Buhari approves welfare centre for Nigerians above 70

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre and appointed a 12-member board with immediate effect. The centre will cater for the needs of senior citizens above the age of 70 in Nigeria.

The centre was passed into law as the National Senior Citizens Centre Act, 2017 to cater for the needs of senior citizens above the age of 70 in Nigeria.

However, The president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said in a statement on Monday, May 31, 2021 that the establishment of the centre is in line with Section 16(2)(d) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution.

According to the section, “The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens.”

Buhari also appointed AVM. M.A. Muhammad (rtd) as the Chairman of the Board, and Dr Emem Omokaro to serve as the centre’s Director General.

List of Board Members

Members of the board include Mansur Kuliya, representing the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Dr Chris Osa Isokpunwu, representing the Federal Ministry of Health; Umar Abdullahi Utono, representing the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; and also Dr John Olushola Magbadelo, representing Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

While, others include  Bulus Friya Kimde, representing the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs; Sani Ibrahim Mustapha, representing the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD); Professor Usman Ahmed, representing the Geriatric Association of Nigeria; Victoria Onu, representing the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons (CORSOPIN), Dr Dorothy Nwodo, and also Professor Mohammed Mustapha Namadi.

Buhari however described the appointees as people of proven integrity who will ensure relevance and spread of the centre.

They will also serve for an initial period of four years.

By Victoria E.I

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