By Maryam Aminu, Abuja
The National Senior Citizens Centre commenced the 2021 International Day of Older Persons with the theme ” Digital Equity for All Ages”
The Director General of National Senior Citizens Centre Dr. Emem Omokaro while commemorating the day of older persons mentioned that she has strong belief that in a short time to come, the human rights of older persons will be protected as Nigeria has extends her arms to accept them.
Dr.Emem thank His Excelllency President Muhammadu Buhari for his immense contribution towards the launching of Inclusive Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030 which is centred to provide quality life and value for all.
In her speech, she added that “In line with this year’s theme which is “Digital Equity for All Ages”, that digital technologies which, by the speed of light, continue to liberate face to face interactions and to create on-line sources, means and platforms for transactions and social connections in all aspects of life should be, universally accessed.
These includes e-health care-doctors on call; e-commerce, online shopping, online banking, online working, help-call lines; e-learning, e-conferences, vital registration portals among others with unfettered transformative impact.
Dr. Emem Omokaro insists, that globally, without a deliberate policy, legal, capacity development frameworks and mechanisms to ensure inclusive multi-networks, anchored on equity, with obvious challenges of amenities and services availability, affordability, connectivity, designs and acceptance, the vulnerable, the illiterate, the poor, especially older persons in rural and remote locations would be left behind in all aspects of life.
She explained that COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown exposed impact of the digital divide especially, as it affects older persons, leading to increasing isolation, loneliness, limited access to services, depression and abuse.
Conclusively she stated that
the Federal Government of Nigeria conjoined with the National Senior Citizens Centre with the global community to advocate an end to ageism and its assumptions, prejudices, exclusion and promotes optimistic view of older persons’ latent transformative potentials as well as their continuing participation and enhanced capacities, including creating opportunities for digital literacy and skills, to navigate emerging digital environments without barriers.