Stakeholders seek new deal for senior citizens, urge legislation
• Want productivity employment for elderly persons
• Govt pledges to enhance old age management with ICT
The International Federation on Ageing in Nigeria (IFAN) and some stakeholders have called for a legislation that would ensure that senior citizens continue to be assets to the nation even in retirement.
They believe that elderly people have been underutilized and stress that there are a number of persons who have left service who could still be put to good use in national development.
They assert that this is one possible path to a lifespan.
The stakeholders also want the country to explore other ways of engaging elderly persons.
President of the group, Ike Willie-Nwobu, who spoke at a workshop to mark the 2016 International Day of Older Persons in Abuja, stressed that retirement should rather be seen as a change of job.
“Senior citizens are now emerging as a new power and force for national development, skill transfer, custodians of culture conflict resolution and peace building,” he said.
Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, stressed the need to change the employment policies to enable older workers stay longer in some kind of jobs.
He said that one way of putting such persons to use was in the development of their potential in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and opening up opportunities for the employment and training of older persons.
Represented by the Acting Director, Social Security/Co-operative Department at the ministry, Mrs. Dorcas Ajiboye, he said that the task should not be left to government alone but there should be a collaborative effort from other stakeholders and the private sector.
He said that the advancement of older persons though posing a challenge, however, creates opportunities that could be explored for social, economic and technological development.
The Administrator of the Digital Bridge Institute, Dr. Ike Adinde, said there was so much that it could offer the elderly persons in ICT.
He added: “Ageing like death is inevitable. Ageing is a reality. DBI as a capacity-building institution recognises the fact that when we are old, we need to be productive still. The fact that one is old doesn’t mean that one should be unproductive. When we age, we may age physically, but not in the mind.”
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