THE Older Persons (Rights and Privileges) Bill 2020, sponsored by the Senate Committee on Women Affairs, has prescribed a six-month jail term for anyone who discriminates against anybody that is above 60 years in Nigeria.

It also recommends N2m fine against any corporate institution which commits such offence against older people in the society.

Titled, “A bill for an Act to provide certain rights and privileges for older persons, to provide health, economic reliefs and to protect their social and related matters,” the proposed legislation passed second reading on the floor of the Senate last week.

The bill mandates the National Identity Management Commission to issue certificate of older person to anyone, who attains the age of 60 years for them to qualify for all the rights and privileges contained in the proposed legislation.

It also imposes a one-year jail term on any one, who unlawfully issues certificate of older person to anyone below the age of 60.

Other provisions made for the older persons in the bill include, 50 per cent discount on land, sea and air transportation and it mandated commercial vehicle operators, management of airlines and shipping lines to ensure compliance.

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 “All utility companies, hotels, holiday resorts referred to in this subsection shall file documentation of discounted geriatric services to the Federal Inland Revenue Service in their tax returns for commensurate reliefs,” the bill added.

The bill forbids anyone from subjecting older persons to solicit for alms and prescribed a six-month jail term for offenders.

It also provides free education up to secondary level for any illiterate older person who is willing to acquire formal knowledge.

The bill read in part, “The Federal/State ministries of Education and the local governments, in consultation with non-governmental organisations for older persons, shall institute programmes that will ensure access to formal and informal education.

“Older persons shall be entitled to educational assistance to pursue post-secondary, tertiary, post-tertiary vocational and technical education, as well as well as short term courses for retooling in both public and private schools.”

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