By Laide Akinboade
ABUJA â€” Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Salamatu Suleiman, has called on Nigerians to integrate the elderly people into the developmental process of Nigeria, saying their wealth of experience cannot be ignored.
Mrs. Suleiman who stated this yesterday in a statement in Abuja to commemorate the International Day of Older Persons said it was imperative that the aged in Nigeria should be seen as supportive in the development of Nigeria.
The International Day of Older Persons on October 1 every year was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution 45/106 of December 14, 1990, to promote the welfare of Older Persons among member nations. Though the Day coincides with Nigeriaâ€™s Independence Day, its celebration has always been done at a later date.
According to her, â€œthe Nigerian Government wants to guarantee a society for all ages; one that does not caricature older persons as patients and pensioners but sees them as both agents and beneficiaries of development. Nigerians should rise to the challenge of integrating the aged into the developmental process of the nation as we cannot afford to ignore their enormous potentials and wealth of experiences.â€
The Minister also noted that the Federal Government was committed to addressing the challenges that are being faced by the aged in Nigeria, saying: “The Federal Government will put in place a new national social welfare policy for older persons that will improve their living condition and guarantee their full integration into the society.