Senate Moves For Establishment Of Commission For Poor, Aged Nigerians

The Senate on Wednesday considered a critical bill seeking to cater for poor, aged and vulnerable Nigerians.

 

The bill was tagged, “A bill For An Act To Establish The National Social Security Commission For The Regulation, Management And Administration Of Social Security Benefits and Services, And Other Related Matters, 2022 (SB.899)”.

 

The piece of legislation, sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, scaled second reading on the floor during plenary.

 

Omo-Agege, while leading debate on the general principles of the bill, said the bill seeks to provide a comprehensive legal and governance framework for the proper administration of an inclusive national social security protection system in Nigeria.

 

He explained that the National Social Security Commission when established, would provide the needed structure that offers adjustable periodic benefits to eligible Nigerians who face improvidence arising from old age (above 70 years), sickness, unemployment, and morbid conditions requiring medical care.

 

He emphasised that the introduction and passage of the bill into law became imperative, particularly against the backdrop of Nigeria being a signatory to the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

 

“This Convention articulates globally-agreed minimum social security standards in nine (9) domains.

 

“Except employment injury benefit that is already statutorily covered in Nigeria, eight (8) of the domains are uncovered, and they are the focus of this Bill”, Omo-Agege said.

 

According to him, “successive governments over the years have acted in many ways to protect our people’s security and welfare.

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“The reality, however, is that there is still a huge and unsustainable gulf between the poor, the weak, the vulnerable, and the voiceless on the one hand and the rich and the Government on the other.

 

“Historically, this divide has been a major threat to national cohesion, peace and stability in our polity.

 

“As leaders, it is our solemn constitutional obligation to respond effectively to this clear challenge.

 

“Humbly, it is my thoughtful view that an Act of this parliament that focuses on the necessities of the ordinary Nigerian is itself a necessity for our nation. This is the essential spirit driving this all-important Bill”, the Deputy Senate President added.

 

The bill after consideration was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service.

 

The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the chamber in plenary.

 

Meanwhile, a bill seeking to establish the National Veterinary Research Institute, Gombe, on Wednesday also passed second reading in the Senate.

 

The bill was sponsored by Senator Saidu Ahmed Alkali (Gombe North).

 

The bill was referred by the Senate President after consideration to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

The Committee was also given four week to report back to the Senate.

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