Elderly: NSCC commits to inter-generational networking

The National Senior Citizen Centre (NSCC), has restated its commitment to boosting inter-generational networking to enhance justice, safety and well-being of older persons in the country.

Its Director-General, Dr Emem Omokaro, pledged the commitment at the intergenerational networking event on ‘Elder Justice Advocacy’ in Abuja on Friday.
The event, with the theme: “Building National Youth Support Network for Senior Citizens”, was organised by the commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Development.

The NSCC boss underscored the importance of integrating statistics in planning to enable the planners to have a clear direction, vision and mission for projects.
According to her, the 14.8 million population of older persons in Nigeria will skyrocket to about 29.8 million by 2050.

“And population aging has implications on the individual, family, society and the nation. And this cuts across the socio-economic sector of the country.

“And because of the accelerated rate of non-communicable diseases at old age and multiple morbidity, older persons are prone to impairment.

“Imagine if that huge population is growing without health care service, empowerment, income, skill, etc; the implications that we will have a large population of vulnerable, needy and poor older people.

“Also, the implications will be on families that will be overburdened, and you will have a working population whose savings are compromised.

“Therefore, it is good to begin with legislation, policy formulation, plan of action, etc to build a foundation to ensure older persons have access to care; and that is what we are doing and will continue to do,” she said.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan, said the laudable initiative was a pointer to NSCC’s determination to develop a mechanism of engagement.

According to him, the mechanism and institutional framework is to ensure sustainable and effective awareness creation, sensitisation, advocacy as well as transformative preventive education.

“This is in keeping with the national policy on ageing, road map, national plan on ageing and project activities which the centre is intentionally implementing.

“It is also significant that the agenda for the dialogue is centred around volunteerism and how we all can join the vanguard to safeguard senior citizens’ dignity, safety, worthiness and continue engagement in our various communities.

“I am pleased to inform you that the unveiling of the Elder Justice Charter and Plan of Action is significant and commendable. It provides the vision, mission and guidance for the community of volunteers.

“Older persons’ rights are not negotiable and must be upheld. The Charter seeks to facilitate a growing support network and commitment to mobilising Nigerians to campaign for age-friendly environments to various sectors.

“I would like to encourage youths, women organisations, educational institutions and NGOs working in various and relevant fields to key into the national framework, processes, programmes and stakeholders,” he said.

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