Amid rising unemployment, Senate moves to scrap age limits in job adverts

AMID rising unemployment in Nigeria, the Senate have resolved to abolish age limits set for job applicants by employers in the country.

During plenary on Wednesday, July 19, the Senate urged the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to restrain public and private employers from including age limits in job advertisements, which deprives several unemployed citizens of opportunities.

This resolution was reached following a motion by Senator representing Benue South Abba Moro titled ‘Age Requirement Precondition for Employment in Nigeria, Urgent Need for Intervention’.

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The upper house of the National Assembly also asked the Federal Government to create policies that allow equal opportunities for qualified job seekers.

Moro, while presenting his motion, noted that setting age limits as a condition for employment was against Section 42(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which guarantees a citizen’s right to freedom from discrimination.

“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,” Moro said, describing the situation as ironical.



    “The circumstances described in the foregoing presents the predicament of the Nigerian youth who has the requisite qualification, knowledge, 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,” he added.

    Nigeria’s unemployment rate projected to continue rising 

    Currently, the unemployment rate in Nigeria is 33.3 per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), with Youth Unemployment at 42.5 per cent.

    Multinational firm, KPMG, in its ‘KPMG Global Economy Outlook report, H1 2023,’ predicted that the unemployment rate would increase to 40.6 per cent in 2023.

    “Unemployment is expected to continue to be a major challenge in 2023 due to the limited investment by the private sector, low industrialisation and slower than required economic growth and consequently the inability of the economy to absorb the 4-5 million new entrants into the Nigerian job market every year,” the KPMG report stated.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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