NGO tasks Nigerian Gov’t on senior citizens’ welfare, advocates special status for aged retirees

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NGO tasks Nigerian Gov’t on senior citizens’ welfare, advocates special status for aged retirees

The Jola Adekoya Initiative for Retired, Ageing and Aged (JAIRAA), has called on the Nigerian Government to enact special status for the aged, ageing, and retirees to save them from societal harassment.

Speaking at the launch of JAIRAA in Abuja, the founder, Her Excellency Jola Adekoya said, “We are appealing to government agencies like Federal Road Safety Commission, Vehicle Inspection Office and every other relevant agency to come up with a sticker for the aged from 60 years and above so that they can be given preferential treatments by the Police and others.”

The Group also outlined other areas of its activities and interventions whereby the aged can be treated specially, especially in the area of access to social amenities and assisted-living like employing them in Day-cares.”

She explained that life becomes difficult when the aged and retirees class don’t enjoy any form of social security.

“Social Security programmes, especially for the aged and retirees is very important at this stage. If there is no social security, some of these benefits we are canvassing may not be feasible.

“We can partner with the government in having old peoples’ homes. These are the things and many more are the focus of JIRAA. We want to see that everybody led a good old age,” she noted.

On institutional approach, Adekoya explained that the organisation would seek collaboration with government agencies tasked with the responsibility of managing senior citizens related activities.

“We are going to engage the government to make the National Centre for Senior Citizens more elaborate. Like Children’s Day and other special days being celebrated, we are looking at the inclusion of the elderly, to make them relevant to society and ensure that the elderly are not being harassed. We want to engage the humanitarian ministry,” she said.

According to her, the government would set up the outfit but the wisdom to run it is what Jaira is concerned about.

Explaining further, she said, “There are lots of activities and programmes we have designed for the retired and aged in the society to engage them, make them relevant and add to their lives. A means of livelihood, to ensure that they are no longer neglected, and to facilitate them forming a society right where they are. To see that they live the right kind of life to a good old age.

“We are looking at capacity building programmes, recreational programmes; all these are on our website-jira.org.

“Even the youth are not excluded. We want the aged to be able to give back to the youth. We want to engage them because most of them have a lot to give back to the youth and the society at large. The ills we have in society today is because the aged are not well engaged to advise them not to be in a hurry in getting rich.

“The Aged is the future for the youth. All these are programmes we can also engage the government on their behalf. For some of our programmes for the aged, we are expecting the youth to come and drop their parents. We have libraries for them and so many more.”

In a goodwill message, the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, represented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, threw his weight behind the initiative, promising that his ministry will afford JIRAA all the needed support to succeed.

He reiterated that care for the aged as embodied by JIRAA is a powerful idea whose time has come, especially, at a time the federal government has also demonstrated its commitment to the welfare of the aged establishing Centre for Senior Citizens.

NGO tasks Nigerian Gov’t on senior citizens’ welfare, advocates special status for aged retirees

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