On Wednesday 15th July 2020, a motion was moved on the floor of the ‘Red Chambers’ of the National Assembly by Sen. Ibrahim Gobir (APC, representing Sokoto East) on the need for government to review the age limits placed on recruitment processes by Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the private sector. In his words, recruitment into MDAs “inadvertently exclude and marginalizes skillful and competent prospective applicants from participating in such exercises” on the grounds of age limit. A situation which he attributed to being the cause of age falsification and the involvement of youths in criminalities of various sorts.
Contributing to the motion, Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, representing Kebbi South) reminded the senate of the 13 years employment embargo that was placed; a situation which must be considered during recruitment processes, as the period of embargo on employment has placed job seekers at a disadvantage. In his words “There cannot be justification for you to place embargo on employment, then at the same time expect graduates to remain at the age they were during the period of the embargo. I think in the review, that has to be taken into account, and therefore, the age limit can now be raised in addition to the established age. That should be the legal verdict for the review.”
Reacting to the motion, President of the Senate – Sen. Ahmed Lawan stated that “…it is not through a fault of theirs that people are discriminated against. They’ll tell you only 30 years limit, meanwhile someone graduated ten years ago….” He therefore urged the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity to look into the issue by setting up a committee to review the age limit of job seekers; as this would check the unfortunate processes that has denied able and willing Nigerians the opportunities of gainful employment.
This is no doubt a step in the right direction, and it is coming at a time that employers of labour have so much normalized their prioritization of pegging age limits for employment to be between 24 – 28; a situation that has led so many youths into falsifying their age.
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