The Senate, on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to direct Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity to set up a committee to review the employment age limit with a view to resolving the problem of age barrier to allow the teeming skilled and competent Nigerians to be employed by ministries departments and agency of government.
The Senate resolution for the upward review was predicated on the motion entitled: “urgent need to review age barriers on job seekers during recruitment and employment exercises” moved by Senator Ibrahim Gobir, Sokoto East (APC).
President the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, had in his remark before the resolution of the Senate said he was in agreement with the motion for it was apt and called on the Federal Ministry of Labour to act fast on the issue.
His words: “I agree with you completely, it is not through the fault of theirs that people are discriminating they will tell you 30 years age limit meanwhile someone had graduated 10 years earlier. I am urging the Federal Ministry of Labour and productivity to swing into action immediately,” Senator Lawan stated.
Gobir had through order 43 drew the attention of the Senate to the offences against the state, imposed on young job seekers by the system itself in their quest for employment.
According to him, many Nigerian graduated from school at young ages but have stayed home for over ten years still seeking gainful employment.
Opportunities that came their way many years later would exclude them on the ground of the fact that they are 10 years or older than the age requirement for such jobs.
To fit in, many have resorted to adjusting their ages which ought not to be, thus the need for the urgent call.
Gobir said: “Someone will finish his University programme at the age of 25 after NYSC he is 26, then it will take him 10 to 15 years to get employment. At the time that he gets employment opportunity, he will be told he is not qualified by age. That is why we want a review so that we can have this corrected and have them employed.
“The Senate notes with concern the critical requirements of the MDA and the other private sector such as barriers that inadvertently excludes and by extension marginalised skilful and competent students applicants from participating in such exercises.
“Due to the high and long unemployment situation in the country, many graduates spent up to 10years or more seeking employment. This has placed them at a disadvantage position by no fault of theirs.
“These applicants are compelled to falsify their age all in a bid to fit into the age requirement limit for them to be gainfully employed.
This he noted could feel their frustration and make them eligible to crime which he stated could become pushed into aggressive criminal activities that would further explore the crime rate and the insecurity in the country.
Providing legal argument to the motion, Senator Bala Ibn N’Allah, stated that the embargo In employment was which stagnated the opportunities for employment for many Nigerians lasted some 13 years.
Consequently, that number of years must be factored into the review so that people who were hitherto excluded from being employed many years back can still fit in.
He said: “The legal basis for this senate to proceed on, lies in the fact that as an institution we must take judicial notice of the fact Federal Government, had on its own placed embargo on employment for over 13 years.
“So that period that there has been embargo placed by the Federal Government itself should be what we should consider in the review of the age limit.
“For example, if the age limit is 23 we will now add the 13 or 14 years of the embargo on employment to the age already benchmarked for employment so that the age will now be plus 13 because it is the Government which on its own that placed the embargo on employment.
“So there cannot be justification for you to slam the embargo and at the same expect graduates to remain at the age they were during the period of the embargo.
“In the review that has to be taken into account and by that the age limit can now be raised in addition to the established 23 to add to the additional years the Government had placed the embargo on employment that should be the legal bases for the review,” Senator N’Allah submitted.