By Sola Ogundipe
THE Federal government has pledged to promote the economic situation for older persons through IT programme, among others.
Disclosing this in Abuja on this year’s UN International Day of Older Persons, UNIDOP, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said changing employment policies was necessary to enable older workers stay longer in employment and making the working environment attractive helps advance elderly people’s economy.
Ngige, who was represented by the Acting Director, Social Security/Cooperative Department, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs Dorcas Ajiboye, said it required a collaborative effort to advance welfare of older persons.
Speaking at a project partnership meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja, and International Federation on Ageing, the Minister noted that the increasing proportion of the population aged 60 and above, poses a growing policy challenge globally.
“The United Nations population data and a new ILO analysis, this rate of increase among other persons will accelerate over the next 50 years. This puts our future social security systems in the country under increasing strain from an ageing population.”
Ngige said other ways of promoting the economic situation for older persons include developing the potential of ICT open up employment and training of older persons.
“Human diversity increases with age, and the accumulation of life time experience enriches the different ways in which older people can negotiate with their identity.
A possible best way to longer life span is to continue working for as long as they can and keep themselves occupied after formal retirement.”
The event was designed to chart a way forward in promoting elderly/senior veterans’ economy through improved productivity/employment intiatives.
Already, the Ministry of Labour is collaborating with the International Federation on Ageing in Nigeria (IFAN), to achieve one of the SDGs in 2030.
The collaboration is aimed to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, productive employment and decent work for all.
The Coordinator, IFAN, Mr Willie Nwobu, said the ICT Digital skill knowledge is now the game changer for the aged in what he described as the “old world meets the New World.”
He said the marriage between the Federal Ministry of labour and Employment and Digital Bridge Institute must be done and consolidated immediately with International Federation on Ageing Nigeria (IFAN) as the moderator, facilitator and family guide including incorporating West African Monbat as the integrator to insure and help that no divorce and separation happens.
The 2016 UNIDOP takes a stand against ageism by drawing attention to and challenging negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and ageing.