Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has inaugurated the Governing Board of the National Senior Citizens Centre.
On the occasion in Abuja, the Minister said the National Senior Citizens Centre Act was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari to cater for the needs of the elderly through the establishment of community based prototype systems.
She urged the Board members to be committed and dedicated to the tasks ahead of them to help improve and impact meaningfully in the lives of the elderly.
The minister also announced that the National Policy on Ageing had been approved by the federal government aim at protecting the rights of older persons.
“Ageing is one of the critical issues placed on the front burner of global discourse. 12.5% of the global population are 60 years and above. In Nigeria, Ageing is a growing challenge against the background of accumulated socio-economic hardships, absolute high poverty, poor health facilities and lack of access to education over time.
“While taking steps to reduce poverty and ensure inclusiveness of most Nigerians, this administration has recognized the special needs of older persons as active agents of societal development. It is in this connection that the government made conscious efforts to establish the Centre to develop and implement productive activities, social protection and work schemes for senior citizens in order to improve the quality of life of the elderly and ensure a sense of security and a general feeling of health and worthiness extended to them”.
Responding on behalf of the board members, the Chairman, Retired, Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Muhammad thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq for finding them worthy
“We are exceedingly delighted to be shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring the provision of welfare and recreation for our senior citizens. These are people who gave their all to this country and in many instances, still working day and night to bequeath a prosperous county for us”.
The Director General of the Centre, Dr Emem Omokaro who also thanked the president for the opportunity given to service humanity said the older persons should be seen as a force for social-economic development and called for an end to stereotyping against older persons.