Employment: Reps pass bill on age discrimination

 ...put recruitment age into MDAs at 45

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved 45 years and below as the age limit for prospective job seekers into government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the country.

The bill when signed into law, Nigerians aged 45 and below would be eligible for employment into any government establishment including the military, police and other paramilitary organizations.

At the committee of the whole presided over by Deputy speaker Hon Lasun Yussuff, the lawmakers explained that the act seeks to eradicate the age barriers on employment into federal government agencies and ensure that no citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was deprived of employment into federal government agencies on the basis of age.

The practice as it now is that most organizations especially military and security agencies, as well as paramilitary agencies, normally fix a maximum of 30 years for applicants seeking employment as officers.

ALSO READ: Building collapse: Experts seek involvement, collaboration of all sectoral professionals

But worried by the huge number of unemployed people discriminated against by virtue of their age, the House unanimously passed “ a bill for an act to prohibit discrimination against job seekers in federal government agencies (eradication) and allied matters act sponsored by Hon. Sergius Ogun

The Section 3 (1) and (2) of the bill provides that “no citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be deprived of employment into any of the agencies of the federal government, on grounds that he /she is above thirty (30) years of age

“That any citizen of Nigeria that is thirty (30)  years and above but not above forty-five (45) years, shall be entitled to gainful employment within any of the agencies of the federal government of Nigeria.

Section 3 (3) provides “that the provisions of the above subsections shall be subject to the provisions of the laws establishing security agencies, including the Armed forces and other paramilitary agencies with regards to age for enlistment in the relevant security agencies”

It also provides in section 3 (4) that “where a person to be employed into any of the federal government’s agencies is found to be qualified but of an age that is above the age limit specified for such employment, the abilities and/or qualification of such person shall have recourse to and his age shall not operate as a disqualification”