STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PRESIDENT BUHARI APPROVES DR EMEM OMOKARO AS DIRECTOR GENERAL OF NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS CENTRE, CONSTITUTES BOARD
President @MBuhari has approved the take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre. He has also approved the constitution of its 12-member board with immediate effect.
This is in line with Section 16 (2) (d) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution as amended which mandates the State to provide adequate social services and improve the quality of life of the elderly.
The National Senior Citizens Centre was passed into law as the National Senior Citizens Centre Act, 2017 to cater for the needs of senior citizens (70 and above) in the country.
To realize this noble objective, and in order to ensure relevance and spread, persons of proven integrity from key ministries and organisations have been appointed into its Governing Board.
Consequently, President Buhari has appointed AVM. M.A. Muhammad (rtd) as the Chairman of the Board with Mansur Kuliya, representing the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development;
Dr Chris Osa Isokpunwu representing the Federal Ministry of Health; Mr Umar Abdullahi Utono representing the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; and Dr John Olushola Magbadelo representing Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity as members.
Other members include: Mrs Bulus Friya Kimde representing the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs; Mr Sani Ibrahim Mustapha representing the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD); Professor Usman Ahmed representing the Geriatric Association of Nigeria;
Arc. Mrs Victoria Onu representing the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons (CORSOPIN) and three other stakeholders namely Dr Dorothy Nwodo, Professor Mohammed Mustapha Namadi and Dr Emem Omokaro who also serves as the Director General.
EMEM OMOKARO Ph. D
Dr. Emem Omokaro has worked extensively in Nigeria to establish strategic participatory platforms and mechanisms that have advanced national action on ageing in the field of policy, education and research.
Her pro-active stakeholders’ engagements have built alliances, enhanced multi-sectoral institutional capacity and fuelled momentum in advocacy, legislation and ageing mainstreaming. Emem Omokaro holds a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from the University of Calabar with an award winning dissertation that interrogated the quality of care of Nigeria’s older persons.
She studied social gerontology at the International Institute on Ageing, (INIA) UN- Malta. Emem is the founding Director of the Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF), member, Board of Trustees and Secretary General, African Society for Ageing Research and Development (ASARD); founding member Geriatrics Association of Nigeria (GAN) and founding member Board of Trustees, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN).
She served as Visiting Scholar to the National Universities Commission, where she crafted priority direction and plan of action for ageing studies development in Nigerian Universities and as a LEADS Scholar and focal person, facilitating off- shore training of Nigerian faculty in gerontology. As a valued member of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, (INPEA).
Emem has been recognized for her effective capacity building among NGOs in Nigeria. Through the recognition of impact of Dave Omokaro Foundation in ageing and policy action, DOF, was accreditationed by the United Nations to participate in the work of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, where DOF has so far, not only made amicus Statements supporting a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons, but have influenced Nigerian Government representation at UNOEWGA and commitment to a Convention on the Rights of older persons.
Dr. Omokaro was nominated by the Bureau of the UN Working Group, to moderate the panel on ‘Health and Older Persons’ Right to Social Security’’ at the 4th Session of the Working Group in 2013.
She has variously been member of Nigeria’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly; United Nations Commission on Population and Development, and the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, leading preparatory work in the area of social development, ageing and issues of older person.
Dr. Emem Omokaro, has successfully executed international and national institutional collaborations on population and development for the benefit of Nigeria; She secured partnership agreement with INIA-UN Malta for in-situ training of policy-level personnel in ageing in Nigeria and annual scholarship awards for personnel training in Policy formulation in Malta. With the growing number of the International Institute on Ageing UN-Malta for annual in-situ training of policy level personnel in Nigeria, she initiated the INIA -DOF Alumni Forum on Ageing which has influenced inter-sectoral interactions and enhanced ageing mainstreaming across multi-sectors in Nigeria.
Emem is a member of National Task Force on Partners in Population and Development (PPD) on the South South Cooperation; member, Population Technical Working Group for the National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development (PTWG); she was instrumental in re-designing the Nigeria’s strategic action plan and progress reporting template to be inclusive of the ageing population. Emem is member, the PTWG Core team for the Review of Nigeria’s National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development; and served as technical advisor on Ageing to Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as to Civil Societies in ageing.
She was nominated by the Federal Government as consultant on ageing to 2014 Sovereign National Conference.
Emem is also a published poet and has authored, published and presented scholarly papers on varying aspects of ageing in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Omokaro (born May 1, 1959) hails from Afaha Offiong in Nsit Ibom LGA in Akwa Ibom State, South South Nigeria.
She attended the Union Secondary School, Ibiaku Itu (1971-75), University of Calabar from 1976 through 1999 for her Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees.
She was a Lecturer in the Department of Social Studies at the Polytechnic in Calabar (1984-89); Director, Cultural Centre Board, Cross River State (1987-89); etc.
She is a recipient of many awards and commendations which include:
Mobil Scholarship Award, Faculty of Social Science
University of Calabar Alumni Award of Excellence
University of Calabar Foundation Scholarship Award
Louis Edet Prize in Sociology for Best Graduate Student;
Best Undergraduate Student 1978
Special Post Graduate Award, 1983
Best Graduate Student, Deans List 1986
The Fashion Duley Best Fashion Designer, Award for African Fashion, New York, 1992
Federal Government Certificate of Merit for Distinction in Fashion in Nigeria
Certificate of Distinction for Best Fashion Designer in Cross River State; BMSH, University of Calabar
Federal Government Gold Gong All States Contemporary Nigerian Fashion Parade
Mobil Award for Outstanding Children Apparel
National Merit Award for Arts and Culture, 1995; amongst others.
Her Hobbies are mentoring, travelling, reading, cooking