Headline National News Nigeria

Older persons advocate digital inclusion

A march at the Unity Fountain, Abuja by older persons advocating digital inclusion of older persons in Nigeria. Photo: Muzha Kucha

Older persons in Nigeria are advocating digital equity and inclusion to enable them to remain active and relevant in the changing world.

They made this known at a demonstration in Unity Fountain Abuja, organized by the Coalition Of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) to mark the International Day of Older Persons .

Placards with inscriptions of their concerns were carried as they made known their demands.

The older persons and other stakeholders expressed displeasure over their exclusion in the digital and continuously changing world.

President of COSROPIN, Senator Eze Ajoku said “In Nigeria, not many older persons are digitally literate hence are not fully participating in our current digital economy”.

Sen Ajoku noted that the draft bill on the Rights and Privileges of Older Persons in Nigeria developed by COSROPIN was passed by the Senate and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to the bill.

Vice President of COSROPIN, Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi said the coalition was working alongside other stakeholders to address the exclusions experienced by older persons resident in villages or the cities.

The exclusion of older persons in Nigeria as described by the Secretary-General of COSROPIN, Mrs Victoria Onu was evident in the distribution of resources and opportunities, for example, the unavailability of sufficient geriatrics centres in the country.

She maintained that the health of older persons seems not to be a priority.

Annually, the United Nations International Day for Older Persons (UNIDOP) holds on October 1 and the theme for this year’s observance is “Digital Equity for All Ages”.

According to the United Nations, the objective of the #UNIDOP2021 is, to bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion of older persons, while tackling stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination associated with digitalization taking into account socio-cultural norms and the right to autonomy.

The Coalition Of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) is a coalition of all associations; Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Faith-Based Organizations; working with Ageing, and Retired Senior Citizens groups.

Reporting by Muzha Kucha, Edited by Adeniyi Bakare