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Pensioners Cry Out, Say We’re Dying of Hardship

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The National President of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Mr. Godwin Abumisi, has cried out to President Bola Tinubu that the removal of fuel subsidy has brought pains, frustration, and hardship to average pensioners in the country.

Abumisi said this in Akure, the Ondo State capital, at the opening of National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union.

He appealed to 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, in order to assuage the pains of his members.

The National President, who lamented that the petrol subsidy removal has further impoverished pensioners, urged the Federal government to fulfill its promise to the pensioners.

He said: “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.”

The national president said that its members have been struggling and battling for financial survival.

Abumisi pointed out that if the palliatives are religiously implemented to the letter on record time devoid of the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks, it will go a long way to calm down frayed nerves of its members.

Also speaking,  the Ondo State Chairman of the union, Johnson Osunyemi,  who pledged their support and loyalty to the National Headquarters, promised to always operate in accordance with the spirit and constitution of the union.

Osunyemi lauded the  Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for giving priority to the welfare 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.

The State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said that as part of his admission’s commitment to the welfarism of pensioners, monthly pensions are being paid as at when due while government priorities allocation of substantial amount of money for payment of gratuities.

Akeredolu was represented by his Special Adviser on Union Matters and Special Duties, Mr. Dare Aragbaye.

An award of excellence was presented by the pensioners to governor Akeredolu, NLC Vice President, Comrade Sunday Adeleye; the State Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa among others.

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Lagos Govt Warns Schools, Teachers Against Extension Classes, Fee-Paying Tutorials for Students

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The Lagos State government has issued a stern warning to teachers and schools against extending official hours for fee-paying extra lessons.

This directive was announced by the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Tolani Alli-Balogun, during the unveiling of a block of classrooms and furniture at Amuwo Odofin Junior High School complex.

Alli-Balogun emphasized that the extra hour after the official closing time – typically used for paid lessons – ought to be for extracurricular activities. The activities, the commissioner said, include clubs such as the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Boys Scouts, Boys/Girls Brigade, STEM Club, Writing and Debate Club, are essential for the well-rounded development of students.

Expressing his disapproval of the practice where the first lesson of the day is often neglected by teachers, Alli-Balogun warned that any teacher found derelict in their duties would face strict consequences.

“Do your job at the right time between 8.00am and 2.00pm and leave the extra hour for reading or extracurricular activities.

“We will no longer condone using that time for fee-paying extra lessons in our schools. Education is free in Lagos State, and nobody should be charging any fee for anything,” he warned.

The commissioner made these remarks during the inauguration of new classroom facilities and furniture at the Amuwo-Odofin Junior High School Complex, a project sponsored by Grimaldi Group and Ports & Terminal Multiservices Ltd.

He urged students to fully engage in the various social activities and clubs available to ensure their holistic development.

Alli-Balogun’s stern message underscores the government’s commitment to free education and the importance of extracurricular activities in fostering a balanced educational environment.

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Declare State of Emergency on Power Sector Now, Barth Nnaji Tells FG

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By Morakinyo Ajibade

Chairman, Geometric Power Limited, and former Minister of Power, Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji, has said that only a state of emergency on the power and gas sector will restore the comatose energy and electricity crisis in the nation.

The former Minister, who just commissioned a power station in Aba, Abia State, made this call while speaking as a guest lecturer at the inaugural Dele Momodu Leadership Lecture, held at the Nigerian Institute of International and Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.

According to him, a state of emergency needs to be declared in the gas sector as this declaration will save the power sector and allow the government and other stakeholders to address fundamental issues in the gas sector in a robust manner.

“The issues will include how to strike a healthy balance between producing gas for export and gas for domestic consumption. Gas is equally needed in both markets.

“There is not enough natural gas or even liquefied petroleum gas used in the kitchen. Even the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company, a major foreign exchange earner that also has a guaranteed market, has been operating at 60% capacity on account of insufficient gas supply.

“The petroleum companies supplying gas to power-generating companies are in a tighter position. Because they are performing sub-optimally, there are now longer periods of electricity blackouts throughout the country. This is despite the spirited efforts of the NNPCL, the Ministry of Power and the Presidency,” he said.

The event, which attracted the who’s who in the nation’s political and economic climate, was held to mark the 64th birthday of Aare Dele Momodu, a veteran and seasoned journalist, who has dedicated most of his life time in the pursuit of equity and food governance in Nigeria.

Among dignitaries that graced the all important gathering were the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. John Dramani Mahama; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke; former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; traditional rulers, captains of industries, and the general public.

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Adeleke Hails Glo, Adenuga for Enormous Contributions to Economy

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The governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has praised Globacom for its enormous contributions to Nigerian society. He also lauded the company’s chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Jr., for his strong faith in the country.

Governor Adeleke, who made the remark while entertaining a Globacom team in his office in the state capital, insisted that “the subnational entities are where your market is and even though the regulatory body is national, your market base remains the states and the local governments. You must deliberately prioritize partnership with the state government”.

“The telecom community must understand that giving full support to the states in terms of payment of right taxes and corporate social responsibility is an investment in your market. The more robust the state governments are, the more buoyant your market will be,” the governor averred.

He extolled Dr Adenuga, who he described as a “great Nigerian whose impact on the Nigerian and the African economy cannot be quantified.”

He told the Globacom team that his administration was prepared to work with the corporation on a business partnership. “Be rest assured that this partnership is already a reality. We just need to work out the details”, the governor added.

The Glo Public Sector team leader, Niyi Odejobi assured the governor that the telecom behemoth is prepared to support the state to flourish.

He said Globacom is prepared to roll out digital and internet infrastructure to support companies and government in the state, promising that the cooperation will transform Osun state.

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