‘Govern­ment should tap into re­tirees’ wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence’

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Philip Shim­nom Cle­ment

Re­tirees have huge wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence that govern­ments at all lev­els can tap into to im­prove the econ­omy and en­hance the de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

In line with this, Stake­holder Group on Age­ing (SGA) called on the Fed­eral govern­ment to cre­ate har­mo­nized poli­cies that will make re­tirees and age­ing peo­ple pro­duc­tive in the so­ci­ety.

The group made the call at the first An­nual African Re­gional Con­fer­ence on Age­ing which had the theme “New Con­sen­sus for In­no­va­tive Mul­tilevel stake­holder en­gage­ment” in Abuja.

Con­venener of the group, Emem Omakoro, said the con­fer­ence be­came nec­es­sary at a time when Nige­ria’s pop­u­la­tion is on the rise and the rel­e­vance of older peo­ple in the so­ci­ety is grad­u­ally di­min­ish­ing.

“The United Na­tions has placed older per­sons at the age bracket of 60 and above which is why we want to can­vass in Nige­ria and Africa as stake­hold­ers to gal­va­nize older per­son and to speak on be­half of them.

“Most older per­sons and re­tiree and in Nige­ria pre­cisely have been left idle with­out any mean­ing­ful ac­tiv­ity and this is why we want a pol­icy that will en­sure older peo­ple are pro­duc­tive in the so­ci­ety, as there has been a longterm nar­ra­tive of stereo­type, dis­crim­i­na­tion and ex­clu­sion of older peo­ple in the af­fairs of the coun­try even with the ex­pe­ri­ence they have gath­ered dur­ing their ser­vice to the coun­try” she added.

Omakoro also said that age­ing per­sons are re­garded as bur­den with no eco­nomic value which is why Stake­hold­ers have con­veyed the con­fer­ence to brain­storm and change the nar­ra­tive and also reach out to govern­ment for speedy ac­tion.

In her re­marks, wife of Vice Pres­i­dent, Do­lapo Os­in­bajo, said re­tirees and older peo­ple have a huge role to play in Nige­rian so­ci­ety.

“Their wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence can­not be looked which is why her of­fice and the fed­eral govern­ment will al­ways look out for use­ful av­enues to in­te­grate age­ing peo­ple so that they can keep con­tribut­ing to the growth and de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try,” he said.

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