Tuesday, November 19 was an important day for the members and executives of Senior Citizens Association of Nigeria (SCAN), as they held their 21st annual general meeting (AGM) at the All Saints Anglican Church, Ketu, Lagos.
SCAN national president, Elder Ayorinde Ore, called for a minute silence for the members who had passed on and prayed for their souls.
He tasked members to remain steadfast.
He informed them of various steps taken by his team to move the association forward. He reiterated the focus of executive, which included protecting and looking after the health of an age-old member and promoting societal harmony and happiness of its members. He assured members that the outlook for the future years “is to continue to provide programmes and activities that enrich the lives of senior citizens.”
He tasked government to make a policy that would promote the care and respect of older people in the country: “The idea of keeping old people in institutional care still sounds strange for many Nigerians.
Yet it is increasingly difficult for families to cater for them in the absence of any welfare benefits.
“Even those who are on a monthly pension will at some point in time require assistance either from a caregiver or a professional health caregiver. It is recommended that policymakers expedite action on the policy implementation of provisions for the care of elderly people across Nigeria.
“Before we become senior, we have served the nation, Nigeria, in different capacities. And so we deserve respect and care from all, including government at all levels. Elders must be respected in hospital, bank, church, mosque and every other place.”
He urged the government to include elder study courses in the school curriculum, and to establish free medical care, supported by state and local governments.
The annual report of the association was read by the secretary, Elder C. O. Fagbemi and the annual accounts presented by the treasurer.
Fagbemi said it has been an eventful year as it recorded new members in its branches: “God has been merciful to our association and things are going well. Our zones are in order and growing despite teething challenges.
“I am imploring members to talk to the elderly groups around them either in churches or mosques to join the association so that we can have one voice for the age.” She highlighted new branches to include Mushin zone on November 10, the on going work in Amuwo Odofin, Ikoyi, Kano, Ekiti, and Ondo zones, and the success of picnic outing to Awolowo Museum, Lekki, Lagos.
The meeting was rounded off with a lecture on proper investment in agriculture by Extra Large Farms.