Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja
The Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF) has called on the federal government to initiate social protection programme for older persons.
The Founder, DOF, Emem Omokaro, made the call at a press conference in Abuja recently, where she noted that the experiences of older persons and particular context of old age was not sufficiently addressed in Nigeria.
She said that older persons in Nigeria largely continue to experience systemic inequality and age discrimination, with ageism having a significant negative impact on the realisation of envisioned inclusion of all from implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.
Omokaro stressed that longer lives were fraught with vulnerability, diseases and multi-dimensional and persistent poverty thus depriving them of autonomy and independence.
She said: “The current increase in longetivity and projected rapid increase in the number of older persons in Nigerians required urgent attention of policy makers and legislature to link ageing to development and human rights, while also formulating frameworks and modify policies to incorporate the capacities and vulnerability of older persons.
“The social protection programme should dedicate fund to targeting older persons in the rural areas who have no access. Number one investment for older person is access to health.”
Omokaro explained that the population of older persons in Nigeria was currently estimated at 9.7 million, stressing that their population was 7.5 million in 2013, according to the National Population Commission (NPC).