•Seek upward adjustment of pension, gratuities
Pensioners in Ekiti State have said unless government steps up efforts to ameliorate their plight, especially the recent removal of fuel subsidy, they could contemplate suicide due to unbearable hardship as a result of poor pay.
The senior citizens, therefore, appealed to the state government to ensure an appreciable increment in their monthly pension and accommodate them in any palliative package.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti during a prayer session to seek God’s intervention on their plight, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Joel Akinola, noted that pensioners are worst hit by the fuel subsidy removal.
According to him, there are pensioners who still earn as low as N500 to N2, 000 monthly, wondering how such people would survive in a society where a litre of fuel is N500.
Akinola noted that many pensioners across the state are living in abject poverty, adding that some of their children, who are supposed to take care of them, are also unemployed.
He said: “Government should see us as special project; we deserve better attention because we are the fowl that laid the golden egg.
“In hospitals, there should be a special desk for pensioners, where we can access treatment easily at subsidised rate, because we are vulnerable.
“We have invested in the future, and we should be allowed to enjoy it now; it’s our due and right, we deserve to be paid even with interest.
“We won’t tolerate the excuse that government does not have money, because we see what past government used our money for in Ekiti. The governor and many politicians were growing fat and went home with billions of naira, and they deliberately ignored our cries as if we never mattered.
“Anytime there is increase in salary of workers, our pension should also be reviewed upward to meet current realities. I don’t know what ₦500 can buy now and that is the monthly pension of some of us.”