Nigeria should lead on proper treatment of the elderly – UN official

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Tijani Muhammad-Bande
Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Tijani Muhammad-Bande

The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, has said that Nigeria must show the world how to properly treat the elderly.

He also said that according to the UN, the population of the elderly (60+) will outnumber young people by 2020.

He said this during a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Friday.

“All elements of the society are connected to old people, it is important we take care of them.”

Data from World Population reveals that by the year 2050, one in six people in the world will be over 65 years old, he added.

”It is important to have this discussion at this point of time because these statistics will affect labour and financial markets, demand for goods and services (housing, transportation, social protection, and family structures).

”This is burdensome for the reason that by the year 2050, 80 per cent of older people will be living in low- and middle – income countries and Nigeria belongs to this classification.

“Nigeria has a duty to show the world (in the way they care for their old), that indeed older persons are important to the society,” he added.

‘Youth critical too’

Besides older persons, Mr Bande also acknowledged the importance of youth and women being integrated into all elements of development.

He said, “this is a matter of importance to the 74th UNGA, and a global matter.”

He said the focus of the 74th UNGA are ”matters of deep importance to Nigeria and Nigeria is doing its possible best to meet the vision”.

Mr Bande revealed that he will be having a meeting which will host discussions concerning issues associated with older persons.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that the UNGA President will be around for a four-day official visit in the country.

While in Nigeria, he will attend a Regional Expert Conference on the Human Rights Situation of Older Persons in Africa, meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen.

The focus of the 74th UNGA is poverty eradication, quality education, and inclusion.

Mr Bande is the 74th UNGA President and the second Nigerian to be President of UNGA in 30 years.

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