The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has informed stakeholders at a one-day stakeholder’s engagement meeting for the establishment of National Senior Citizens Centre that the Federal Government will soon come up with a National Policy on Ageing for Older Persons.
Speaking, she said, “Let me at this juncture commend and appreciate Mr. President for signing into Law the National Senior Citizens Centre Act which will pave way for the establishment of Community Based Prototype systems such as Community Safe Spaces for the Elderly, Leisure and Day-care Centres which the private sector can key into.
“I would like to inform you that the present Administration is making concerted effort to bring un stream very soon, the National Policy on Ageing which will also drive the process of mainstreaming emerging issues of Older Persons and enact laws to protect the Rights and privileges for the Ageing Population in Nigeria”.
Continuing, “It is my hope that this very important meeting will bring out implementation strategies that would impact positively on Older Persons to ensure access to basic social protection and social services necessary to break the circle of poverty, inequality and social exclusion”.
She said the meeting would provide a platform for them to rob minds in order for them to come out with credible recommendations that would assist Government in setting up the National Citizens Centre.
“I enjoin you to continue to strategize for the full realisation of achieving agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which has set out a universal plan of action to achieve sustainable development in balanced manner and seeks to realise Human Rights of all people. This calls for leaving no one behind for ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals are met for all segment of the society, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable, including older Persons”.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Bashir Nura Alkali reiterated that, “currently through the Ministry’s activities and Programmes, societal understanding of Ageing is gradually improving.
He urged participants to work assiduously towards ensuring that the purpose of the meeting, which is to see to the smooth take off of the Centre and develop an implementation strategy for this important Act and popularise it, is achieved.
The Permanent Secretary said the Ministry will do everything within its powers to assist the meeting to come up with modalities for the workings of the provisions of the Act.
The Representative of the Country Director, Technical Officer, Maternal, New-born, Child, Adolescent and Healthy Ageing, Dr. Joy Ufere, in a good will message, reaffirm the commitment of WHO to not only support the process but be part of the implementation to provide human resource and other things possible to make it a reality.
She enjoined all stakeholders to ensure that the voice of the older persons is heard and they survive.
Present at the event were the Representative of the Minister of Health, National Coordinator, Health Care for Older Persons Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Saidu Ahmed Dumbulwa, Senator Dr. Eze Ajoku, President Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN), Representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Joy Ufere, Prof. Kate Oreh, St. Catherine’s Educational Recourse Centre, Abuja, amongst others.
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