The National Senior Citizen Centre (NSCC) and National Identity Management Agency (NIMC) have unveiled plans to provide special identity cards to older persons across the country to enable them access discounts, concessions, priority treatment in public places.
The Director General of NSCC, Dr. Emem Omokaro, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, at a press briefing to commemorate the World Older Persons Day, stated that the Presidency had directed that older persons be progressively registered and given special identity cards to enable them access discount, concession and priority treatment in public places.
To achieve this mandate, she disclosed that NIMC has set up several enrollment centres across the states including the wards saying the contact details of the focal persons has been given to them by NIMC to enable their members to get registered.
The NSCC boss further disclosed that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs has approved a dedicated social safety net to be paid to older persons, saying to get that done, they have been instructed to get a database of older persons across the country and also work with the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office to integrate the names of older persons on the national register.
Omokharo disclosed that, currently, about 2.5million venerable older persons have been captured on the database of which 250,000 people are already benefiting from the household grant.
While disclosing plans to organise a vintage fair for older persons, Dr. Omokharo said the centre aims to change the narrative around older persons from resilience to empowerment adding that they intend to bring out what the older persons are doing and have not been showcased due to financial exclusion. She also said NSCC was working with the National Directorate for Employment (NDE)) to make assessment of indigenous craft across 18 states and in six local councils to note the craft available and their status, adding that they intend to ensure financial inclusion to improve craftsmanship among older persons.
The DG further disclosed that to improve provision of affordable health care to the senior citizens, the Centre has entered an agreement with National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Executive Directors of State Primary Healthcare agency to improve access to geriatric treatment, adding that they were working to integrate treatment for older persons into the Primary Health Care services.
She said: “Our message to the older persons is that their time of struggling and coping under threat is gone, as we are putting in place instruments to make sure that older persons are mainstreamed and no longer ignored”.