Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Older persons under the umbrella of Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) have demanded a social security packages from the Federal Government as palliative for its members to enable them cushion the effect of Covid-19 lock down.
The Coalition suggested that the packages should be delivered directly to each older person in local communities in Nigeria using the Councilors, town union executives, community chiefs and leaders to enumerate and deliver the incentives to the rightful persons.
COSROPIN President, Senator Ajoku Eze, who addressed journalists in Abuja, on Friday, made reference to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which indicated that there are 9. 6 million Nigerians who are 60 years old and above.
He said: “With 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, and 8,809 political wards with regards to 2019 elections, there’s average of 1, 091 older persons in each political ward, and many of them are resident in metropolitan cities. It’s, therefore, assumed that each political ward in Nigeria may still have up to 300 older persons, on average, that need support in the rural areas.
“If the statistics is accepted, then government will need to budget N13.2 billion to provide monthly social protection of N5, 000 to each older person in Nigeria. But going by the current pay out of N20, 000, for two months, then N52.9 billion will be required.
“However, if the original assumption that there are 1,091 older persons in each political ward in Nigeria is accepted, then, for the regular N10, 000 conditional cash transfer, government will require N96.1 billion to support all older persons in Nigeria on the direct payment.”
The Coalition, therefore, called on government to provide the minimum of N52.9 billion or N96.1 billion as special security package for older persons as palliative for Covid-19 depending on its financial capacity.
Meanwhile, the Coalition have called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to make the wearing of face mask mandatory for all Nigerians as part of strict measures to contain community transmission of dreaded coronavirus in Nigeria.
It said: “Wearing of face mask will help reduce person to person transmission. With face mask, small and large droppings from infected people are minimized on surfaces or direct contact with people. The mask will definitely protect me from you and otherwise. Also, the tendency to touch the mouth or nose is significantly reduced.”