Pensioners advised against ‘babysitting’

Alhaji Suleman(in spectacles)interacting with retirees at the RCC  premisesThe Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Alhassan Suleman has advised pensioners to desist from using their retirement period for ‘babysitting’ their grand children, as it can put a strain on their health and little resources.
He said the period of retirement was for relaxation and enjoyment after years of active service and not for activities that have the potential to put stress on the individual.
“While it is joyous to have one’s grandchildren around him or her during old age, their upkeep and training must be the responsibility of their parents and not the grandparents,” Alhaji Suleman stressed.
The minister gave the advice when members of the National Pensioners Association (NPA) of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) called on him after a route march, at Wa.
The march, which started from Wa Central Business District Traffic Light and ended at the fore court of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), formed part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the association, in the region.
Alhaji Suleman asked pensioners to take good care of themselves by engaging in regular medical checkups, and avoiding excessive drinking.
He said government appreciated the contributions of retirees towards national development through their dedicated services.
Alhaji Suleman indicated that government would soon roll out policies to alleviate the plight of pensioners and the aged in the country.
The policies, he said included the special card for the aged that would enable them access social services free of charge.
Alhaji Suleman explained that apart from accessing free medical care with the card, it would also enable them board public transport free of charge.
He announced that a new ultra modern centre would be constructed in the region to cater for the socialisation needs of the aged.
Alhaji Suleman said that the new centre would have accommodation, bar, rest rooms, playing grounds and other facilities.
The Regional Secretary of NPA-SSNIT, Mr Adamu Abdul Moomin, said the group was made up of 67,000 members across the country; however, the Upper West regional branch had 3,420.
He said the group was formed in 1992 to help champion the cause and well-being of SSNIT pensioners.
Mr Moomin appealed to the minister to help address challenges facing members of the group, and mentioned lack of decent accommodation for some members, failure on the part of the RCC to invite its members to the annual senior citizens day and difficulty in accessing health care.

From: Cliff Ekuful, Wa

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