People living With Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria have asked the federal government to include them in discussions on petrol subsidy removal palliatives.

They disclosed their position during a news conference on the negative impacts of petrol subsidy removal.

The conference was organised by the Accelerate Disability Inclusion in Emergencies (ADIE) forum on Monday.

They requested the inclusion of organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) in the ongoing discussions between labour and the government.

“The government has been engaging with various stakeholders on palliatives. But, nobody has met with us,” Grace Jerry, the executive director of Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), said.

“And, in our space, we have a saying that anything about us, is not for us.”

Christian Agbo, chairman of ADIE, said the fuel subsidy removal has caused more economic hardship for Nigerians, particularly for marginalised groups like PWDs, women and the youths.

“These groups of citizens represent more than 80 per cent of our country’s 216 million estimated population. The fuel subsidy removal has had a rapid multiplier effect on the cost of goods and services,” he said.

“Most Nigerians, especially PWDs have been deeply affected by the increase in transportation, food items and other essential goods and services.

“The pains being experienced by Nigerians as a result of the fuel subsidy removal and other policies like the floating of naira cannot be overemphasized.

“While ADIE forum understands the federal government’s fuel subsidy removal policy, it is regrettable that it was done without broad consultations and accompanying plans to mitigate the difficult implications it is having on Nigerians.

“We have also observed that there hasn’t been much progress with the joint federal government and labor negotiations as many sub-committees have simply not been inaugurated in the last two months.”