Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has tasked the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) on the actualisation of its objectives.
The minister said this was to enhance the livelihood of senior citizens in the country.
Fsrouq gave the charge in her address at the inception meeting of the National Technical Working Group on the Development of NSCC Strategic Plans on Tuesday, in Abuja.
According to her, the importance of having a strategic document to direct and guide the affairs of any organisation cannot be underestimated as it serves as a blueprint to propel all its activities.
“In developing the National Policy on Ageing and establishing the NSCC, President Muhammadu Buhari has ensured that very essential institutions, systems and mechanisms to facilitate the quality of life, economic and social participation of older persons, are guaranteed.
“And also, that the challenges of older persons and the opportunities that accrue from meeting these challenges are integrated into Nigeria’s development plans.
“It is, therefore, essential that the NSCC determines its vision for the future, as well as, its goals and objectives.
“It is also necessary to determine the processes, approaches, partnerships and structures for actualisation of stakeholders’ participation.
“How the centre determines its internal structures and implementation capacity are strategic decisions that must be considered in concrete terms, to enable NSCC to reach its stated vision,” Farouq said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Farouq was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Bashir Alkali.
Speaking, the Director-General of NSCC, Dr Emem Omokaro, appreciated Farouq and Alkali for his earnest commitment to ensuring the take-off of the NSCC and all the positive steps taken since the Board’s inauguration.
She also thanked UK Aid and Save the Children Organisation for sponsoring the Strategic Plan development project.
Omokaro stressed that the core mandate of the NSCC was to identify the needs of senior citizens and to cater for them in a variety of domains, all of which fall within the statutory mandates of different government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
According to her, most of these core issues are presently marginalised and uncoordinated, making the older persons’ invisible and structurally excluded in national and sub-national development schemes.
“It has become obvious that enhancing NSCC institutional capacity to mainstream issues of senior citizens into a relevant sector implementation plan and to provide a concrete framework for execution and coordination of Intersectoral programmes are critical to NSCC’s success.
“NSCC’s collaboration with Expanded Social Protection for Inclusive Development (ESPID) is a deliberate effort to provide these critical answers to inclusion and participation of senior citizens.
“This is the intent of the NSCC Act which lays the legislative foundation first in Nigeria for inclusion of older persons in Development.
“The Development of a 10- year strategy for NSCC is to develop a credible working document which would serve as a guide for the conduct of Affairs of NSCC,” Omokaro said.
She added that it was also to identify NSCC strategic priorities, processes, approaches to realizing NSCC’s mandate of integration of senior citizens in development.
She further explained that It was to critically think through NSCC’s internal capacity; strategic recruitment and development of a highly motivated workforce; actualizing national and international partnerships and implementation-oriented mechanisms. (NAN)