Reps move to remove age barrier in public employment
A bill to eradicate age discrimination against job seekers in Federal Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) on Wednesday passed a second reading in the House of Representatives.
The “Bill for an Act to Eradicate the Age Discrimination against Job seekers in Federal Government Agencies; and for Related Matters (HB. 1502)” is sponsored by Sergius Ogun (APC, Edo) and Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos).
Ogun, moving a motion for a second reading of the bill, said the new law seeks to ensure that no Nigerian job seeker is disqualified from government employment on the basis of age.
He noted that the bill, when enacted, would first take effect in Federal Government MDAs with the hope that private employers would follow suit.
“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.
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 in stipulated time, hence the necessity of the bill.
Meanwhile, Benson, a cosponsor of the bill, pointed out that apart from age, sex, religion and ethnicity were other variables in which discrimination is rampant in government employment.
But Idris Ahmed (APC, Plateau) countered that regardless of arguments in favour of the bill, certain jobs, especially in the security forces, requires that prospective employees must be young. He therefore called for specific application of the bill.
When put to voice vote by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the bill was unanimously adopted for second reading.