A report has said that Nigeria’s senior citizens are one of countries’ ageing populations that are not taken care of by its government.

HelpAge International, an organisation committed to helping older people to claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty made this discovery after a comprehensive studies on the living conditions of the aged in all countries.

The report published on October 1, the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, ranks Nigeria at 85th position out of 96 countries.

According to the report: “Nigeria ranks 85 on the overall Global AgeWatch Index. Its highest rank is in the capability domain (47), with a lower than regional average for the employment indicator (70.6%) and a higher than regional average for educational attainment (17.4%).

“Nigeria ranks low in the enabling environment domain (75) and below the regional average for civic freedom (53%) and satisfaction with public transport (42%). Its rank for the health domain is very low (88) and it has a below regional average for the life expectancy at 60 indicator. It ranks lowest on the income security domain (90), with very low pension income coverage (5%) and GDP per capita (US$ 2,254),” the report noted.

The HelpAge listed Ekiti and Osun as the only states in the country providing social pensions to older people. It added that only five per cent of people over 65 currently receive pension in Nigeria.

Mauritius is the highest ranked among African Countries where is fun to grow old. Norway tops the overall list while Latin America leads pension revolution, life expectancy continues to rise.

Mauritius does particularly well in the income security domain (8) and well in the enabling environment (38) reflecting its long-term investment in social security for older citizens.

Other African countries included in the Index are clustered at the lower end of the rankings, with income security for older people particularly weak. This reflects the absence of pensions, and the strain on household incomes, reducing the amount of cash or in-kind support available to older family members. For example, Tanzania (92), where the government has committed to a social pension for older people but has yet to implement it, has an income security ranking of 94.

“With an increasingly ageing population, African countries need to start investing in universal social pensions and access to health services for all people aged 60 years and above,” says Prafulla Mishra, HelpAge International Regional Director for East, West and Central Africa.




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