By Ignatius Ushie
In furtherance of the celebration of the International day for older persons, with its theme: From resilience to empowerment, the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr. Sadiya Ahmed Farouq, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to social inclusion for older persons. Farouq stated this during the maiden celebration of international day of Older persons in Abuja recently.
In a broadcast message, the Minister who was represented at the event by the director, Social Protection of the ministry, the minister said her ministry has ensured foundational framework for policies for older persons to get support, adding that the establishment of the National Senior Citizens Center was a pointer to the fact that a new Dawn of recognition has come for older persons in Nigeria.
According to her, “In line with the universal decade of action which strongly suggest leaving no one behind, the Federal Government has implemented and kept faith with the spirit of social inclusion, laid institutional policy, human resources, data production and integration framework to enable Older Persons social inclusion across sectors of the nation’s economy.
“The is reflected in the launch of the National Policy on Ageing, Development of a ten-year Strategic Roadmap and National plan of Action on Ageing that will enable sustainable sector wide inclusion and partnerships. These programs are incorporated in the 2021-2025 National Development Plan”.
According to her, government has set up Ageing Desks in 32 MDAs with trained offices for effective ageing programs mainstreaming and set up States Stakeholders in Ageing Consultative Forums in 34 States and the FCT National Consultative forum drawn from members of State Steering groups.
In her welcome address, the Director General, National Senior Citizens Centre, Dr Emem Omokaro, expressed delight at the new date approved by President Buhari on the request by older persons themselves. She said the first celebration by NSCC signifies that older persons have indeed been included which shows that all their toil and contributions will no longer be cast aside.
According to her. “It is exciting to know that this present administration has so far never turned down the request of older persons, hence, this day is set aside. Older persons have been mainstreamed into national social protection network,” she said.
High point of the event was the exhibition of vintage craft and art by older persons.