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Reps move to review age barrier for applicants

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The House of Representatives has moved to review the age barrier in vacancies announced by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Prison Service, Fire Service, Standard Organisation of Nigeria and other federal government agencies.

This came after a deliberation on a motion of urgent public importance moved by Babajimi Benson representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency.

Mr Benson stated that most of the vacancies require that applicants must not be more than 30 years of age as at the time of applying for the vacancies.

He said with the unstable nature of Nigeria’s education system, it is difficult to determine and plan the age of graduation thus restriction on the basis of age is a breach of eligible applicant’s fundamental human rights as contained in Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The lawmaker expressed concern at the fact that the NYSC designed to foster national cohesion in the country with discharge or exemption certificate mandatory to get employment in the Federal Civil Service, pegs it admissibility age at 30 years.

“Citizens who serve at the age of 30 years will be denied the opportunity to be gainfully employed by the country they laboured to serve in the sun and in the rain.

“This development will lead to young Nigerians falsifying their ages to benefit from the available vacancies, an action that would further tint the integrity of the Civil Service,” he said.

He said 55.9 percent of Nigeria’s 196 million population are between 15-64 years of age and by capping job entry at 30 years of age, over half of the said population will be denied the opportunity to be gainfully employed.

“I believe that employment into the federal civil serwce after considering Federal Character should be on merit and competence without age barrier,” he added.

The House, thereafter, unanimously resolved to urge all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA) concerned to consider re-opening their online portal so that above 30 years but are still below 40 years can apply and be given equal opportunity.

It also resolved to mandate the House Committees on Labour, Employment and Productivity and National Planning and Economic Development to review the employability criteria of all MDAS to ensure no eligible applicant is discriminated against on the basis of age.

It also mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure the deliberations and resolutions of the House was communicated to all MDAs and comply to eliminate discrimination in the civil service.

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