Nigeria has been described as one of the worst places to grow old, this is according to an index of the quality of later life in 96 countries.
HelpAge International’s Global AgeWatch Index measures the social and economic welfare of those over 60 in its latest report released on Tuesday.
HelpAge International is an organisation committed to helping older people to claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives.
The report published on the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, ranks Nigeria at 85th position out of 96 countries.
“Nigeria ranks 85 on the overall Global AgeWatch Index. Its highest rank is in the capability domain (47), with a lower than regional average for the employment indicator (70.6%) and a higher than regional average for educational attainment (17.4%).
“Nigeria ranks low in the enabling environment domain (75) and below the regional average for civic freedom (53%) and satisfaction with public transport (42%). Its rank for the health domain is very low (88) and it has a below regional average for the life expectancy at 60 indicator. It ranks lowest on the income security domain (90), with very low pension income coverage (5%) and GDP per capita (US$ 2,254),” the report noted.
The HelpAge listed Ekiti and Osun as the only states in the country providing social pensions to older people. It added that only five per cent of people over 65 currently receive pension in Nigeria.
Commenting on the employment of older people, the organisation noted that 70 per cent of the population aged 55-64 are employed, adding that the indicator measures older people’s access to the labour market and their ability to supplement pension income with wages, and their access to work-related networks.
According to the report, the employment rate is a proxy for the economic empowerment of older people in the country.