Blessing Bature-Akpakpan, Abuja
The Director-General, National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), Dr Emem Omokaro has said that the agency is open to suggestions towards improving services to senior citizens and move Nigeria up on the Global AgeWatch index as one of the best countries to grow old in, within the next ten years.
in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by Mr Omini Oden, the Head of Public Affairs, Media and Communication of the NSCC said Omokaro gave the assurance while addressing the Coalition of the Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) during its 1st General Assembly in Abuja.
Omokaro said she had briefed Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, the Minster of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on the necessity for the registration of older persons and issuance of identity cards that will enhance dignity and access to age friendly services, concession and subsidies in the use of public facilities.
Omokaro, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Humanitarian Affairs, Alhaji Musa Bungudu said the matter of conducting National multi-indicator survey and building of data system on older persons is in the pipeline with the National Bureau of Statistics.
She However said, technical support has been secured on conducting Needs Assessments towards the development of culture-sensitive Models of multi-functional Senior Centres and Complexes within Communities in collaboration with stakeholders.
According to her, “As an Agency of government, the NSCC recognises the contributions of multi-sector stakeholders and welcomes sustainable partnership on the basis of mutual respect, purposeful processes and positive communications.
“The Centre is deploying Multi-Sector partnerships across states and Local Government Areas as it seeks to use already existing systems and mechanisms, and to initiate new ones for senior citizen’s accessibility to services”.
She commended COSROPIN for its interventions to strengthen the protection of rights of older persons in Nigeria and lauded their efforts to build alliance in pursuit of the rights of older persons as well as appreciated the resilience of its members who have been in the trenches for long.
“NSCC’s desires for Senior Citizens Ownership of the NSCC, hence the first outing with the Senior Citizens Maiden Dialogue which came out with an inclusive communique,” she said.