President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre to cater for the needs of senior citizens who are aged 70 and above in the country.
This development was made known in a statement released by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu on Monday.
The statement explained the establishment of the centre is in line with Section 16 (2) (d) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution as amended which mandates the State to provide adequate social services and improve the quality of life of the elderly.
President Buhari also approved the constitution of a 12-member board for the centre with immediate effect and it will be chaired by Muhammadu Muhammad, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The other board members will include Mansur Kuliya, representing the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development. Dr Chris Osa Isokpunwu, Mr Umar Abdullahi Utono, Dr John Olushola Magbadelo, Mrs Bulus Friya Kimde, Mr Sani Ibrahim Mustapha, Professor Usman Ahmed, Arc. Mrs Victoria Onu representing the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons (CORSOPIN) and three other stakeholders namely Dr Dorothy Nwodo, Professor Mohammed Mustapha Namadi, and Dr Emem Omokaro who also serves as the Director-General.
The President also approved the appointment of Ahmed Mustapha Habib as the new DG of NEMA to replace Muhammad who is now Chairman of the National Senior Citizens Centre.
The Minister of humanitarian affairs, Hajiya Sadiyya Umar Farouq had earlier in the year promised that the FG would provide adequate social services that will improve the quality of life of the older persons in Nigeria, through the set-up of a Centre for older persons.