The Senate on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to set up a committee to review the age limit inhibiting Nigerians seeking employment in government agencies.
The senate resolution followed a Point of Order raised by Sen. Ibrahim Gobir (APC-Sokoto) at plenary, which motion he tagged “Urgent Need to Review Age Barrier for Job Seekers During Recruitment and Employment Exercises”.
Gobir argued that a review of the policy had become inevitable, saying the age barrier had prevented many Nigerians from securing employment in government agencies.
He said the age limitation had hindered many graduates from securing jobs years after graduation, which had led to high rate of unemployment in the country.
The lawmaker said this situation had forced many individuals to resort to age falsification to remain within employable age bracket.
“This development where a person believes he is unemployed, can lead them to embracing criminal activities and further increase the growing crime rate and insecurity in the country.
“Before somebody will finish his university at the age of 25, he will finish NYSC at 26; it will take him 10 to 15 years to get employment.
“But when the time comes for getting employment, they will say the person is over age.
“That is why we want a review of that limit to make sure that the best people are employed so that we reduce the problem of insecurity in the country because that adds to the insecurity in the country,” he said.
In his contribution, Sen. Bala Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi), said that there was need for a holistic review of the policies on age limitation and the long years of embargo on employment y government.
He explained that both factors had affected and contributed to the high level of unemployment in the country.
“For example if the age limit is 23, we will now add the 13 or 14 years of embargo on employment to the age already benchmarked for employment so that the age will now be plus 13 because it is the government on its own that placed the embargo on employment.
“So there cannot be justification for you to slam the embargo and at the same time expect graduates to remain at the age they were during the period of the embargo.”
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said “I agree with you completely; it is not the fault of the people being discriminated against.
“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 with a view to get this problem of age barrier sorted out to allow the teeming skilled and competent Nigerians to be employed by MDAs,” he said.