Centre seeks Emir’s support to promote welfare of Senior Citizens

Wed, Aug 24, 2022
By editor

General News

 THE National Senior Citizen Centre (NSCC), on Wednesday, sought the support of traditional rulers to ensure the domestication of the National Senior Citizens Act in states.

Dr Emem Omokaro, the Director General of the Centre made the appeal when she paid a courtesy visit on the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Muhammadu-Mera at his palace in Argungu, Kebbi.

Omokaro said establishment of senior citizens centres in states would help to cater for the needs and welfare of the elderly, including indigent ones and those with disabilities.

She added that the support of traditional rulers would give a push to the demand for the domestication of the Act at state level.

The DG added that the visit was to acquaint the Emir on the activities of the centre and appealed to him to help push the matter before the Kebbi government and the state assembly.

“We hope that the Emirate under your leadership will help us influence the government to domesticate the National Senior Citizens Center Act.

“In giving it to the State Assembly, I am sure they will be able to bring in all the cultural context to make it Kebbi state-owned and also evolve a state policy on ageing,” Omokaro said.

“NSCC is a focal agency for ageing and issues of older people, there is also the National Policy on Ageing, which was approved by the National Executive Council.

“So, for the first time in this country, we have a policy framework, a legal framework and a focal agency to really take care of challenges of older people, it has never happened before.

“Elders in Nigeria will work, spend their lives, give up their experiences and expertise and in their later years after they have retired they are not included in development plan.

“Now, for the first time, issues and challenges of old people are part and parcel of development,” she said.

The DG assured the Emir that the NSCC was for all citizens, “most especially the very vulnerable and the poorest of them who are in the local government and very hard to reach places.”

According to her, 70 per cent of older persons live in rural areas as such it is important for the centre to maintain linkages with states and local governments.

She said another functions of the NSCC was to identify the challenges of senior citizens especially in the area of health.

She said as the Chairman, Northern Traditional Rulers Committee on Health, the Emir should push NSCC’s plan of getting geriatrics care into primary health care programme.

Omokaro said this would give older persons the opportunity to receive free treatment in health facilities and proper training of health workers on geriatric care.

Responding, Muhammadu-Mera assured the centre of maximum support and cooperation on its programmes.

He expressed delight that Nigeria had finally turned back “to look after the most valuable asset that we have.

“The greatest asset of this country is not the oil, is not agriculture, is not gold and diamond under the surface of the earth but the elderly who have only a dream of the best for us.”

The Emir applauded President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and other stakeholders who facilitated the actualisation of the NSSC Act. (NAN)