From Bello Wakili
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre.
A statement signed by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity Mallam Garba Shehu said the president also approved the constitution of its 12-member board with immediate effect.
The statement stated that it is in line with Section 16 (2) (d) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution as amended which mandates the State to provide adequate social services and improve the quality of life of the elderly.
The National Senior Citizens Centre was passed into law as the National Senior Citizens Centre Act, 2017 to cater for the needs of senior citizens (70 and above) in the country.
To realize this noble objective, and in order to ensure relevance and spread, persons of proven integrity from key ministries and organisations have been appointed into its Governing Board.
Consequently, President Buhari has appointed AVM. M.A. Muhammad (rtd) as the Chairman of the Board with Mansur Kuliya, representing the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Dr Chris Osa Isokpunwu representing the Federal Ministry of Health; Mr Umar Abdullahi Utono representing the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; and Dr John Olushola Magbadelo representing Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity as members.
Other members include: Mrs Bulus Friya Kimde representing the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs; Mr Sani Ibrahim Mustapha representing the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD); Professor Usman Ahmed representing the Geriatric Association of Nigeria; Arc. Mrs Victoria Onu representing the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons (CORSOPIN) and three other stakeholders namely Dr Dorothy Nwodo, Professor Mohammed Mustapha Namadi and Dr Emem Omokaro who also serves as the Director General.
The President also approved the appointment of Ahmed Mustapha Habib as the new Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to replace AVM Muhammad (rtd) who is now Chairman of the National Senior Citizens Centre.
The appointments are for an initial period of four years.