Nigeria’s Senior Citizens Center holds training programme for older persons

Rahila Lassa, Abuja

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Nigeria’s National Senior citizens Center in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA is holding a 3-day Master Train-The-Trainers programme for older persons

The Director General, Emem Omakaro, disclosed in Abuja, that the country has about 14.8 million older persons

According to her, the male older persons make up 50.2% and numbering 7,456 million, while the females make up 49,8% with 7.34 in absolute number.

She said the training is considered a very essential preliminary part towards breaking through into capital projects and activities regarding establishments of active senior centres and other domiciliary facilities as well as mapping critical steps in ensuring care quality certification.

“With increasing absolute numbers of older persons and of those leaving in underserved rural and remote places, the challenges of older persons are complex and often under-explored.

” Especially given the challenge of lack of comprehensive and disaggregated data, and faced with multi-faceted patterns of poverty, marginalization and exclusion of older persons in Development Agenda had been the norm”.

” NSCC believes that human resource capacity development is pivotal to ascertaining the priority objectives to set, the methodology and infrastructure needed for effective delivery and

She noted that to ensure adequate and appropriate capacity in line with its strategic Roadmap and National Plan of Action on Ageing, the Centre intends to enhance human resource capacities.

” Benchmark statements and standardized guidelines on models of senior centres, programs and environmental designs,   core competencies in administration and initiating multi-generational community eco-system, as well as, care quality assurance and entrepreneurship skill”. Omakaro said.

Representing the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Musa Bungudu commended the efforts of the Centre noting that her ability to reach out to partners in order to move the Centre forward is better imagined.

“As I’m talking to you, there are about 42 different MDAs that have signed an MoU to collaborate with Senior citizens Center.

” Virtually in all states we have Chairs and Vice chairs with no fever than 6 officers and their key function is to support, initiate and facilitate the Programmes that are targeted to the senior citizens.”

He emphasised that the idea behind the training is to reach out to governments at all levels and relay the hopes and aspirations of all stakeholders to make them a reality.

Mr Bungudu urged the participants to count themselves lucky and not take it for granted.

The Coordinating Consultant for UNDESA, Ogugua Osi-Ogbu said the main objective of UNDESA is to assist countries to find common ground as member States of the United Nations and set norms and decisive steps for forwarding programmes.

” We all know that the overall aching objective is to ensure that no one is left behind. So they’re looking into the issues of the vulnerable, young women, older persons and those with disabilities, those living in very remote rural and hard-to-reach areas and those are the kind of people that the NSCC will definitely be looking out for in rolling our programmes, going forward”.

Dr Osi-Ognu further described the UNDESA as the Think-Tank of the UN.

” They generate and analyse data that have gone through some rigorous research protocol and with that data they will be able to help countries, they let you know that these are the people you need to focus on, these are the areas where social inclusion is required. That helps nation’s to really plan for their citizens and allows them to also come up with policies to tackle those problems and they also deal with capacity building, and that’s why we’re here today”.

She added that the training which is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the NSCC’s DG will help build capacity and articulate action plans from the policy on Ageing.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said part of the transformation agenda of the Agency is to promote access health care, strengthen partnerships with relevant agencies and to make it comfortable for senior citizens to access health services at anywhere they’re.

Representing the Executive Secretary, Dr Faisal Shu’aib, the Director, Community Health Services, Chris Elemuwu said the Agency is also committed to ensuring that healthcare for the elderly in the society is institutionalized.

” And part of our mandate is health promotion. How do we promote health, and how do we make the senior citizens receive health and live healthy like the people in Japan?

“We also strengthen community and religious structures wherever and of course we try to provide quality services, reaching the unreached.” He explained

Faisal charged the trainees to be good Ambassadors of the Centre and ensure timely intervention for the elderly.

The training is tailored in the Models of Senior Citizens, Core administration and programme designing competencies as well as on Care Quality Certification.

Forty participants from all States of the Federation are expected to benefit from the training.



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