The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, has given assurance that a special national day for senior citizens would be declared soon.
Farouq gave the assurance when the management team of the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) led by its Director-General, Dr Emem Omokaro paid her a visit in Abuja.
“I want to commend Omokaro for the pace at which she is settling down to work, hoping that, with the assemblage of the management team at her disposal, I am confident that the overall objectives of the NSCC will be realised soon.
“I want to also assure the NSCC of my resolve to follow on with the request made by Omokaro, through the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies,” Farouq said.
Earlier, Omokaro appealed for the declaration of a national day of older persons in Nigeria within the months of August and early September 2021 to herald the first-ever National Senior Citizens Day celebration in October 2021.
“We are also requesting for assistance to the NSCC to secure the National registration of senior citizens of Nigeria (SCN) who are 70 years and above.
“The purpose is for their effective identification for public respect, age-friendly services and concessions in banking services and facilities, road, air and rail transportation services as well as health and hospital services,” Omokaro said.
The highpoint of the visit was the formal presentation of the Communiqué issued at the end of the one-day senior citizens forum maiden dialogue organised by the National Senior Citizens Centre on Aug. 3.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Senior Citizens Centre was approved by the Federal Executive Council in January 2018 while its board was constituted in June 2021.
The centre is to cater to the social welfare of citizens aged 70 and above in areas like healthcare, pensions, income security, leisure, a supplementary income and other social protection safety nets.
As of July 2020, the National Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households holds data for 1, 625, 937 persons across 36 states and the FCT.
The register showed that 48 per cent are male while 52 per cent are female.
A further breakdown of data in the register showed that fractions of this aged population deal with vulnerabilities including health-related issues, financial deprivation, illiteracy, and lack of basic care.
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has so far picked out 200,748 elderly persons nationwide from the National Social Register to benefit from the Federal Government’s Covid-19 Cash Transfer Programme.
The National Senior Citizens Centre is domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development.