The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its committees on Labour, Employment and Productivity to review age limits on employment into Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) beyond 30 years.
The House also urged all MDAs to re-open their online portals to enable qualified Nigerians between 30 and 40 years to apply, while its Committee on Legislative Compliance is to ensure full compliance to the directive.
This followed a matter of urgent public importance by Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos), who expressed concern that most vacancies advertised by MDAs require applicants to be less than 30 years.
Leading debate on the motion, Benson stated that restriction on the basis of age is a breach of eligible applicants’ fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
He said: “I am worried that citizens who served at the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) at 30 will be denied employment opportunity, which may lead young Nigerians into falsifying their age.”
According to him, a 2016 data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that unemployment rate for persons between 25 and 34 years in Nigeria has risen to 15.4 percent.
He further noted that since 55.9 percent of Nigeria’s 198 million population are between 15 and 64 years, capping age criteria for job entry below 30 years would leave majority of the population without jobs.
The lawmaker added that instead of age barrier, employment into the civil and public service should be based only on merit, competence and Federal Character.
After due consideration, the motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
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