The Director General of the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), Emem Omokaro, has advocated for enhanced support for older persons in Nigeria.
He also expressed the hope that there will be an improved understanding of the opportunities and challenges of older persons in the country.
The NSCC DG stated this Wednesday evening on the occasion of the second edition of the National Day of Older Persons commemoration in Abia State.
He said, “The main objective of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is to preserve, protect, and enshrine the fundamental human rights of the universal human family that all humans are entitled to, not as a reward but as non-negotiable, indivisible, inalienable factor common to all, which does not and should not diminish with age or frailty.”
The NSCC DG, however, asked how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has empowered and influenced decisions on equity and inclusion, governance, accountability and transparency at all levels and for policymakers, planners, and implementers in decisions of development partners in dealing with population ageing.
“At the state level and indeed Abia State, what are the policies, legislations and institutional frameworks on ageing? Are older persons incorporated in sustainable development goals with age-appropriate indicators Including housing, transportation, digital technology and financing, etc and in general, how can we strengthen the protection of older persons’ rights and improve not just the quality of life but their dignity and worth?” he further asked.
He assured that the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is continuing on the equity and inclusive path of development and will not leave older persons behind.
In her speech, the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Priscilla Chidinma Otti, said the theme for the 2023 edition is “Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons, stating, “This is a call for the acknowledgment of the rights of old people. We should show our commitment to ensuring the welfare and dignity of our older citizens.
“This day allows us to appreciate the wisdom, experience, and the enduring role that our seniors play in our communities, passing down the values that make our society strong. We must also acknowledge that they often face unique challenges – from health care to social inclusion and economic security.
“In Abia State, under Dr. Alex Otti’s leadership, we have prioritised their well-being. We have ensured the prompt payment of pensions, providing financial security. We have launched a free medical scheme for quality healthcare services, showing our gratitude for their lifelong contributions.
In her welcome address, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Ngozi Blessing Felix, advised, “We must ensure their active engagement, full participation and essential contributions, including through social and workplace policies built around their specific needs and rights”.
In his address, the Co-chair/Facilitator, NSCC, Abia State Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Ageing, Mazi Ottih Nwaka said NSCC has prepared the forum to serve and manage of the older persons in their various states of the federation, adding, “We are here to serve Abia State”.
He called for the domestication of the Abia State Senior Citizens Act in the state which will serve as a “powerful tool in combating ageism, discrimination, neglect while fostering an inclusive and age-friendly society for all in Abia State”.
Wheelchairs and other gifts were presented to members of the NSCC from across the state.
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