The Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN), has called on the Federal Government to establish a commission for ageing and elderly persons in the country.
Sen. Eze Ajoku, President of COSROPIN, made the call on Wednesday at a news conference in Abuja.
Ajoku said establishing such a commission was necessary to encourage and promote active living for all aged groups; as well as foster social and community living.
He urged governments at all levels to also establish geriatric hospitals and primary healthcare centres all over the country to specifically address ageing and age-related issues.
The COSROPIN president reiterated calls for speedy passage of the bill before the National Assembly to give a legal backing for the care of older persons in the country.
He said: “government should establish social welfare funds for the needs of the unemployed and those that are exposed to and endangered by natural disasters.
According to him, this will also cover habitation displacements that are not covered by the Pensions Act 2004, Military Pension Scheme or Private Pension Scheme.
Ajoku who frowned at some corrupt practices by those planning to retire, blamed it on lack of concrete plans for provision of support services and care for the aged after retirement.
Describing ageing as an inevitable maturation, he therefore urged government to ensure the protection of rights of the aged.
Ajoku, however, acknowledged the affirmation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs that the issue of ageing was receiving government, as well as global attention.
The coalition president, who noted the lack of political will in dealing with the issue of ageing, called on policy makers to formulate and implement practicable policies.
He stressed the need for Nigeria to rise up to the occasion, by meeting up with other African countries in the provision of facilities and care for older persons. (NAN)