The Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, has called on Nigerians to extend a hand of love and provide warmth to the elderly and the less privileged in the society all year round.
Mahmoud made the call during the inauguration of the Renewed Hope Initiative Elderly Support Scheme (RHIESS), by the First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, in Abuja on Thursday.
She commended Sen. Tinubu for the initiative, saying, “Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our seniors, reminding them that they are cherished and valued members of our community.
“The scheme is not just to distribute items but also to express gratitude and respect for the wisdom and experience that elders bring.
“In the fast-paced world we live in, it is essential to pause and appreciate the pillars of our community—the elderly.
“Their stories, guidance, and enduring spirits have shaped our collective journey.
“A simple gift can bring a smile, warmth, and a sense of belonging to those who may feel overlooked or lonely especially during this time of the year”.
She also said that the mission of the Renewed Hope Initiative was not just about distributing material items, but also about fostering a sense of community, compassion, and respect for the elders, youths, girl child and widows.
She said that Sen. Tinubu’s gesture reflects her commitment to ensuring the comfort and well-being of those who have paved the way for the young ones.
She urged Nigerians to engage with the elders, listen to their stories, and to learn from their rich tapestry of life experiences.
“In doing so, we not only honour them but also create lasting connections that bridge the generations.
“To our dear elders, your presence enriches our lives, and today is a testament to our collective dedication to ensuring your happiness and comfort,” the minister said.
On her part, Mrs Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi, Mandate Secretary, Women Affairs Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration, said that a total of 250 elderly persons from the six Area Councils of the FCT would benefit from the scheme.
Benjamins-Laniyi added that other services lined up for the elderly include free medical checkup and free drugs, free eye check-up and glasses, free high blood pressure check-up and counseling, and enlistment in the National Health Insurance Scheme among others.
She said that the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike and Mahmoud were vigorously implementing President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
“This is exemplified in the creation of the FCT Women Affairs Secretariat, and of course, which culminates in our various intervention programmes we have carried out so far, especially our gathering here today,” she said.
While inaugurating the scheme, Sen. Tinubu explained that the Scheme, with the theme, “Better Days Ahead”, would provide financial and other support to 9,250 vulnerable elderly citizens from age 65 and above across the country.
The First Lady, who was represented by the wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Nana Shettima, explained that the economic empowerment programme was borne out of a steadfast commitment to the well-being of elderly citizens.
She said that the development marks a significant stride in the collective pursuit of a more inclusive and compassionate society.
She said that the scheme would support a total of 9,250, vulnerable elderly citizens, aged 65 and above, across the 36 states of federation, 250 from each state and the Federal Capital Territory.
She added that the beneficiaries also include veterans from the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA).
She said that the selected beneficiaries would receive N100,000 each, to cushion the effect of the economic situation and to alleviate the burdens of elders during the festive period.
She added that N950 million would be disbursed under the scheme, with each state expected to receive N25 million, as approved by the Governing Board of the Renewed Hope Initiative. (NAN)