The governing board for the national senior citizens centre has been inaugurated by the federal government.
The board was inaugurated on Monday by the minister of humanitarian affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq in Abuja.
The establishment of the centre was approved in January 2018, and the focus of the board is to promote policies that will improve the welfare of the elderly in the country.
On May 31, the president appointed Emem Omokaro as the director-general of the board.
According to a statement by Nneka Anibeze, spokesperson to the minister, Umar Farouq also announced that a national policy on ageing has been approved by the federal government.
“Ageing is one of the critical issues placed on the front burner of global discourse. 12.5 percent of the global population are 60 years and above. In Nigeria, ageing is a growing challenge against the background of accumulated socio-economic hardships, absolute high poverty, poor health facilities and lack of access to education over time,” the minister said.
“While taking steps to reduce poverty and ensure inclusiveness of most Nigerians, this administration has recognised the special needs of older persons as active agents of societal development.
“It is in this connection that the government made conscious efforts to establish the centre to develop and implement productive activities, social protection and work schemes for senior citizens in order to improve the quality of life of the elderly and ensure a sense of security and a general feeling of health and worthiness extended to them.”
In his remarks, Muhammad Muhammad, chairman of the board, while responding on behalf of other members, thanked the federal government for the opportunity to serve.
“We are exceedingly delighted to be shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring the provision of welfare and recreation for our senior citizens. These are people who gave their all to this country and in many instances, still working day and night to bequeath a prosperous county for us,” he said.
“I want to assure you that along with the help and cooperation of such hardworking, honest and experienced colleagues, we will work tirelessly to uplift the progress of the centre.”
Members of the governing board are M.A. Muhammad, chairman; Emem Omokaro, director-general; Sani Mustapha, Bulus Kimde, Victoria Onu, and Usman Ahmed.
Others are John O. Magbadelo, Umar Abdullahi, Chris Isokpunwu, Mansur Kuliya, Dorothy Nwodo, and Mohammed M. Namadi.