pains and frustration.
Godwin Abumisi, NUP’s national president, on behalf of the retirees, said the government needed to provide a solution to their suffering.
“Without mincing words, the subsidy removal has brought with it pains, frustration and hardship to average Nigerians, including the pensioners,” said Mr Abumisi.
He added, “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.”
Mr Abumisi said this at the opening of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union.
He also called on the federal government to fulfil its promise to include pensioners in the N25,000 cash award announced to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal.
Mr Abumisi said the union’s leadership has met with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu.
“We demanded the inclusion of pensioners in the N25,000 cash award announced by the federal government,” Mr Abumisi said.
The Ondo State chairman of the NUP, Johnson Osunyemi, who lauded Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for paying all pension arrears, said retirees still grapple with unpaid gratuities.
“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.
In July, Mr Tinubu declared that Nigeria saved over N1 trillion in over two months after removing the fuel subsidy.
But despite this, Nigerians continued to face difficult times as the development resulted in rising prices of essential commodities.