Group urges National Assembly to pass law for the elderly
A group promoting empowerment for the aged in the society has advocated quick passage of a law that would address the well-being, welfare and dignity of older persons in Nigeria.
The group, Graceful Ageing Fellowship (GRAF), seeking support from the current administration’s Change-Agenda to accommodate the aged and senior citizens, argues that the passage of a proposed legislation currently before the National Assembly will form the basis for a national awareness, interest and care of older persons in the country.
GRAF, a non governmental organization with members drawn from medical Doctors, Dieticians and professionals in other fields including former Chairman, Technical Committee on Military Pensions, Rear Admiral Peter Ebaleme (Rtd), former Military Administrator of Kogi State, Col Paul Emeruo (Rtd), Commodore Jim Ebele (Rtd), Sen John Shagaya among others specifically seeks to oppose every discriminatory and disadvantageous policy or legislation adversely affecting the rights, security and dignity of older persons in Nigeria.
They group wondered why should retirees and senior citizens suffer so much, some die in the process of pension re-certification and payment?
“The experiences of those senior citizens if tapped by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government especially in the public sector will help to solve many of the country’s current problems”, the members said.
Speaking in an address to mark the organization’s seventh anniversary and awards to deserving members in Abuja recently, the President and International Coordinator, Senator Darlington Ajoku stressed the need for a legislation to promote the recognition of the wide-ranging expertise and services provided by older persons in Nigeria, adding, “that no meaningful progress can be made in the care and protection of the older persons without an enabling law.”
While decrying the absence of programmes for older persons in Nigeria, the former lawmaker said there was need to proffer a coordinated solution and support for health problems associated with ageing.
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