Dr Emem Omokaro, the Director-General of National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari on the inauguration of an Inclusive Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 to 2030.
The inclusive vision would transform Nigeria into a leading digital economy that would provide a quality life for all as well as build a nation where digital innovation and entrepreneurship would be deployed to create value for all.
This is contained in a statement to mark the 2021 International Day for the Older Persons, issued by Mr Omini Oden, the Head of Public Affairs, Media and Communications of the Centre on Friday, in Abuja.The theme for this year’s celebration is “Digital Equity for All Ages”
According to Omokaro, the eight strategic pillars of the policy aligns with the NSCC Act 2017 and strategic objectives of the National Policy on Ageing, which prescribes training needs including digital literacy.
Others are enhanced capacities of senior citizens, creating innovative income initiatives and work schemes, health, sports, recreation and building database for senior citizens in Nigeria.
“That digital technologies which, by the speed of light, continue to liberate face to face interactions and to create online sources, means and platforms for transactions and social connections in all aspects of life should be universally accessed.
“These includes e-health care-doctors on call, e-commerce, online shopping, banking, working, help-call lines, e-learning, e-conferences and vital registration portals among others with unfettered transformative impact,” she said.
Omokaro stressed that without a deliberate policy, legal, capacity development frameworks and mechanisms to ensure inclusive multi-networks, anchored on equity, the illiterate, the poor, especially older persons in rural and remote locations would be left behind in all aspects of life.
She said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown exposed the impact of the digital divide especially, as it affects older persons, leading to increasing isolation, loneliness, limited access to services, depression and abuse.
“On behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the NSCC joins the global community to advocate an end to ageism and its assumptions, prejudices, and exclusion.
“We also call for the promotion of optimistic view of older persons’ latent transformative potentials as well as their continuing participation and enhanced capacities.
”Including creating opportunities for digital literacy and skills, to navigate emerging digital environments without barriers,” Omokaro said. (NAN)