Headline National News Nigeria

Centre advocates digital equity for all ages

Founded on 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 each year as the International Day of Older Persons.

This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.

This special day for the elderly is celebrated to raise awareness of the need for health provisions and social care for the elderly and bring an end to ageism.

The theme for 2021 is “Digital Equity for All Ages” which the United Nations affirmed the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons.

The idea is to bring awareness about the inclusion of older persons while tackling stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination associated with digitalization.

Also, taking into account socio-cultural norms and the right to autonomy, to highlight policies to leverage digital technologies for full achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs), of living no one behind.

To also address public and private interests, in the areas of availability, connectivity, design, affordability, capacity building, infrastructure, and innovation, to explore the role of policies and legal frameworks to ensure privacy and safety of older persons in the digital world.

President Muhammadu Buhari this year gave approval for the take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre, and a Governing Council for the Centre.

It 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.

The National Senior Citizens Centre was passed into law as the National Senior Citizens Centre Act, 2017 to cater for the needs of senior citizens (70 and above) in the country.

In commemoration of the day, the Director-General of the National Senior Citizens Centre, NSCC Dr Emem Omokaro acknowledged Senior Citizens in Nigeria as an invaluable resource base and positive force for national development across sectors of the nation’s economy.

Dr Emem expressed optimism that Nigeria is embracing a comprehensive vision that protects the human rights of older persons, which entails universal access to services, including digital technology and equal participation in governance.

She added that the National Senior Citizens Centre joins the global community to advocate an end to ageism and its assumptions, prejudices, exclusion and promotes an optimistic view of older persons’ 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.

Reporting by Hadiza Abdulrahman; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino