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Senior citizens to partner NBS on data production for older persons

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Senior citizens to partner NBS on data production for older persons

By Fortune Abang

The National Senior Citizens Center (NSCC) called for continued collaboration with the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), to achieve national growth through the production of data on older people.

NSCC Director General Dr Emem Omokaro said this during a courtesy visit to the office of Federation Statistician General Dr Simon Harry on Friday in Abuja.

She said the Center was established by the National Assembly’s NSCC Act of 2017, as a focal agency to identify and meet the needs of older people.

According to her, the meeting with the NBS is centered on the production of data on the elderly and the mandate of the NSCC on the identification of the needs of the Seniors and their care.

Omokaro said, “For the first time in the history of this country, we now have a national policy on aging that aligns with the law.

“We now have an agency which can coordinate, initiate and collaborate with other MDAs which are moreover the agencies which have the statutory mandate.

“In order for us to be able to collaborate effectively in all of these overlapping areas, that means we have to have the data, we have to have the statistics, and we have to know the numbers.

“Before, it was very difficult to include older people in national surveys; we need to know these seniors, who they are and where they are, their way of life and their socioeconomic status.

“Know their state of health and current medical situations; NBS is still in the field, so we want to depend on NBS as much as we depend on other administrative data sources.

She observed that there had been some controversy over the actual number of seniors, claiming that we are still using around and some government agencies put the figure at around 9.8 million.

She noted that the current NBS ranking puts it at 14 million, adding that there is a need to harmonize the figure to promote unity, especially before international agencies, about the community in Nigeria.

In response, Harry, also Managing Director and CEO of NBS, praised Omokaro and his team for their initiative, saying it was a step in the right direction.

According to him, the establishment of the center further showed the government’s commitment to the well-being of elderly Nigerian citizens.

“The government’s commitment is demonstrated by the establishment of this center and I believe that with the center, a lot will be done with regard to the elderly.

“The NBS is Nigeria’s national statistical office responsible for producing official statistics, covering all facets of human endeavor.

“We do this in collaboration with all the relevant agencies, both in the public and private sectors, and then down to the sub-national level which is very important.

“This is why our task of coordinating statistical activities at national level is relevant, so that we will ensure as much as possible the consistency of data protection and the transparency of what we do.

“The data that we produce does not conflict with each other and of course we produce high integrity data, as it relates to the issue of the elderly in society,” Harry said.

Source: NAN

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