Nigeria not providing enough mobility for older persons- Greenlight Initiative 

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From Okwe Obi, Abuja

A research conducted by GreenLight Initiative, Federal University of Technology Owerri and Makerere University Uganda, has indicated that Nigeria and Africa have performed poorly in providing mobility and transportation for older persons.

Executive Director, GreenLight Initiative, Patrick Simon Obi, who spoke at an event yesterday in Abuja, tasked government to do more.

Obi explained that the dissemination symposium that took place was to  underscore to promote safe and sustainable transportation and  inclusivity in mobility for older persons.

“It is my belief that this study would increased knowledge and further assist policymakers, advocates, and transport stakeholders to make evidence-based decisions regarding mobility and access for older persons.

“We continue to thank Volvo Research and Educational Foundation (VREF) for its generous support which allows us to embark on this very important but often neglected area

Also, Researcher/Lecturer from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Dr. Chinebuli Uzondu, said: “It was such a pleasant surprise.

“I am so thrilled and honoured that we were announced as recipients of a grant from the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation (VREF).

“This grant has enabled us to work on a very important, yet often neglected issue.

“Our research has explored the mobility needs of older persons in Nigeria and Uganda, to understand their travel patterns, unravelled their travel patterns, transport options available to them, needs and barriers to active mobility.

“We identified country-specific challenges and have presented evidence-based strategies and recommendations to address and improve the c ondition.

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“This research is very important to me because I feel that VREF acknowledges the importance of this research and how it will go on to address the issues around transport inequities and exclusions.”

In addition, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences,  Makerere University, Uganda, Dr. Paul Mukwaya, said’: “For Makerere University, the grant is one of those which has opened up new opportunities, locally and internationally, as we build for the future.

“Most importantly the research has brought to the fore; not only,  the kind of transport inequalities that older persons experience to be more specific, but also the transport policy gaps that exist at city and/or national scale.

“We have been able to: 1)  network with a number of national actors and a conversation on critical transport inequality issues across Kampala City; 2) start an informal dialogue on the mobility needs of older persons across the city and we think this will feed into the revised Multi-modal transport plan for Kampala City: and 3) the results of the project have fed into our curriculum review processes with an improvement of the course content in the Transport Geography course unit.

“Finally, now that we are close to the end of the grant period,  the grant has been used as one those referred to and benchmarked as we engage in new grant writing ventures with our partners across the continent.

“We have also been able to build the capacity of our Early Career Researcher and/or Graduate Fellows that have directly been involved in the project activities, not only research management skills but scientific writing, communication and uptake activities.”

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