Poverty and Social Pensions
Older persons in Nigeria are particularly vulnerable to poverty due to their lessened capacity to engage in income generating activities combined with a weakening of traditional family support mechanisms. Visible symptoms of older persons’ exposure to poverty are their destitution, begging and abandonment in cities, and the isolation and hardship of those left behind in rural areas.
Social (non-contributory) pensions ― as now exist in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, Seychelles ― are a highly effective mechanism for combating older persons’ poverty. Such cash transfers furthermore have significant redistributive effects, as beneficiaries often share their pension income in particular, children and grandchildren. Social pensions thus contribute to a reduction of poverty in households, families and communities broadly. As the experience of the above countries shows, moreover, social pension schemes are eminently feasible and affordable: they typically do not consume more than 2% of GDP.
CADROP’s activities in the area of poverty and social pensions centres on
a) Advocacy to foster political awareness and will to support the institution of a non-contributory pension system in Nigeria
b) Development of a concrete framework and approaches for such a social pension system
c) Design and implementation of possible pension pilot schemes.