Nigeria's House of Representatives has abolished age discrimination against job seekers in Federal Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs).
The lawmakers passed a “Bill for an Act to Eradicate the Age Discrimination against Job seekers in Federal Government Agencies."
Sergius Ogun, who moved the motion said the new law will ensure that no Nigerian job seeker is disqualified from government employment on the basis of age.
He also believes that private employers of labour would follow suit later.
“It is a key responsibility of we parliamentarians, as representatives of the people, to ensure that no Nigerian job seeker is discriminated against with regard to age in employment opportunities in Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” Ogun submitted.
The lawmaker added that the bill would also ensure that the fundamental human rights of job seekers are safeguarded while significantly reducing the spiralling number of unemployed graduates and school leavers on the streets.
He lamented that the incessant strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has made it almost impossible for Nigerian university students to graduate within stipulated time, hence the necessity of the bill.
A situation where university graduates spend up to six years and possibly graduate at the age of 25 for instance, while still mandated to serve in the youth service scheme for a year makes many young graduates to be at a disadvantage.
Such barriers “deprives qualified, energetic, and patriotic Nigerians the opportunity to fulfil their goals and contribute to societal development," said another lawmaker.
House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas maintained that age ceiling for job seekers could only apply to societies with stable education calendar, not in Nigeria with recurring strikes, especially in public universities.
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