By Victor Ahiuma-Young
AS Nigeria battles with employment crisis, the Federal Government has been counselled that the National Senior Citizens Center, NSCC, can be a veritable avenue to creating massive employment in the country.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari in January signed into law the National Senior Citizens Center Act, 2018 and the Legislative Houses (Power and Privileges) 2018.
The National Senior Citizens Center Act, 2018, establishes the National Senior Citizens Center, NSCC, in the country to cater for the needs of the senior citizens.
Taking up the initiative, Ghalp Caregivers Academy, GCA, has challenged the Federal Government to match its policy on the importance of caring for the senior citizens with action by establishing care centres for senior citizens.
Speaking at the graduation of over 700 American Caregiver Association, ACA, trained and certified professionals in Ibadan, Oyo State, President of GCA, Dr. David Olalekan, contended that over 720,000 jobs could be created in the process.
According to him, “each state is mandated to establish homes in all the local governments. Each state may need up to 20,000 caregivers to work in the homes as well as in the hospitals. We want to start with Oyo State and we believe that if we get the opportunity to train people who are looking for jobs, they can be absorbed into all these homes and that will be taking a big burden off the shoulder of government in the area of job creation.
“In Oyo State alone, over 20,000 can be engaged, some of them will work in the facilities that will be established and some can work in the hospitals to stand in the gap for doctors and nurses. We believe that it is possible if government, state governors’ wives and other institutions can make it their pet projects.”
Olalekan said the law had opened Nigerians to better global opportunities and career in Care giving both in Nigeria and outside the country, noting: “With the signing of the bill, which now makes it mandatory for our Senior Citizens to be catered for just like we have abroad, there is need for special hands in those centres to be created. That alone means over 720,000 jobs could be created annually locally. In the United States of America, 20,000 Caregivers are provided yearly and over 40,000 presently work as Caregivers.”
The Special Guest at the event, Professor Ifeanyi Prinuel Onyeonoru, professor of Industrial Relations and Head of Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan also said the insecurity in the country could be traced to loss of social values.”
He said “”The social values of old, of caring for ourselves are not carried along in the course of our development. Boko Haram thrives because there are youths uncared for, who are available to be used. It bores down to parents, the society, to take care of their wards. Human security is a sine qua non for national security, we must care for the vulnerable, if it’s not done now, it will lead to more crisis.”