November 25, 2020

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Create ministry for senior citizens, 60plus Advocacy tells govt.

2 min read

By Oziegbe Okoeki

 

Non Governmental Organisation, NGO, ’60plus Advocacy Initiatives’ has called on the government to create a ministry specifically for senior citizens.

Chairman of the Governing Council of the advocacy group, Mr. Adeyinka Obalade who said the NGO is meant to give voice to the elderly in the society, made the call in his speech at the unveiling of the group in Ikoyi at the weekend.

Obalade said, the group aim to speak up and advocate for all the elderly who are vulnerable and neglected segment of the population.

Adding that the striking thing about the elderly ones is that the myriad of problems besetting them are in full view of everyone yet little is being done to improve the quality of their lives.

“For now, we will promote a vigorous public awareness campaign for respect of elders aiming for a revival of core family values of love, care and respect.

“We are already working to set up pilot projects for provision of healthcare and recreational centres and we shall be advocating capacity building in key areas to cover training of more specialists Gerontologists and the training of home care givers”.

Calling for an irreducible minimum standard of welfare for the elderly in every state, Obalade regretted that the desired facilities that can help the elderly cope better are not in place yet.

According to him, the National Senior Citizens Center Act which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 to provide adequate social services and an improved quality of life for the elderly in Nigeria is yet to be acted upon by state governments.

Obalade said the group has met with Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make its presentation and was well received, adding that it would visit other states to launch the initiatives as well as it hopes to replicate the pilot project nationwide.

Delivering a lecture on a topic titled: ‘Challenges of caring for the elderly: Problems, Prospects and Solutions’ the Guest Speaker, Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi SAN warned that the elderly is a group that is going into extinction or becoming irrelevant and not been taken care of.

Dignitaries at the event including those who joined virtually include, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu who spoke virtually commending the advocacy group for the initiative and assuring them that he would always be there anytime they need his support.