Date Published: 10/27/11
Speech by Gov. Kayode Fayemi on the Social Security Scheme at Ekiti State
A SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE EKITI STATE GOVERNOR, DR. JOHN KAYODE FAYEMI AT THE FLAG-OFF CEREMONY OF THE EKITI STATE SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEME AT ISE-EKITI ON TUESDAY, 25TH OCTOBER, 2011.
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today to formally commence the payment of the monthly stipends to the beneficiaries of the State Social Security Scheme for the elderly. This event is to formally launch this policy direction of the State Government as announced during the celebration marking the anniversary of Nigeria’s 51 st Independence and 15 th Anniversary of the creation of Ekiti State. The scheme effectively took off in the State on 1 st October 2011.
It is painful to note that across the length and breadth of Africa, poverty visibly walks on the street with impunity. Of the many identifiable strands of poverty that is confronting the developing world is the one associated with old age when one’s strength and vitality is lost and the bones are irredeemably weakened. Not too long ago, those who fall in this vulnerable category, the aged, are taken care of by a social system that is effective in making life more enjoyable though with little to share. Today, civilization has eroded the system, it is now everyone to himself and God for us all. In the process, people lived the latter part of their lives in abject poverty with attendant diseases, emotional breakdown and frustrating social disaffections.
Even if it is impossible to re-enact, in absolute terms, the good old days of fending for our elderly through our extended family system, it is the determination of this government to reduce old age poverty significantly. This is the essence of this Scheme designed to provide for our people in their own age in the various communities.
May I again use the opportunity of this occasion to reiterate the commitment of this government to the welfare of our people and particularly the elderly. They had labored to keep the society going when they had the strength, now that the vigour is no longer there, it is incumbent on us all to show them our love and benevolence. This government will therefore continue to initiate more programmes that would not only elongate their life span but also make it less stressful and agonizing. In this respect, the free health scheme for the elderly would be pursued with more vigour and other support mechanisms and safety net for the elderly will continue to receive our attention.
I like to call on all our people at home and in the Diaspora to chart new ways to make our aged happy and fulfilled as they progressed in their sojourn on earth. The Ekiti spirit of showing concern to the aged through love, tender care and warmly affection should be re-ignited. It is a common heritage that we cannot afford to jettison in the name of modernity.
It is important for me also to clarify that the payment of the N5,000 stipends to each of the registered beneficiaries that commenced today will be made regularly on the 25 th of the month when all workers are being paid. Let me also stress that all legitimate complaints of inability to register during the enumeration of the elderly shall be looked into. It is our intention to undertake a comprehensive review after the first six months of the programme. I also like to assure you all that government has already put in motion the process of drafting a legislation to back this initiative and ensure its sustainability over the long term.
I appreciate the Committee for Social Security Scheme, the Ministry of Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment as well as the Ministry of Labour, Productivity and Human Capital Development for driving the vision to this glorious reality.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to solicit your continued support for our numerous programmes geared towards making our people live in abundance and enjoy the peace and good health that they truly deserve in their old age.
Thank you and God bless.