Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Betta Edu had said the the Federal Government will continue to open favourable spaces to support the cause of Older Persons and ensure that their human rights are not compromised.

Dr. Betta Edu stated this at the commemoration of 2023 International day of Older Persons held on 3rd October,2023 at the United Nations House CBD, Abuja.

The minister who said taking care of Older Persons was crucial and a task for all, commended the National Senior Citizen Centre for it’s collaborative efforts with MDAs in drawing the revised National Social Protection Policy of Older Persons.

She assured that there is clear demonstration of political will and commitment to developing mechanisms and sustainable systems to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of Nigerians by progressively lifting 133 million Nigerians out of poverty by the Tinubu led administration
“With the Renewed Hope Agenda and its pillar on social investments, equity, fairness and solidarity across generations,the administration will focus on harnessing the potential of population ageing, combat ageism and negative stereotype and close the gaps and inconsistencies in data.”

In his address, the United Nation’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Matthias Schmale who applauded the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, reiterated UN support in the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons, especially those living in vulnerable situations and making the promise of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights a reality for all Nigerians.

“The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually on October 1 to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives.One of the most transformative and far reaching aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the pledge to Leave No One Behind (LNOB). Simply put, this is the idea that the SDGs will not be achieved unless the goals and targets reach those who are most vulnerable and marginalised in society(senior citizens).” Said Schmale

The Resident Coordinator said that UN is committed to assisting Nigeria attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 by ensuring no one is left behind

He added that older persons are invaluable sources of knowledge and experience and have much to contribute to peace, sustainable development and the protection of our planet.

In her address, the Director General, National Senior Citizens Center, Dr. Emem Omakaro noted that ageing is often accompanied by challenges and vulnerabilities, which can lead to human rights violations called for a joint action by Government institutions and civil societies to end such negative impact on the older persons.

Dr. Omakaro maintained that effective promotion and protection of older persons in the country was non negotiable, focusing on their contributions and the knowledge and expertise they can pass on to younger the generations.

Omokaro reiterated that older people are an asset, for their skills, talents, experiences, perspectives and resilience

She added that International Day of Older Persons is a special day for older persons or senior citizens all over the world and amplifying the voices of older persons, with their invaluable lifelong experience, is crucial.

“Together, let us build more inclusive and age-friendly societies and a more resilient world for all,”Dr. Omokaro

The National senior Citizens Centre in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, National Human Rights Commission and the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator emphasizes inclusive, rights-based approaches and aims to foster a shared commitment to safeguarding the fundamental rights of older persons.


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