Perm Sec calls for so­cial em­pow­er­ment of the el­derly

Daily Trust - - LABOUR - By Mustapha Suleiman

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.

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