Senators move against age limit as precondition for employment in Nigeria

Ojochenemi Onje-JamesJuly 20, 20233 min

Section 42(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) guarantees every citizen the right to freedom from discrimination including age.

 

 

 

 

The Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Productivity and other relevant agencies to discourage public and private employers from publishing job advertisements with implicit biases that deprive qualified Nigerians of gainful employment based on age.

This as the lawmakers also called for equality in the Ministry to promptly formulate policies that promote equal opportunities and fair treatment in access to employment for all citizens across the country.

The call was contained in a motion on the ‘Urgent Need for Intervention: Age Requirement Precondition for Employment in Nigeria,’ sponsored by Senator Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South).

 

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Presenting the motion, Senator Moro acknowledged the public outcry regarding the continuous violation of Chapter 4, Section 42(2) of the Constitution, as amended. This constitutional provision guarantees every citizen the right to freedom from discrimination.

He expressed his dismay, stating that “It is disheartening that a Nigerian graduate who is unable to secure employment after completing their first degree, decides to pursue further education with the hope that obtaining a higher qualification, such as a second degree or a Master’s degree, will enhance their employment prospects. However, upon completing their Master’s degree, they discover they are now considered over the age limit for employment and consequently deemed unemployable solely due to their age.”

The Benue lawmaker further pointed out that, while Nigerian graduates can participate in the National Youth Service Corps programme until the age of 30, they face barriers to gainful employment after that, based solely on their age, which flagrantly violates their fundamental human rights.

 

 

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Senator Moro highlighted the predicament faced by Nigeria’s youth, who possess the necessary qualifications, knowledge, and skills, and are eager to contribute to the workforce but, are unjustly disqualified or excluded from employment opportunities simply because they exceed the age limit imposed by employers.

He further noted that the unfortunate situation had compelled many individuals to commit age fraud by falsifying their age in order to fall within the employability age limit for the Nigerian civil service and other employers across the country.

“It is disheartening that a Nigerian graduate who is unable to secure employment after completing their first degree decides to pursue further education with the hope that obtaining a higher qualification, such as a second degree or a Master’s degree, will enhance their employment prospects.

However, upon completing their Master’s degree, they discover they are now considered over the age limit for employment and consequently deemed unemployable solely due to their age,” the lawmaker said.

 

 

Ojochenemi Onje-James

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