By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) on Wednesday had a Road Walk to celebrate the maiden
edition of the Nigeria Day for Senior Citizens to create awareness about the potential of senior citizens to national development.

The Road Walk took officials of the NSCC, some senior citizens, youth corps members, members of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners
and many others from the Old Parade Ground in Abuja to NTA Headquarters.

While addressing the press after the walk, the Director-General of NSCC, Dr Emem Omokaro, said the event was to mark the centre’s
day, declared by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2021.

She said “Nigeria for the first time has a day set aside to spotlight older persons and create awareness that they still have energy, stamina and knowledge to contribute to national development; should be included in the country’s social agenda.

“The walk is also to indicate that older persons are resilient and strong, and can work to contribute to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.

“Similarly, the walk is to acknowledge the administration of Buhari for giving us the NSCC, Policy Framework, Strategic Plans,
Programmes and activities that will systematically put senior citizens in every development agenda.

“However, the NSCC has developed programmes on income security, entrepreneurship, social safety nets and geriatric care in Primary Health Care facilities in the 774 local governments areas in Nigeria.

“We also have programmes to checkmate and stop the discrimination and abuse of older persons in the country. We are working with NAPTIP on that area.”

Omokaro added that the centre stepped up engagement mechanism that would ensure that every programme reached older persons.

On challenges of the NSCC, Omokaro said the statutory mandate of the centre belonged to other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), adding that the centre would face the burden of trying to get the buy-in of other agencies.

“But we are working on that challenge as we now have Aging Desk in 32 MDAs to mainstream aging in their activities. Funding
is another challenge as budget is limited.”

The Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr Salihu Dembos, commended Buhari for recognising the need to
recognise senior citizens and for creating a centre that would cater for their needs.

According to him, a society that neglects its older citizens will not go anywhere because senior persons are the foundation of the society.

Represented by NTA’s Executive Director of Administration and Training, Prof. Steve Egbo, the director-general said senior citizens have so much to contribute to nation building., adding that “having come to NTA, we will let Nigerians know that there is a centre for senior citizens.

“We will also let Nigerians know about the objectives of the centre. I encourage you to keep the light burning.” (NAN)

By Editor

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