President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the ECOWAS Parliament to create policies that will support the elderly in the society.
George Akume presented the president’s speech on Monday at the conference on the rights of older people hosted by ECOWAS parliament in collaboration with Human and People’s Rights.
Mr. Buhari who noted that it is a norm in the African culture for the rights of the elderly to be respected, said that this norm is worsening due to the influence of Western Cultures.
He said that “because of Western education and civilization, our traditions that bestow honor and respect to the elderly are worsening.”
He urged all Africans to hold unto that tradition as it is our duty to “bring glory and honor to our elderly and we cannot sit back for others to do it for us.”
The president said, “We need to wake up to the challenges of older persons in the region. We also need to collaborate and join efforts with other nations both local and international to fight for the rights of older persons globally.”
Mr. Buhari cited some measures established by Nigeria in addressing the rights of older persons.
These measures include the Senior Citizens Act of 2018.
“The Act serves to cater for the needs of the elderly; a harmonized pension scheme and a mandatory pre-retirement training.”
He added that the government is also working to ensure that other “benefits such as healthcare are subsidized.”
Mr. Buhari said care for the elderly is deeply rooted in the cultures and traditions of Africans and this fact should not be forgotten.