Perm Sec calls for social empowerment of the elderly
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr.Clement Illoh has called for the empowerment of the elderly in the country to enhance national development.
Illoh made the call in Abuja at the Interactive Session and the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Federation on Ageing Nigeria (IFAN).
He decried the poor ways the elderly are being treated in the country even by their own children, saying there is an urgent need for government to address this ugly trend headlong.
To this end, he said: “Government is redoubling its efforts to adopt several strategies in terms of identification of elders for voluntary works, transmission of their experiences and knowledge to younger ones, the issue of assistance to families in terms of family responsibilities are of paramount importance.”
He explained that the MOU the Ministry signed with IFAN focused on three critical areas which include, the Elderly Empowerment Scheme, National Productivity Audit and the Elderly Social Response Initiative with particular emphasis on information, education, promotion of policies, programmes and international best practices aimed at improving the quality of lives of the elderly persons.
Elaborating on the Elderly Employment Scheme which is one of the three critical areas of the MOU, he called on Nigerians not to see retirement as the end of life.
In his words: “Retirement is not the end of life, it is not a death sentence, you should look at retirement with pride and see it as second phase of your life, look at it with optimism instead of looking at it as a punishment, the earlier we changed our mindsets on this misconception, the better.”
Earlier, the Director, International Federation on Ageing-Nigeria (IFAN), Ike Willie- Nwobu expressed worry over the absence of survey on the elderly productivity index in the country.
He expressed optimism that the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Labour and IFAN will help deliver to Nigeria this survey and studies that is necessary for our national development data and record.
Also speaking, the Director of Social Security and Cooperative Development, Mrs. Mojisola Sonubi said that it is a natural phenomenon that as people grow older, their strengths weaken and productivity drops and retirement becomes imperative, stressing that it is the responsibilities of government to protect this group of people and improve their quality of lives.
L-R: Director General, Industrial Training Fund, (ITF), Dr. Juliet Chukkas Onaeko, and Executive Secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Mrs. Uju Hassan Baba when the NIPC Executive Secretary visits the ITF DG in Abuja recently.