Home National NSCC Lauds Kebbi for Prompt Payment of Gratuity

NSCC Lauds Kebbi for Prompt Payment of Gratuity

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi

The National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) has commended Kebbi State Government for being a trail-blazer in the payment of gratuity to all categories of retired civil servants in the state.

The Director-General of the Centre, Dr Emem Omokaro made the commendation when she led a delegation to pay a courtesy visit to Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu.

“If all the states emulate Kebbi, the negative narratives in some states as it affects retirees would have changed for the better.

 “I have heard so many wonderful things that are happening in Kebbi State, I heard that Kebbi, like many other states, is not owing any pensioner, you have paid pension. Yesterday in our engagement with stakeholders I heard a lot of good things by the state government,” she said.

According to her, NSCC is a statutory agency established by the National Senior Citizens Act of the National Assembly to cater for the needs of the ageing persons in Nigeria.

And the centre is currently mapping older people across Nigeria, adding that “investment in the older people is an investment in economic growth and development of the nation.

She also explains that the statutory remit of the NSCC is also rooted in the National Policy on Ageing for Older Persons in Nigeria, 2021 and other international and regional instruments.

NSCC delegation in a group photograph with Kebbi State officials

Omokaro added that the centre sought to guarantee security, independence, participation, comprehensive care, self-fulfilment and dignity of older persons in society.

She observed that NSCC was the first distinct national corporate body focused on the inclusion of senior citizens in sustainable development.

The DG further explained some functions of the centre which include identifying the needs, training and opportunities for senior citizens, initiating, developing and implementing productive activities and work schemes aimed at providing income for older persons, promoting and maintaining linkages with states and local governments as well as maintain a credible database.

Omokaro said: “As a first step, the NSCC has established in each of the 36 states and the FCT, a Stakeholder Consultative Forum whose eight members are primarily from the field of ageing and related matters.

“Each state’s Stakeholders Consultative Forum constitutes the National Stakeholders Consultative Forum which was inaugurated in the second quarter of this year by the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“The overall objective is to build synergies through stakeholders’ partnerships and networks across the 36 states of the federation and FCT.  This solid governance structure is effective as a tool for outreach, advocacy and implementation of programmatic interventions at sub-national levels.

“These efforts are positioned to enable the domestication of the National Senior Citizens Act, 2017, by all the states in Nigeria; by sensitizing and mobilizing policy makers towards the accelerated inclusion to deliberately and statutory identify and create awareness on the multifaceted disadvantages suffered by older persons and to promptly address and remedy this through linkages with state and local governments.”

“I am urging the Kebbi state government and other states to domesticate the National Senior Citizens Act,” she said.

The DG commended President Muhammadu Buhari for putting the senior citizens on the front burner by asserting the act and forming the board of the centre.

Responding, Governor Atiku Bagudu promised that Kebbi would be the first state to domesticate the act in line with his pensioners-friendly administration.

Represented by the SSG, Babale Umar Yauri, thanked the Director General for making the state the first point of call

The Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum also said his administration always sympathized with the senior citizens.

“We are not handling any issues affecting them with kid gloves and we are seriously tapping from their abundant wealth of experience,” he said.

Bagudu said that it was absurd to abandon the senior citizens after making invaluable sacrifices to national development.

The governor said that the state government was up to date in the payment of gratuity, saying, ” what remains is only 2022 which we will pay before the end of this year,” he added

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