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Monday, August 3, 2009

Nigeria Senate Establishes Agency for the Aged

The senate on 14th July 2009 passed a bill seeking to establish the National Agency for the Elderly Persons which will provide welfare and recreational facilities for the aged. Also, the agency is expected to design development programmes and activities aimed at the advancement of elderly persons in Nigeria.

The bill which was Sponsored by Senator Ganiyu Solomon (AC, Lagos West) stated that the agency when fully established, will be charged with the responsibility of providing basic welfare, maintaining and protecting the rights of older persons as well as providing recreational facilities for them.

In his contribution in the debate before the bill was passed, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri (PDP, Bayelsa) whose committee of Sports and Social Development worked on the bill, said, "The bill is a landmark one that seeks to give proper legal support to this segment of our population who suffer untold hardship. It is a bill that requires the support of each and every one of us because all of us will be old one day."

"Although the family remains the most important source of support for older people, family structures are changing and traditional patterns of care are no longer guaranteed. Living patterns are fundamentally changing; urbanization has resulted in many older people living alone in rural areas."

After a clause by clause consideration of the bill which lasted for three hours, Senators unanimously voted in favour of the bill and read it the third time.


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