The Senate has urged employers of labour in the country to de-emphasise age requirements as a precondition for employment in Nigeria.
The Senate resolution was sequel to the consideration and adoption of a motion at plenary on Wednesday.
The motion titled “Age Requirement Precondition for Employment in Nigeria, Urgent Need for Intervention” was sponsored by Senator Abba Moro (PDP- Benue).
Mr Moro, in his debate, said the age limit as a precondition for employment violates chapter 4, section 42(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which guarantees every citizen the right to freedom from discrimination.
He said the provision of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had defined employment discrimination in economic terms as a violation of human rights that entails a waste of human talents with detrimental effects on productivity and economic growth.
Mr Moro said it also generated socioeconomic inequalities that undermined social cohesion, solidarity and acted as a brake on reducing poverty.
He said it was pathetic for a graduate in Nigeria who could not get a job upon graduation and decided to return to school, hoping that a higher qualification, vis-a-vis a second or Master’s Degree, could give him a better employment opportunity.
“It is ironic that a graduate in this country can serve in the National Youth Service Corps programme at age 30 but cannot be gainfully employed, thereafter on the fact that he/ she is now above 30 years; a situation that is a flagrant breach of his fundamental rights.
“The circumstances described in the foregoing present the predicament of the Nigerian youth who has the requisite qualification, knowledge, and skills and is ready to work but disqualified or excluded on the sole and unjustifiable ground that he/she is above the age limit by reason of his/ her birth,” the senator said.
Mr Moro said the sad situation had led many to commit age fraud by falsifying their age to remain within the age limit of employability in the Nigerian Civil Service and all other employers of labour in the country.
In its resolution, the Senate urged the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity, and other relevant agencies to restrict and discourage public and private employers from depriving millions of job seekers of employment opportunities merely for not meeting age requirements.
It urged the ministry to immediately draw up policies that relate to equality of opportunity and treatment in access to employment at all levels.