…call for lasting solution to fuel scarcity

Young Nigerians under the auspices of Forum of Nigerian Youths (FNY) on Thursday, July 20, 2023, commended the leadership and members of the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for considering the abolition of age limitations in job advertisements in the country.

At a Media Briefing in Calabar, Cross River State, the group while describing the 10th Senate as ‘People-centric’, reasoned that the move would ultimately curb the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.

Parts of the Press Statement which was co-signed by Secretary; Mallam Issa Yakubu  and read by the Protem Convener of FNY; Comrade Ime Silas, Esq, also called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to cooperate with His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Executive towards ensuring the abrogation of other anti-people practices in the country.

“Our attention has been drawn to media reports to the effect that the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has reached a resolution aimed at abolishing the obnoxious age limitations in job advertisements in the country. No other news could soothe the Nigerian youths better than this.

The facticity of age limitations in job advertisements being a major reason for continued skyrocketing of the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is not at issue; it is whether the Nigerian youths should ever be punished for a crime they didn’t commit. What more could best describe one being punished for a crime he/she didn’t commit than one being made to live with joblessness for life in spite of being qualified, simply because he/she graduated after a certain age”, FNY quipped in it’s statement.

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The statement continued “Today in Nigeria, University students spend more than seven years for a four years course and some, close to ten years for a five years course of study, due largely to incessant Academic and Non-Academic Staff strikes. When these students eventually graduate at age of 27 and above, the question is, should such students be punished with unemployment for no fault of theirs?

There are also another category of Students who took it upon themselves to fun their education, mostly at advanced ages. Most of such students lost their parents at tender ages and had to do menial jobs to feed  as well as sponsor their academic pursuits. They chose going to school over joining bad gangs to terrorize the society.

But, after paying their hard-earned monies to get trained in Nigerian universities, the Federal government of the same Nigeria would permit employers of labour to discriminate against them simply because they did not graduate before twenty five years of age or less. The worst and most annoying is the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), a Nigerian supposed Youth Scheme, which also brazenly discriminate against Nigerian youths on account of age”.

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Describing the Sen Godswill Akpabio-led 10th Senate’s move against the anti-youth policy as laudable, the Forum called on the ‘People-centric’ Senate to also legislate on bills that would bring a lasting solution to fuel scarcity in Nigeria.

“By considering this very issue, the Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio-led Senate has proven that it is ‘People-centric’. The youths and indeed, majority of Nigerians from all walks of life, although were not on the floor of the National Assembly to vote for Akpabio to emerge as Senate President, conspicuously campaigned and drummed support for him. So far, we can say that we are not disappointed.

While thanking the Senate for moving against this anti-youth policy, we also wish to use this medium to call on the National Assembly to consider legislating on bills that would bring a lasting solution to fuel scarcity in Nigeria”

It could be recalled that the senator representing Benue South Senatorial District; Patrick Abba Moro, had sponsored a motion on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, seeking to abolish the age limitation clause in job advertisements in Nigeria.

According to media reports, Moro was quoted to have said “It is pathetic that a graduate in Nigeria who could not get a job upon graduation and decided to go back to school with the hope that a higher qualification or a second or Master’s degree could give him a better employment opportunity is thrown into a career paradox when upon completion of his Master’s, he comes out to find that he is now above the age of employment and therefore not employable by the sole reason of his age,” Moro stated.

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Moro had further stated that such discrimination is in contravention of Chapter 4, Section 42 (2), of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He had drawn the attention of senators to the provisions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that prohibit age placement in the advertisement of job opportunities, adding that discrimination by age bracket has denied lots of potential that would have contributed positively to the world economy, insisting that Nigeria cannot be different.

The lawmaker stressed that at age 30, Nigerians can still serve in the National Youth Service Corps, describing it as ironic that some establishments consider people over 30 unemployable, a development he said is in clear breach of applicants’ fundamental human rights.

He called on the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Productivity to draw up policies that would enthrone equality immediately.

After debates on the motion at the plenary presided over by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, the Senate adopted a resolution calling on the Labour Ministry to redraft policies abolishing age limitations in job advertisements.