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FG reiterates commitment to improving life, wellbeing of Nigerians



The Federal Government on Tuesday, reiterated its commitment to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of Nigerians with focus on harnessing the potential of an ageing population.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said this in her address at the International Day of Older Persons ceremony at the UN House in Abuja.

The event with the theme: “Fulfilling the promise of the universal declaration of human rights for older persons across generations’’ was organised by the UN and the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC).

Edu commended the establishment of the NSCC by the NSCC Act 2017 to promote mainstreaming of older persons in the delivery of positive outcomes for the aged.

She also gave the assurance that President Bola Tinubu’s move to reposition the ministry demonstrated the government’s political will to develop mechanisms and achieve the desired goals.

According to her, such would ensure sustainable systems to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of Nigerians, as well as progressively lift 133million Nigerians out of poverty.

“The NSCC remains the veritable agency to consolidate opportunities for the older population, in partnership with the various Ministries, Department and Agencies through multi-sectoral coordination.

“The present administration will ensure adequate support; persuasion of the state governments to domesticate the NSCC Act, VApp Act, Persons with Disability Act and National Health Authority Act.

“The present administration will focus on harnessing the potential of an aging population, combat ageism and negative stereotypes and close the gaps and inconsistencies in data.

“It would focus on research, human capital development and continue to create systems capable of supporting older persons, including age friendly environments, universal health coverage and long term care systems,” she said.

Speaking, Mr Matthias Schmale, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, reassured of UN’s support for Nigeria in the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons.

Schmale commended the event to have been tailored to provide opportunity for reflection on the impact of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the protection of the rights of older persons.

“It is my sincere hope that today’s dialogue will allow for reflections on effective promotion and protection of older persons in Nigeria, focusing on their contributions throughout their life, for the knowledge and expertise they can pass on to younger generations.

“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the UN in Nigeria is committed to supporting Nigeria’s efforts towards enhancing the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons.

“Especially, older persons living in vulnerable situations and making the promise of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights a reality for all Nigerians,” Schmale said.

The Director-General of NSCC, Dr Emem Omokaro, identified universally declared rights of older persons to include right to life, liberty, and security of person, freedom from discrimination, abuse, violence and torture.

Others are, right to work and education; and right to participate in cultural, social, and political life of their country and right to economic empowerment, access to justice, disability and age friendly environment.

“Today, we wish to present highlights of IE’s Report and Nigeria’s response, and have a multi-sectoral panel of discussants to make inputs.

“The outcome we hope will enhance understanding of opportunities and challenges of older persons.

“To strengthen partnerships and technical support, increased ageing mainstreaming in multi-sector plans, the SDGs, equity and solidarity across generations,” Omokaro said.

Highpoint of the event was discussion on 75 years of universal declaration of human rights, analysing Nigeria’s efforts, gaps and solutions, and rights of older persons, solidarity equity and reciprocity across generations.

Sarafina Christopher And Fortune Abang

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