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Senate directs FG to protect job seekers, review age barrier

By Idowu Abdullahi,

Lawmakers at upper chamber of the National Assembly has urged the Federal Government to direct the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity to set up a committee to review the age limit for employment or recruitment in the country in a bid to protect job seekers.

It explained that the need to permanently sort the age limit attached to job vacancies and requirements of apex government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), and other private bodies in the country necessitated the review.

They made the call after consideration of a motion titled: “Urgent need to review age barrier during recruitment and employment” sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East).

Presenting the motion during plenary on Wednesday, Gobir who cited order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, argued that the age barriers and recruitment requirements of employers were excluding and marginalizing skillful and competent prospective applicants from participating in such recruitment exercises.

The lawmaker noted that many graduates spend up to 10 years seeking employment with the age barriers and other requirements due to the country’s high unemployment rate.

“Many individuals resort to falsifying their age all in a bid to fall within the required age limit for them to be gainfully employed. This development, where a person believes he is unemployable can lead them to embrace criminal activities and further increase the growing crime rate and insecurity in the country,” he said.

He, however, urged the government to urgently review the age barrier towards ensuring the teeming skilled and competent Nigerians are employed by Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs).

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, urged the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to Fastrack the review of age limit which, he said, were discriminatory for young job seekers.

“It is not through a fault of theirs that people are discriminated against. They’ll tell you only 30 years limit, meanwhile, someone graduated 10 years ago. This is a very good motion urging the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to swing into action immediately,” Lawan said.

However, the Senators unanimously approved the only prayer of the motion when it was put to a voice vote by the Senate President.

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